- Getting Started
- Machine Translation
- Translating guides and wikis on iFixit.com
- Ensuring translation quality
- What should not be translated
Getting Started ¶
Thanks for helping us translate iFixit.com!
Certain content, like wikis, can be translated directly on iFixit.com. For the wikis you just need to create a user account. If you want to translate guides as well, please send an email to email@example.com, introduce yourself and describe your language skills. We will contact you and get the process started.
We are also using a tool called Crowdin to translate the basic framework of the site. So if you want to dive in and translate, head over to Crowdin, make an account, join the iFixit translation project, and get to work on the untranslated portions of iFixit.com:
We’d like for the entire site to sound like it was written by the same person, instead of many different people. As you translate, try to maintain consistency with the entire site. If you want to talk to your fellow translators, you can use the commentary function on Crowdin.
A few questions to ask yourself: How often do you speak, read, and write the language in question? Can you have a philosophical conversation? Watch a documentary? Read a novel? If you answered NO to any of those questions, that's okay. We don't require translators to have any formal training, but we do ask that you take the role of translating seriously.
If you’re working outside your area of expertise, be sure to research terminology or ask someone in the field. If you’re struggling with a particular phrase or term, be sure to ask for advice from other translators. Of course, it's very important to be correct when translating, but if you happen to mistranslate something, there's a safety mechanism engineered into Crowdin: All the translations you submit will be reviewed by someone else. So rest easy—you won't accidentally take down the site if you mess up a translation.
Machine Translation ¶
Machine translation are translation made by a computer, instead of a human. Usually, through services like Google Translate. They’re quick and convenient. In fact, we even have a button users can press to machine translate parts of iFixit that haven’t been translated by real people yet. Machine translation is a stop-gap. It’s not a solution. Even the best machine translations tend to be pretty bad. We give users the option to see machine translations only as a last resort. Human translations are more nuanced, more accurate, and way better. That’s why we ask that our translators not to use services like Google Translate to translate material on iFixit. Our proofreaders will reject these kind of entries and you won’t get any reputation points for them.
In short: Machine Translation is out, your brain is in!
Informal vs. formal ¶
When in doubt, go with formal. However, use your best judgement when interpreting a phrase. If a phrase is very friendly and casual, then it's okay to go with informal, colloquial terms.
Modern vs. traditional ¶
Modern terms and phrases should be chosen over a phrase that is old-fashioned or idiomatic. Translators should strive to be up-to-date in the topics covered.
Personal vs. generic ¶
Sometimes, we use colorful, informal language on iFixit, which can be hard to translate. Translators should strive to match the tone and flow of the original content as closely as possible. Rather than produce a hyper-formal, word-for-word translation, translators should aim to find the color, energy and "poetry" of the original style and emulate it in the target language, using words and phrases that match the gist of the points.
As you translate, you might encounter some idioms—such as puns, culture-specific phrasing, and metaphorical expressions. A phrase like “It’s raining cats and dogs” or “Catch us on the flipside” wouldn’t make any sense if it were translated word-for-word. Rather, an equivalent or similar expression should be found and used as a substitution. If no such equivalent can be found, translators should opt for a translation that gets the same point across, even if the language you choose is less colorful than in the original phrase.
That’s us! iFixit is always written as "iFixit" and should not be translated. Likewise, if you see a mention of Dozuki, that’s also us. It should remain as "Dozuki" and should not be translated.
Proper nouns ¶
- People's names: If the target language uses a non-Latin alphabet, always transliterate people's names—using the closest corresponding letters of language you are translating the material in to.
- Places: Use the name of the place that is in most common usage in your language. If the name is not found in your lexicon, transliterate—using the closest corresponding letters of language you are translating the material in to.
Try to find the punctuation that best enhances readability while keeping as close to the original flow and direction as possible. Always use the target language's native punctuation.
Character sets ¶
Please use standard unicode characters and avoid those that are platform-specific.
Units of measurement ¶
You may convert units of measurement to make them more understandable to speakers of your language. We recommend the Google unit conversion tool.
Translating guides and wikis on iFixit.com ¶
When translating a guide on iFixit.com, choose your target language with the help of the flag and use the “Translate” button in the upper right corner to open the translation interface. First, translate the guide information and then translate the guide steps. If you aren’t quite sure how to translate some of the content in the guide steps, it can be helpful to refer to the pictures paired with the English step for more context.
Translation of wikis (like this one) is even more straightforward: Go to the Wiki page you want to translate, choose your target language and hit the "translate" button in the upper right corner. Provide your translation on the right side of the page. When choosing the wikis you want to translate, keep in mind what’s relevant for your folks. The “Careers” page, for instance, is probably not relevant for international users.
Translating links ¶
First you should check if the content of the link is useful for people who don’t speak English—if not look online for something similar in your target language.
The easiest way to translate a link is to add a new one. You can do this by clicking on the button “Insert a link”. Enter the link URL in the upper box of the pop up window. In the lower box you can enter an optional link text. To save click on “Insert the link”.
