Launchpad makes it easy for anyone to make or suggest translations for a free software project. Each project can choose a review policy that lets them find a balance between encouraging spontaneous contributions and maintaining high quality translations.
This is where translation groups come in. They're umbrella organisations - made up of teams and individuals - that work with one or more projects to review translations.
When a project owner activates Launchpad Translations for their project, they choose which translation group they want to work with. In effect, they delegate the review of their project's translations to the people in that group.
Each translation group is made up of teams and individuals who have taken responsibility for a particular language. Although the groups often start life associated with only one project, they are independent and can work with any project in Launchpad.
If you're a project owner, you can find out more about working with translation groups in our guide to using Launchpad Translations for your project.
Joining a translation group
If all you want to do is help translate free software, you don't need to join a translation group. Translation groups exist to review translations that have already been made or suggested. However, there are a couple of things to note:
projects with a Closed translations policy allow only members of the translations group to make or suggest translations
- in practice, many of a project's most active translators join the translation group and so both translate and review other people's translations.
If you're confident that you make accurate and useful translations, and you're familiar with the review requirements of the projects you want to work with, you have two options:
- join a team that has responsibility for a language within a translation group
- if you work in a language for which your chosen translation group has no appointed supervisor, you can apply to take that role either as an individual or as part of a team.
Choosing a translation group to join
You can see which translation groups are active in Launchpad, and which projects they work with, on the translation groups page. Click on any of the groups to see:
- who owns them
- which teams and individuals are responsible for which languages.
You should choose the translation group you want to join based on which project(s) you're most interested in working with. For example: if you want to help translate Avant Window Navigator, you'd join the Ubuntu Translators group.
What you do next depends on whether that group has already appointed a team or individual for your chosen language:
A team is responsible for your language: visit the team's overview page and contact the team owners about their membership requirements.
An individual is responsible for your language: visit their profile page to find out how to contact them and then let them know you want to help.
No one looks after that language: contact the translation group owners to let them know you want to help with that language.
Creating a new translation team
If you want to take responsibility for a particular language, within a translation group, either as an individual or member of a team, contact the translation group's administrators. You can find their contact details by following the link to their profile page on the translation group's home page.
Once you're involved in a translation group, you're ready to start reviewing strings. You can see where your review is needed by visiting either:
for a project: the translations overview page for that project (for example: https://translations.launchpad.net/silva/trunk/+pots/silva)
for a distribution: the distro's overview page for the language that you work in (for example: https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu/gutsy/+lang/en_GB)
On these pages, Launchpad shows you how well advanced the translation effort is. The part we're interested in, for now, is the "Needs review" column. As you might expect, this shows you how many strings need to be reviewed before they enter the official translation for that project or distribution package.
To start review, simply click one of the numbers in that column! Launchpad will then show you the original English string, the current accepted translation (if any) and the suggested translation that requires your review.
Creating a translation group
Most projects choose to join an existing translation group because they already have established teams for one or more languages.
However, if you want to maintain control of which teams or individuals can review translations in your project, you can request the creation of a new translation group. Contact the Launchpad team with your request.