Localisation (was Re: Translators needed?)

F Wolff friedel at translate.org.za
Wed Jan 31 09:45:05 CET 2007

On Di, 2007-01-30 at 20:41 +0100, José Suárez wrote:
> Hi to everybody.
> I've been quite excited about the OpenMoko development and release schedule. 
> I'm pretty sure I would like to buy one Neo1973 when they were available and 
> became usable.
> I'm not a developer and don't know how to code, but I would like to contribute 
> to the OpenMoko project to make it great. Given that the only way I think I 
> could help at the moment is by translating some of the UI/GUI messages (later 
> when the phone is out I would like to test the apps and report bugs) I want 
> to know if there is any need for translators. If so, I would like to 
> volunteer for the translation of whatever messages into Spanish.
> Thanks for the effort and time you guys are putting into OpenMoko's 
> development. It will surely rock!

I work with Translate.org.za where we localise software for South
Africa. I've been hoping that we can see a coordinated effort developing
here in terms of localisation for the OpenMoko.

We work as part of the the WordForge project where we build tools to
simplify software translation and localisation. All our software is Free
and Open Source Software. Several translation teams all over the world
have used our software, including the Translate Toolkit and Pootle, for
projects such as OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Thunderbird, and the multitude
of other Free and Open Source programs. We are also currently
cooperating with Debian to adapt our software to fulfil their needs for
a complete internationalisation/localisation infrastructure.

Pootle is an online system for translation management and online
translation. For a demo, see our Pootle server at 

For more information about Pootle, consult our wiki:

It can help to centralise translation activities and help translators to
achieve higher quality translations. It is in active development and has
an increasing community of localisers and developers helping to provide
a tool that really helps translation teams, large and small. 

I hope we will consider localisation to be important and make it easy
for developers and translators to contribute by using a system such as

Another area of interest, is of course other types of localisable
functionality, such as text input and fonts. Some ideas have been
mentioned on the old list for text input. How language packs work would
also need to be decided eventually - of course we are dealing with
limited storage. I would personally love to hold such an open phone in
my hand with all its power, and speaking my own language - something to
be proud of! I hope it will be easy for everybody to make this happen.

Sean talked about "improbable markets" in the release roadmap. I don't
know exactly what he had in mind, but good localisation is an excellent
way to reach more people. It is probably not that difficult to provide
some mobile "firsts" in certain languages / countries. It might get a
lot of press as the first phone or first smart phone translated in some


Some useful links:
Translate.org.za: http://translate.org.za
WordForge: http://www.wordforge.org
Our SourceForge page: http://translate.sourceforge.net/

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