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Communication Platforms

The most important thing to do is to stay connected with fellow translators and reviewers. The Localization Lab Mattermost is hosted on the International Freedom Festival domain and is subject to their Code of Conduct. Be sure to read through the Code of Conduct and then contact us and we will send you a link to sign up for the channel. You can also comment on strings in Transifex, but please tag a reviewer for your language, because Transifex comments can otherwise easily go unnoticed.

Style guide

Ask yourself: "If my 65 year old mother read this (who has a total of 3 apps on her phone and uses only one of them on a weekly basis), would she understand this without anyone's help?". The goal is not to translate words, the goal is to make the text understandable to people who grew up in a different country.

Signal Messenger

This Style guide is a result of reviewers communicating about inconsistencies and solutions to those.

Other projects

Tips for consistency

  • Use the suggestions tab in Transifex to see if a similar string has already been translated before
  • Use the glossary tab to see if a particular word has a suggestion
  • Always read the comments on the string
  • Look at the string key, to see what it is called in the code
  • If you want, you could take a look at the source code in GitHub. Just reading the titles of recent commits could already give you a helpful clue.
  • If you are not sure about the context, ask other translators in the comments, leave the string untranslated or give it your best guess and come back later to review it.
  • ANY time you edit a translation on a project with multiple separate resources, make sure to open all the resources and check if the same string exists elsewhere to apply the exact same edit there. An example would be when you edit a string in the Android Signal messenger app, make sure to also check if the same string exists in the Desktop app, the iOS app, the website or the support center. It's not easy for other reviewers to spot the inconsistency later, so do this right away at the very moment you make an edit.
  • Be extra careful with plurals in Transifex, it's easy to miss one of the plural forms when reviewing. You can check all plurals again by searching for pluralized:yes
  • Found a spelling mistake, grammar mistake, word order mistake or some word which is better substituted with another word? Don't just correct it when you see it and move on, check all the strings on all the resources for the same mistake or imperfection and correct that mistake on all the strings where it occurs. The moment you noticed something is the only opportunity to come up with a consistent solution across all the strings.

How to review

  • If there is a Beta version of the website or app you are translating, you should probably be using it so you have early knowledge of where the string will occur , in what context, and how much space is available
  • See if the string provides clear information, and that users don't have to guess about its meaning.
  • Make sure all the punctuation is accurate, the capitalization is accurate, there are no double white spaces, and no missing white spaces
  • Make sure all symbols and next line match with the original string
  • Make sure the vocabulary matches that of other strings
  • Make sure the structure of the sentence matches that of other strings
  • Make sure the exact same phrase, with the same vocabulary and same sentence structure is used across various projects of the same organization, for example in the case of Signal messenger, across the iOS app, Desktop app, Android app, Support Center, Website and App store.
  • Make sure the string fits in the available space. However if you feel the available space is insufficient, do not come up with some unreadable string, but instead contact the developer about creating additional space for translated strings.
  • Don't just look at untranslated string, some strings are automatically translated by Transifex but might still be wrong because the context requires a different translation. use source_updated_after:dd-mm-yyyy to find all the new strings. Also check for edits made by others, using translation_updated_after:dd-mm-yyyy .

Using Dutch as the source language rather than English

If there already exist good quality translations to Dutch, than it is recommended to base your translations of Dutch rather than English or an other source language. This may make translations faster. In Transifex there is an option to swap which language you are using as the source language for your translations; you will find it by clicking the setting icon in the top right of the translation interface. Any string that have not yet been translated to Dutch will automatically still be shown as the original source language for the project (usually English).

Language Resources

Please use the following resources to guide the style, tone and terminology you use across Localization Lab supported projects. Note: These resources are not are not final. If you disagree with terminology or grammar choices, please escalate the issue to the Localization Lab team for further discussion with other language team contributors for this language.

Grammar and word order in sentences

Style and tone

  • First follow any style guide you find here on this wiki for language and project you are working on
  • If you are missing something, contact other translators
  • If you search for style advise from other websites, avoid getting it from tech companies who make up their own version of the language based on marketing rather than the language everyday people use. Also avoid other wiki's which are often written by opinionated people who are not representative for the language. That doesn't mean you can't read them and learn from them, but take it with a grain of salt.


Technical terminology