Translation teams survey


There is an interest on knowing how the GNOME Translation teams work so that we can improve their way of work by knowing how the others are working. See Og Maciel's mail to the gnome-i18n mailing list.

Ubuntu translation community has already made something similar (see their survey).

Survey Results

Gil Forcada, with the feedback from other community members, conducted the GNOME I18N Survey by sending a questionnaire on August 13 to every GTP language coordinator, and collecting answers for two weeks.

On October 16, Gil presented results of the survey. A brief analysis of the results was included in his message and is excerpted below. 36 out of 119 coordinators replied, which represents 30% coverage.

Quick links:

Two remarks by Gil:

  1. You will notice that there are 4 teams that only have data in the ods file and there isn't a counterpart in raw files. Their team leaders asked to just publish the summary and not the raw data.
  2. If you wonder, the teams order is based on the time I got the reply, so the first team was Belarusian and the last one Danish.


- Teams range from 1 or 2 to +15 members (average to 3 members per team)

- Nearly all work is made by volunteers (only 2 or 3 teams have paid

- All teams use mailing lists to coordinate (and some other tools)

- On the need help/advice question coordinators asked to help work with
the documentation po files and Q&A tools/processes

- 19 out of 36 teams (52%) start working around string freeze (~1 month
before next GNOME release)

- Practically all of them use glossaries and translation guidelines

- To keep track of translation issues most use bugzilla and/or D-L but
Asturian uses a specific software for this (could you elaborate Xandru?)

- Few teams have gone to their language official institution with
miscellaneous results

- 19 out of 36 teams (52%) pass Q&A tools before committing

- 4 out of 36 teams (11%) don't use D-L, all others use it to some kind
of degree

- D-L scores a 3,7!! (from 1 bad to 5 perfect)

- 13 of 36 teams ask for git commit along with other improvements (be
sure to read them all!)

- There's a good relation with downstream translators (mostly Ubuntu,
Fedora and other distros)


>From the replies above we can say that the coordinators are quite
comfortable and used to D-L.

Most of them didn't gave a 5 (instead they gave a 4) to D-L just because
it doesn't have git commits. Now that we are discussing if switching to
Transifex, keeping D-L or something else, having D-L to support git
commits [5] can weight a lot on D-L side.

Nearly all teams use a glossary so it would be really useful to
create/use a tool to generate an automatic glossary out of the
translations already submitted.

The automatically updated po file downloaded from Damned-Lies could be
improved if the above glossary existed pre-translating (marking them as
fuzzy and maybe from which module comes the string) the po file so that
instead of starting a module with 100% 0% 0% (translated, fuzzy, done)
it's already 80% 20% 0%.

[5] Claude reports that's on sysadmin side, I recall hearing from him
that he has working code.

In the same way that there's gtk+ and gtk+-properties, i.e. two po files
for a single module, it would be extremely useful for translators if ALL
schemas were going to a different po file and thus having a double
effect on translators:
- know which strings are actually visible to the users
- reducing a lot [1] the number of strings to translate to reach the
glorious 80%

Survey Draft

Add the questions that are going to be asked to each translation team here

  • Team information
    • Which translation team are you coordinating?
    • How many active translators does your team have?
    • Which profile do the translators have, are they mostly hackers, linguists, a mix?
    • Are all your team members volunteers?
      • If any of your team members are paid for the translation work, by which kind of organization/institution?
    • How do you spread the word to get new contributors?
      • Have you gone to universities/high schools to reach new blood?
  • Coordinator and membership
    • Are you subscribed to the gnome-i18n and devel-announce-list mailing lists?

      • If not, why?
    • Which communication channels do you use to coordinate translation activities?
    • What is the process of accepting new members to your team?
    • Is there any particular area related to your team or language in which you need advice or help?
  • Workflow
    • Do you run translation jams, marathons or other translation events?
    • How do you translate each GNOME release? Do you start just after the string freeze or do you weekly/monthly do some translation work?
    • Which programs or utilities do you use for translation?
  • Q&A

    • Does your team have translation guidelines, glossaries and/or translation memories?
    • Does your team use any methods to keep track of translation problems in your language?
    • How does your team review translations?
      • What process do you follow when reviewing?
    • Have you talked with your language official institution about the terminology, tone and way to translate computer software?
    • Do you run technical QA checks (such as the translation-toolkit pofilter tool)?

  • Damned Lies
    • Does your team use it?
      • Rating it from 1 (bad) to 5 (good), how would you evaluate the Damned Lies helpfulness in accomplishing your tasks?
    • Is there anything you would like to be implemented in it (i.e. automatic glossaries)?
  • Downstream
    • What downstream translation teams (i.e. Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE...) do you have contacts with?
      • Which kind of relation do you have with the appropriate downstream teams?
  • Misc
    • Do you have a centralized place for translators of your language for coordination, communication and/or knowledge sharing?
    • Is there anything else you would like to add, not covered by the previous questions?
    • Would you agree with your answers or part of them being published online (e.g. on the GNOME Live! wiki)?


TranslationProject/Survey (last edited 2011-01-30 22:21:38 by PetrKovar)