[Sugar-devel] Translations

Tony Anderson tony_anderson at usa.net
Sat Feb 20 03:35:43 EST 2016

As I understand the issue: SugarLabs has some funds available to support 
translation of Sugar. At the SLOBs meeting, it was proposed that
SugarLabs recruit a 'translation manager', a possibly paid position. One 
question is the job description for this role.

I would like to review the translation process:

Translation has two separate parts: internationalization(I18n) and 
localization (L10n).

The Sugar-Devel team is responsible for I18n (preparing the framework to 
support localization) and the community is responsible for L10n - 
providing translations (by default, from English) to other languages.

The immediate focus is on using Pootle as the I18n framework with 
translators providing the localization.

Let's divide the languages into three groups:

     - English (the base language)

     - Mediums of instruction (languages used at deployments as a common 
language where more than one language is spoken)

     - Local language (languages used by students at home)

When a new Sugar release is made, the Pootle English master files should 
be a part of the release. Sugar development should ensure that Pootle 
files are available for all software in the release.

Sugar may want to provide localization for one or more mediums of 
instruction (e.g. Spanish, French, Arabic). Since this would imply that
files for these localizations are available at release, SugarLabs should 
decide which, if any, of these languages are to be supported.

Deployments (or deployment sponsors) may need localization of Sugar for 
specific local languages (e.g. Kinyarwanda, Haitian Creole,
Sotho, Xhosa). I believe these localizations are most likely to come 
from Sugar/XO deployments where the language is used. Some would
seem to be a given - Cambodian.

However, strange things happen. For example, Rwanda is one of the 
largest and most active deployments. However, there is no Kinyarwanda 
localization. The reason is probably that in Rwanda the OLPC laptops are 
part of a path to English. They are introduced at the fourth grade, the 
first year when the required medium of instruction is English. While 
Kinyarwanda is a subject in grades 4-6, the priority is using the XOs to 
facilitate learning in English, Mathematics, and Science.

I believe that the Pootle files are distributed and installed with the 
released image. This should mean that XO users who know English and the 
native language could provide the localization. Once it is complete, the 
files can be installed on the XOs at the deployment and the localization 
would be available at the deployment. Ideally, localization would be 
done by the students as a learning activity. For example, in Rwanda, 
localization to Kinyarwanda would help students a lot in learning 
English. Sameer Verma has provided an excellent tutorial on how to do 
localization which could be included in the Sugar image.

So, the translation manager would be responsible to identify deployments 
which use specific local languages and work with them to organize 'L10n' 
days for new releases. The translation manager should then interface 
with Pootle to submit the localization files for review and acceptance 
by Pootle.

Sugar development could review Sugar (Python) activities to see if they 
support Pootle and attempt, eg. through GSOC, to get activities upgraded 
to implement Pootle and to include a base set of English Pootle files.

Perhaps OLPC France could be tasked to provide French localization as 
part of the release process. For Spanish, perhaps Sebastian Silva (Peru) 
or Plan Ceibal could accept responsibility for Spanish.

Meanwhile, being on the other side of the world, I have not made 
progress on getting a committee to help put their two cents in on this. 
Clearly, this scenario must be reviewed for Floss Manuals, Sugarizer, 
and other SugarLabs products which don't fit in this one. Also, how to 
provide localization of IIAB-2 content is, at least, a formidable question.


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