What is a translation team?

Created by Christian Reis on on 2008-06-10
translation teams groups
Last updated by:
Jeroen T. Vermeulen on on 2008-09-03

A translation team is a regular team, like any other team created in Launchpad, that has been appointed as a member of a translation group. A translation group is an association of translation teams that together can manage the translation of any number of projects.

(Teams and persons can be used interchangeably just about anywhere in Launchpad, so actually a translation team can also be a single person).

The owners of a translation group can assign translation teams to languages: team X can supervise translations to French, team Y manages translations to Japanese, and so on. A single team can be responsible for multiple languages in the group, but not the other way around.

A translation team is not quite the same as a team of translators! The usual way of working in Launchpad (see Ubuntu as an example) is that any logged-in Launchpad user can enter suggestions for translation and so "be a translator." Apart from having a Launchpad account, nobody needs to register for anything to start translating.

The translation team is responsible for managing the translations: selecting the best suggestions, weeding out unnecessary changes from upstream translations, making sure that translation standards are followed, and coordinating and documenting the translation effort. The translation team may also take responsibility for feeding the latest upstream translations into Launchpad and submitting the latest Launchpad translations back to upstream, but this is up to the individual project.

There is a choice of access models to enable the form of collaboration a project wants: Open lets anyone make any changes to the translation. This is the default, but not very useful in combination with translation teams. Closed is the other extreme: nobody outside the translation group is allowed to do anything at all to the translations. Inbetween are Structured and Restricted, which are more useful. They let any Launchpad user enter suggestions, but require the language teams approve (or disapprove) suggestions. Each translation team does this for the language(s) it is responsible for in the translation group.

Structured and Restricted differ only for languages that have no translation team assigned: Structured treats those translations as Open, whereas Restricted treats them as Closed. The "open" policies are better for getting lots of translations quickly, and the "closed" ones are better for maintaining quality standards. The more open policies can be a good way of getting translations started when you have no translators yet, but once that has changed, it's better to switch to Restricted and go through a systematic cleanup to get to a higher level of quality.