Daniele Scasciafratte - Wordcamp Europe 2017

Why your community needs a glossary for localization

2 Edition

Created by Daniele Scasciafratte / @Mte90net

Daniele Scasciafratte

  • Co Founder Codeat - Full Stack Developer
  • Mozillian & Mozilla Reps & Mozilla Tech Speaker
  • WordPress Core Contributor/Developer
  • Project Translation Editor for WordPress Italia
  • GlotDict, PTEbot, BulkRejectGP author
  • Open Source Multiversal

Language learning issues

Language Culture learning issues

160 locales with 72 languages

Mozilla Firefox has 93 languages

The real story

  • 21/05/2016 - 24 Official Glossary + 3 not GP
  • 23/08/2016 - Start with the 1 Edition survey
  • 29/10/2016 - Mozilla Festival
  • 12/11/2016 - Global WordPress Translation Day
  • 03/04/2017 - Start with the 2 Edition survey
  • 14/05/2017 - Oscal 2017
  • 17/05/2017 - 36 (+ Emoji) Official Glossary + 2 not GP
  • 16/06/2017 - WordCamp Europe

1 Edition results

  • 25 participants
  • 16 languages

2 Edition results

  • 33 participants
  • 20 languages

Few questions for you

  • How many of you are native English speakers?
  • How many languages do you speak?
  • How many of you localize a project in a community?
  • Do you use WordPress?
  • Some 10,000 translators adopt the language for those 47% WordPress sites that don’t use en_US

How many use an official glossary?

  • 2016: 24 of 25 use the official glossary of their community
    Now: 28 of 33 use the official glossary of their community
  • 12 don’t use the glossary during the translation (maybe they remember it)
    Only 1!
  • 5 of 25 have also their personal glossary
    4 of 33 have also their personal glossary

Does your community have translation rules?

  • 24 of 25 have community rules
    30 of 33 have community rules
  • 1 doesn't know
  • 1 say that is not strictly
  • 1 doesn't use the community rules
  • 2 have also their own

Lesson learned

The glossary is a very really valuable tool of the translators, but only if it’s really used!

Where to start?

Create a process to suggest new terms for a glossary or start from a glossary of another community.

Don't forget to do meetings to discuss the terms suggested because in order to motivate people to share their thoughts and create rules that are shared by all.

Terms that create problems

Sole in Italian is Sun but means also Only, and Moto is the motorcycle but means also movement

Are there any English terms that are difficult to translate into your language?

What are the terms that create problems?


What can I do with this list?

If you don’t have any glossary today, then a common translation for these terms would be a good starting point in the Wordpress Polyglots world.

The common behavior is to either leave them untranslated or translate them with an explanatory phrase.

What are the terms that we cannot translate?


What can I do with this lists?

Tech terms often don’t have any good translation in other languages and the best option may be to leave them in English!

A second option is to translate them, where possible.

Technical area not often translated by Polyglots

  • wp-config.php & Readme.txt
  • High update rate
    • Codex & Docs
    • Changelog
  • Licenses
  • Name of plugins or themes
  • Critical errors
  • Resources for manager/leader
    • Available unlucky on technology on SVN or Git

Don't forget...

  • Technical terms are the kryptonite for an IT Translator
  • You’re going to spend many hours discussing how to translate various IT terms
  • Define the priorities for various documents and areas
  • Define the terms for various areas, like Developers, Features, etc.
  • Choose what type of terms you’ll always leave in English

Feedbacks by communities

  • With just few items the glossary is useless
  • Good rules and a glossary help a new contributor to get started more easily with a solid base and speed up the onboarding
  • Actually, there's no official way to suggest terms for the glossary
  • Consistency to maintain terms between different translators and a reference
  • A wrong translation on the 29% websites can create problems on business as example
  • A translation with quality is better of a translation crappy
  • Consistency and Rules simplify many things and improve the quality

Why you need a glossary?

  • Mentors can work on rules after the glossary
  • These resources are a good way to keep the community healthy and to be part of something bigger and join community meetings
  • First step for onboarding new volunteers
  • Involve new volunteers in the community life
  • Simplify the review process (frees up time that may be used for... translation, perhaps?)
  • "Sometimes there are many synonyms to choose from and every user may be accustomed to slightly different words."
  • "As a GTE I can’t rely only on a closed Glossary"
  • Define the translation style!


or how to access your glossary easily


Very amazing yesterday (Italian WordPress Translation Day at the WP Rome Translation Day), when I installed the plugin that I translated saturday and I could see my translation!!

Satisfaction again

How the time flies when you’re translating WordPress!


- Replies on the module: https://goo.gl/0rHA1q
- How to structure a l10n project for open source projects: Mozilla Italia l10n Guide, Interview
- Thanks to Tor-Bjorn Fjellner for the review of the English language in this talk!