Thanks for Helping us Translate iFixit.com!
Four Golden Rules for Translating
Written by you—Please do not copy and paste machine translation—you’re much smarter than algorithms.
Modern and informal style—Write as if you're explaining how to change a light bulb to a friend.
Complete and accurate—Make sure you've translated all words, converted all measurements, researched technical terms, etc.
Comprehensible—Would your neighbor/niece/grandpa understand?
Translating the Various Parts of iFixit
Certain content, like wikis, can be translated directly on iFixit.com. For wikis, all you need to do is create a user account to get started. If you'd like to translate guides as well, please send an email to email@example.com, introduce yourself, and describe your language skills. We will contact you to get the process started.
To translate the iFixit.com user interface, we use a tool called Crowdin. If you want to know more about that, head on over to the Crowdin guidelines.
If you're thinking about becoming an iFixit translator, here are a few questions to ask yourself: How often do you speak, read, and write in 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.
Machine translations are translations 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 our translators yet. We see machine translation as a stop-gap. It’s not a solution and 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 much better. That’s why we ask our translators not to use services like Google Translate to translate material on iFixit. Our proofreaders will reject these 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.
- People's names: If the target language uses a non-Latin alphabet, always translate 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.
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. Please remember to add a no broken space between a number and a unit of measurement so that they won’t be separated with a line break. (Depending on your operating system, you may have to try different ways: f.e. press Alt + Space (on Mac), or Ctrl + Shift + Space, or hold Alt and type 0160 on the numeric keypad on the right of your keyboard.)
Translating Guides and Wikis
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.
First, 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.