Pro tip: Include the magic code (without quotation marks): "|new_window=true". Now the link will be opened in a new tab and your readers are more likely to return to your translation afterwards.
In Wiki Formatting and Syntax you can find more information about link formatting.
Crowdin is an online, peer-review translation platform. They offer an excellent overview/tutorial including information regarding your account and on how to contact iFixit employees. We recommend you read through their overview and get familiar with the Crowdin interface before you dive in with the translating.
Some benefits of using Crowdin include:
- In-context translation
- Per-language forums
- Awesome moderation / proof-reading interface
Crowdin separates the material that needs translating into different categories, based on where that material lives on iFixit.com. The highest priority for translation is labeled as “Base.po”—that’s essentially the base architecture of iFixit, and what most visitors to the site see.
Crowdin delivers you phrases, sentences, and strings of text that have yet to be translated on iFixit.com. Some of the phrases will be accompanied by administrator comments that provide the translator with information on where that particular phrase appears on the site. For the most part, translators just translate a phrase as they see it, and move on. But if you’re not sure how to translate the phrase, you can try searching for it In-Context and translate it directly:
One strategy to find the translation on the site, which can be quite challenging, might be to Google your target phrase, like this:
Crowdin keeps track of your translation progress. As you translate more phrases (or strings) on iFixit, you’ll see the language completion percentage slowly increase. In the event that the language you’re working on has reached 100% completion, please continue to check Crowdin on a regularly basis. We are constantly adding new content to the site that needs to be translated.
Ensuring translation quality ¶
Basic Rules ¶
- When you have translated a string of text, read it again and see if there are any errors or if the translations sounds right in your language.
- If the translated phrase does not make sense, it is definitely wrong and you should rephrase it.
Glossary and Translation Memory ¶
A helpful tool on Crowdin is the Translation Memory (tab “Search TM") where you can search for specific words and how they have been translated within the iFixit project before. If you work on a string that has been translated before, Crowdin will suggest the old translation. Furthermore, you can check the memory for specific translations that have been used before (Search TM below the translation box). But be careful: Just that they are in the memory is no proof they are still in use – to make sure, check the specific string. With the translation memory, we try to get a continuity in a language even though it has been translated by several different translators.
Moreover, Crowdin offers a Glossary (Terminology next to Comments). Terms found in the glossary are underlined in the source string. When you hover over them with your cursor, you can see the translation—and, sometimes, additional context or definitions are given. Please stick to the suggested translation to ensure consistency across translations on iFixit.
What should not be translated ¶
Data placeholders and variable names ¶
In many programming languages, a developer can insert data into a string by using a placeholder, such as a % sign followed by a number. You might see something like that on the site. These placeholders should not be modified.
Here are some examples of placeholders you might encounter:
I have %1 Reputation ¶
In this case, the" %1" is most likely going to be a number. So when you translate this sentence, place the "%1" where a number would make sense. You can also reword it to something like "I have a Reputation of %1" — but the % and the 1 must always appear in the same order. Likewise, inserting a space between the % and 1 will break the placeholder’s function on iFixit.
This is a %1link%2 to Google ¶
When placeholders are surrounding text, then they imply some kind of styling. It can be indicating bold type, italics, URLs, etc. We have done this to reduce the amount of HTML you need to copy. When the placeholder is substituted, the sentence might look like this:
This is a <a href="https://www.google.com">link</a> to Google
Once again, don’t change the order of the placeholders, and don’t insert spaces that didn’t appear in the original text. Otherwise, you could break the link when you translate.
Tips and tricks about placeholders ¶
- In some cases, you might encounter a character that resembles a small square attached to a placeholder. Ignore the small squares in your translations.
- By default, Crowdin enables the option to validate translations. The option checks translations for missing punctuation, variables, and more. This is ideal, except for one small caveat. You may find a string of text that has a placeholder and a word without a space in between, such as "%1Find us on %2facebook"; Crowdin will think that %1F is the placeholder. In which case, if you attempt to commit the translation, you will find yourself with an error message saying you have missed or mistranslated some variables. Go ahead and click 'Save Anyway' and continue with your translations.
You might see admin comments paired with a phrase that is waiting to be translated. These should give better insight on how to translate certain parts of our site. Comments can either appear outside of a string of text, or inside it. When comments are inside a string, they are paired with a specific placeholder.
For example, consider: "I have [%1 Number] Reputation."
[%1 Number] indicates that the %1 placeholder will be substituted with a number. When translating this, you do not need to translate the comment. You can treat it as if the comment wasn't even there. These three formats are identical:
- Thing %1 Thing.
- Thing [%1 Number] Thing.
- Thing [%1 Translated Number] Thing.
Formatting XML tags ¶
While we try to minimize it, you may see HTML/XML tags, such as <strong>, used to format text in a string. If you see code, don’t translate it. It shouldn’t be there. Report the issue to iFixit admins.