Happy International Translation Day!

How does a capacitor work? What’s the best way of getting into your smartphone? Why does your laptop battery degrade over time? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you aren’t alone. But fear not: if you are passionate about sustainability and repair, you can still help the Right to Repair movement, even if you don’t know how to properly hold a screwdriver. 

How, you ask? By translating existing guides and wikis. When you do this, you can empower millions of people around the world to fix their stuff.

iFixit is the largest online repair platform in the world and translation is an essential part of our mission. If you translate a guide on how to replace a laptop battery into French, you make this information accessible to over 300 million more people. If you translate it into Chinese, that list grows to over a billion people

Imagine how many laptops will be saved because you translated this guide

Our translation heroes

We have a strong core group of people (with room for more) who support self-repair by translating repair information in their free time. Today, we celebrate International Translation Day, and we want to take a moment to highlight some members from our Translation community. Their dedication to Right to Repair and the high quality of their translations make them a standout on the site. 

VauWeh has been a most loyal and active member of iFixit for nearly eight years now. During that time, he has translated 4,877 repair guides into German. Apart from translating, he is active on the Answers Forum and our uncontested specialist when it comes to fixing coffee machines. His motto: Repair is war on entropy.

Francisco Javier Saiz Esteban joined iFixit in April 2022, and has translated 2,869 guides into Spanish since then. That’s an average of 5.4 guides per day! He has also helped translate over 3,700 wikis. He loves nature and when he discovered iFixit, he instantly knew he wanted to help.

“I see iFixit as a hobby for me,” Toon Konings writes in his profile. “In addition, it is very nice to be able to help other people with my hobby.” Toon never seems to tire of translating iFixit into Dutch—there is hardly a day when he’s not online. Since he joined iFixit in February 2022, he has translated 379 guides and contributed to the translation of over 110 wikis.

Suzanne Tessier was always interested in how things worked, and has started training as a repair technician. She doesn’t consider herself to be an expert on anything, but she wanted to spread the message that repair is cool—so she started translating guides and wikis into French when she discovered iFixit in 2021. So far, she has translated 130 guides.

There are many others who have helped iFixit become the multilingual resource it is today, such as railgun, who has translated nearly 1,400 guides into Japanese, Daniele Carminati with his 1,022 guide translations into Italian, and Brendan, who translated 1,100 guides into French before shifting his focus to helping people in the Answers Forum. 

We can’t list all the great people who have contributed to translating iFixit, but we want you to know your efforts are appreciated—not just by us, but by the millions of people you are helping to fix their things.

Moving forward

Currently, there are nearly 100,000 freely available repair guides on iFixit. Most of these are still only available in English, like this one on how to change the battery in a Microsoft Surface Book 2. This device has been around for four years now, so quite a few of their batteries will be degrading by now. So if you love translating and want to do something to keep electronics out of landfills, now is your chance! 

Find a guide or wiki that would be improved by a second (or third, or fourth!) language and switch to your target language. From there you just hit the “Translate” button in the top right corner.

And just to give you a little bit of extra incentive: Until October 21—International Repair Day—you can participate in our Translation Challenge. Enter your translation(s) in this Google Form and you’re in for a chance to win a gift card for the iFixit Store. (And in case you are really not into screwdrivers, we also have some great t-shirts and other cool stuff in stock.)

So, what if someone was faster than you and the Microsoft Surface Book 2 battery guide has already been translated into your language? Just take a look at our list of guides and wikis that still need translating. And don’t worry—you don’t need to translate 5 guides per day like Francisco to make a difference. 

Every single translated guide or wiki helps people repair their stuff, save money and protect our planet. And the great thing is that after a few translations, you may find yourself thinking: “Actually, that doesn’t look too difficult. Maybe I can change my phone battery myself, too. Or fix my coffee machine. Or replace the speakers in my laptop.” And you would be right: Because anybody can repair. You can repair. And we are here to help.

Currently, we support the translation of guides into German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Italian and Korean. Wiki translation is also supported for Portuguese, Turkish and Russian. So if you speak one of these languages and want to help, go to our translation pages and get started!