How do I become a translator?

Created by Jeroen T. Vermeulen on on 2008-09-03

This may surprise you: you become a translator by translating!

Assuming that you are logged in to Launchpad, you do not need to join anything, or be approved by anyone, to help translate in Launchad. Most translations will let you enter suggestions, and it's up to separate "translation teams" to pick the best suggestions. If you are in the habit of entering translations, and projects start using your translations, that makes you a translator.

Of course, you also want to be a _good_ translator. It's not much fun unless you really help give people the freedom to use software to improve their lives. So before you start entering translations, try looking up the translation teams that manage the translations you want to contribute to. Read their websites, join their mailing lists, learn about their standards. Ask them where your help is most needed. Develop a feel for what translation work is useful: don't change translations just because you know a better word for "file" in your languageā€”the translation you see may be using an agreed standard term. Instead, look for messages that are still untranslated.

Even if the translations you work on have no translation team to supervise them, try to find some translation teams that work in your language, and learn from them. There's probably a team to translate Ubuntu to your language, for example. Once you've built up some experience, consider joining a translation team, or even setting up a new one if your language is not covered somewhere.