Translation Guidelines

Hello, thanks for helping out with translations. Here are a few important things to remember while translating.

  • The “get GNU/Linux!” websites are licensed as CC-BY-SA 4.0 works – we’ll release all translations under the same license, where of course you will get all the credit that is appropriate for your translation work.
  • Please variate only slightly from the original text. We advocate freedom in software (convenience or “coolness” of Linux come second) and we are not an anti-Microsoft lobby.
  • Take your time. We are strong also because we are clear and professional in our tone, language, and layout. It’s better to lose a few weeks making sure your grammar, spelling and fluidity are first class, rather than put off potential converts (they never come back).
  • Take great care in selecting appropriate websites when you translate links. Our credibility also depends on what type of websites we send our visitors to. If in doubt, ask.
  • If your language has several variants, use the most neutral style possible. We will then progressively develop localized versions of that language.

Finally, a couple of technical points:

  • You will occasionally come across the “%s” character when translating our websites. It represents a placeholder for a variable, untranslatable contents (such as internal URLs, image paths, etc.). You don’t have to worry about it, but you can change its position, if your language grammar requires so. Simply don’t remove it so that things don’t break.
  • Some strings contain HTML character entity references like “"” (double quotation mark), ““” (left double quotation mark) or “”” (right double quotation mark). Sometimes such HTML entities will auto-translate to the corresponding character. Since the website is formatted in the UTF-8 character set, using either is fine.
  • We added comments to some translatable strings to give the translator pointers in translating that specific string. In Transifex, this comment is displayed below the translation field, if there is any. The comments start with “translators:”.
  • Before you start translating a string, be sure to check for suggestions first. Someone might have already made a suggestion for a translation. Suggestions are displayed on the right hand side of the translation interface.

At any point, should you have doubts, questions or any kind of problem, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us directly with the contact form.

That’s it! We hope you have as much fun translating the website as we had writing it.