(Collaboratively) Translating Yoast Plugins

Tower of Bable: no longer!I’ve been bugged for over 2 years now by people who wanted me to make it possible to translate my plugins into their language. Only a few of my plugins so far have had proper internationalization options, mostly due to me being lazy busy with other stuff. This is now changing, rapidly, though!

Last friday I was telling my buddy Remkus de Vries, known as @DeFries on Twitter, that I was almost done with the internationalization support for my WordPress SEO plugin. He told me that I should be using GlotPress, which is a collaborative, web-based software translation tool maintained by some of the people behind WordPress. I concurred and asked him to set it up for me.

He did and he wrote a post about it: How to use GlotPress for your translations. After a bit of work on my side on getting a registration form going, I tweeted about my GlotPress being there on translate.yoast.com. Within 20 minutes about 10 people had registered and started translating. I was very excited about that and decided to look into it a bit better by the following morning, when 14 people in total had signed up already.

Because I could see this becoming unmanageable quite soon, I decided to create a mailing list for the contributors. As you’ll see when you’ve read Remkus’ post I listed above, we use a WordPress install on /register/ to manager the users. This allows me to use Gravity Forms, along with its User Registration add-on, to allow people to register. Because I built it that way, it was a piece of cake to add the Mailchimp add-on and make sure all new translator were connected to the mailing list as well.

Be sure that when you set it up like this too, you make the language people want to translate into a variable in MailChimp too, so later on you can easily segment on that, by emailing just the people who are translating your plugin(s) into Polish, for instance.

The amount of people working on this has surprised me. I’ve tweeted about it twice and so far, 31 people have signed up and are actively translating into 12 different languages, so far translating 2568 sentences!

Your turn?

Are you using WordPress in your native language? Would you want to contribute some of your time to help translate my plugins into your native language? Then register here, you’ll receive instructions from there. If your language isn’t listed yet, please allow me some time to enable that language and from then on your good to go, looking forward to seeing my plugins run in more languages then were speaking on the tower of Babel!

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28 Responses

  1. OzhBy Ozh on 3 October, 2011

    In the admin side, what are you tasks then after a team translates a plugin? How does it actually lighten the burden for devs?

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 3 October, 2011

      A translation has to be validated, which can be done by validators or the admin, then you can just generate a .po and .mo file and package with your plugin. The biggest pro for me is that it makes it collaborative, which is good for when a plugin, like my WordPress SEO plugin, has 450+ strings that need translating which is a lot of work for one person.

      • OzhBy Ozh on 3 October, 2011

        I see… Still the hassle of using __( ‘zomg’, ‘bleh’ ) instead of plaintext return ‘zomg’, still the hassle of packaging / committing / updating the plugin & doc with new .po files.

        Bleh. I hate l10n :)

        • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 3 October, 2011

          Yes, it’s a LOT of work.

        • MilanBy Milan on 3 October, 2011
          • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 3 October, 2011

            I know Milan, but having it all in GlotPress will still be an advantage even then, I’m assuming :)

          • MilanBy Milan on 3 October, 2011

            Point of language packs is to have all translations of themes and plugins on GlotPress at translate.wordpress.org and to be able to easily sideload them inside WordPress.

            So, that GlotPress would be connected to plugins/themes repository with automatic updating etc. and everything this means less logistic work to developers and translators.

  2. Stefano AgliettiBy Stefano Aglietti on 3 October, 2011

    I noticed that for italian translation some terms are bad translated (dashboard is untraslated in italian in every sentence i checked) and some othere things that make the plugin not compliant with the rule we used for the official translation of WP in Italian. Do you plan to have some people that check the submitted translation like we do in WP glotpress site? If so i can help for italian parte validating the translation

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 3 October, 2011

      I absolutely do! Let me drop you an email :)

  3. TradiArtBy TradiArt on 3 October, 2011

    Glotpress should be the only way to translate scripts… it’s so powerful and easy! Thanks Yoast!

  4. M.K. SafiBy M.K. Safi on 3 October, 2011

    People should just learn English. I only use my native language, Arabic, to talk to family and friends—English for everything else, literally.

    • MilanBy Milan on 3 October, 2011

      I hope this was sarcasm.

      • EmilianoBy Emiliano on 7 October, 2011

        I don’t think a lot of non-westerners know about the negative connotations of the “English Only” philosophy… But that said, yeah, diversity is good.

  5. GenevièveBy Geneviève on 3 October, 2011

    I’m very happy to read this (I’ve signed up to help with the French but someone has already gone through all the strings) since I badly need a French interface for my WordPress SEO users.

    Will the .po & .mo files be included in the automatic upgrade mechanism for the plugin? What’s a general timeframe for this?


  6. Jan-Marten de BoerBy Jan-Marten de Boer on 3 October, 2011

    I’m signing up for Dutch ><

  7. AngelicaBy Angelica on 4 October, 2011

    I’m kinda used to translating some plugins and systems. I’ve already signed up and am about to translate the last plugin (damn, wordpress seo is as great as huge to translate)

  8. Andrew GroatBy Andrew Groat on 4 October, 2011

    Interesting, i’d seen these files before (.po .mo) and I knew it was language support but couldn’t work out how it had been done. I’ve created a lot of plugins for the company I work for, and I now hear we’re expanding to Singapore – this is probably going to be a huge help. Thanks!

  9. AzamBy Azam on 8 October, 2011

    ok, i’m interesting, i will translate into Bahasa Indonesia.

  10. tamim adamBy tamim adam on 9 October, 2011

    Hello, I love your plugin since i have been using wordpress for blogging. My native language is Bangla. I want to translate these all to Bangla. How can i start? I already get register with your translating project.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 9 October, 2011

      Hi Tamim,

      Thanks for signing up to translate! I’ve just enabled the Bengali translation for WordPress SEO and will enable it for other projects as soon as you confirm that that is the language you meant, as I wasn’t 100% sure :)

  11. bandocBy bandoc on 14 October, 2011

    Do you plan to have some people that check the submitted translation like we do in WP glotpress site?

  12. zimbrulBy zimbrul on 14 October, 2011

    I personally use all WordPress stuff in English as translated in Romanian some terms sound odd (i.e: the Italian Dashboard as above, etc.).
    I can help with the Romanian translation of some of your work if you think it’s all right.


  13. Jens TörnellBy Jens Törnell on 17 October, 2011

    I just registered but can only find my profile and dashboard. Do you have to add swedish before I can start?

  14. Anette BargelBy Anette Bargel on 17 October, 2011

    Hi, I can sign up for Swedish as well. Sounds like sharing the translation task could be good. I’m using version 3.2.1 presently, in Swedish. I’ll use the same link as Jens above. If I need to know anything else to start translating, pls let me know.

  15. Geneviève GélinasBy Geneviève Gélinas on 21 October, 2011

    I see that French is at 100%. Yay!

    How will users get their hands on the .po & .mo files? Will they be included in the automatic upgrade mechanism for the plugin? What’s a general timeframe for this?


  16. AngelicaBy Angelica on 27 October, 2011

    When will the plugins be available with the translation packs?