Use some translation project
Please always use a translation project for your software. It's close to essential in order to have an effective translation process and good, high-quality translations. Using a translation project, instead of a situation where the individual software developers handle translations on their own, has many important advantages, both for translators and developers:
- Translators are organized into teams, often with a common mailing list, and can distribute the work among themselves
- The danger of duplicated, redundant work is severely reduced, since translators organize their work among themselves
- Translators get easy access to the experience and help of other translators, both with translation specific and language specific issues
- Translators get easy access to common resources such as dictionaries, leading to better consistency in terminology and style with the translations of other software and environments
- Translators can easily get translations reviewed by other team members
- Developers don't need to care with translator or translation team issues and administrativia
- Developers don't need to worry about conflicting translations being submitted (duplicated work) and resolving those issues
- Developers get their software automatically exposed to a huge number of translators, which in many cases also mean translations into many different languages in the end
- Developers in general get more high quality translations for their software, as translations can already get reviewed inside translation teams, and new translators have easy access to the help of more experienced translators
In short, please always consider using a translation project instead of managing translations yourself. Also, if you use a translation project, please direct translation volunteers for your application to the translation project, so that they can get in contact with their language team and we get the benefits listed above.
The GNOME Translation Project
The GNOME Translation Project (GTP) is a large group of volunteer translators, divided into language teams, each with their own team coordinator. The GTP translators work with translating GNOME software and GNOME documentation into several languages. The supported languages are listed on the http://www.gnome.org/i18n/ web page. The most current translation status is always listed on the GNOME translation status pages, which are used as a basis for almost all the translation work.
GTP translators usually work by fetching pregenerated translation templates or regenerated translations from the status pages, or by generating these from SVN sources directly, and then later committing finished or updated translations to SVN. As a consequence, the software to be translated already using GNOME SVN is a prerequisite for using the GTP.
If your goal is to make your software part of the GNOME desktop or developer platform, or make it tightly integrated it, using GNOME SVN is advisable also for many other reasons, like QA, release engineering, and documentation efforts.
The Translation Project
The Translation Project (TP) is another translation project, not connected to GNOME specifically. The TP is also divided into language teams, but a fundamental difference is that TP work is done by software maintainers sending updated translation templates to the TP, and in return getting new and updated translations back through the use of an e-mail robot. The robot, which acts as a gateway between the actual translators and developers, does automatic syntax verification and other sanity tests.
Since there is no need for a CVS and no CVS involved, use of the TP is much more suitable for software projects that don't use GNOME CVS. Instructions for adding a module to the TP are at the TP maintainers page.