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Date of registration: May 31st 2011

Language Team: French

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Thursday, June 23rd 2011, 9:54am

Suggested practice : organizing translations in your language teams

Here's a list of recommendations as to how to organize translation projects within the forums. These pointers will also explain, in part, why we have adopted this particular forum structure.

Each language team is subdivided in three sections by default, as we had the following procedure in mind :


  • A coordinator checks the Open for translation section to see if there are materials that were recently opened for translations
  • The coordinator then posts a new thread, showing a summary of the content that is to be translated (you could copy the text of the original thread from the English Team) and a link towards the working location.
  • Optional : the coordinator can mention the current status of the project in square brackets, which would look something like [Open], [In progress]...
  • A translation project whose status is "Open" is available for any translator who might be interested in working on it.
  • As soon as someone has shown interest, they can post a reply in this same thread, showing the group that this work is in progress. The coordinator can then update the status of the project to [In progress].

1st round of proofreading

  • As soon as a translator finishes the translation, he/she posts a new reply, which signals that the project is ready to move onto the hands of proofreaders.
  • The coordinator then moves the thread from the translation section to the proofreading section. To move a thread, the thing you have to keep in mind is that you can select a thread, and burning board always keeps in mind that you selected it. So let's take an example; you wanna move a thread from the "Transcriptions Team" section to the "proofreading Team" section:
    - go to the "Transcriptions Team" section, select the thread(s) you wish to move by ticking the box to its left. Below the list of threads, you'll see a green menu saying '1 thread selected'.
    - go to the "proofreading Team" section, and look again below the list of threads. This green menu is still there.
    - you can click on this green menu and click on "move here". It will move everything you selected to where you are now. Done : )
  • You then have to reset the status from [In progress] to [Open], if you've decided to use status updates.
  • The process is then repeated, someone comes in and posts, letting everyone know that someone works on it, and the process continues...

2nd round of proofreading (optional)

  • A second round of proofreading is usually preferable, in order to correct spelling and grammar mistakes, or to point out some spots in the text that don't really make sense within their context and that translators or proofreaders might have overlooked.
    If you choose to have a second stage in your proofreading process, a new forum has to be created. You can ask your fellow coordinators for help by posting in the coordinators corner if you don't know how to proceed from there.

Closing the project

  • When the project has been translated and proofread, it can then be considered as completed and will be moved to the "published results" section. That is when the progress reports come into play : an up to date progress report allows the international coordinators to update the video repository, or create pdf files for content from Pootle and so on; in other words, the materials can be broadcasted to the world !!

How does this apply to our main tools, Pootle and dotSUB ?

About dotSUB :

  • As soon as the English team opens the video for translation, every registered dotsub user can start translating.
  • Of course, the best practice is for the linguistic team member to post a reply in the corresponding thread when he/she starts translating, to avoid duplication of work.

  • Again, for a smooth running operation, the proofreader should inform other members that he/she is undertaking the task. Communication through the forum is ideal, but email works just as well !!! As long as the communication gates are wide open...
  • The coordinator then opens the proofreading rights specifically to that proofreader, so that he/she can edit the translation.
  • Then, depending on the your proofreaders' workflow :
    • some copy the subtitles' content to a .doc file, underlining the corrections made, and send the resulting file to the coordinators or to the forum through an attached file.
    • Or, according to your level of confidence as a proofreader:
      • If you are not sure of your revision, you can load the subtitles on a software like Subtitle Workshop , apply the corrections and save the file.
      • If you're a confident proofreader, you can apply the modifications directly on the dotsub working location.

    The upload of the modified file will allow for anyone to compare the original file with the revised one and share their corrections/alternatives, if they feel necessary. This comparison tool is easy enough to use.
  • Once the whole process is completed, we in the french LT take the extra precaution of putting the submitting the text to a professional spellchecker software. We find that there are always some mistakes (typos, letter substitutions for example) that are hard to spot, and a solid piece of spellchecking software will not miss them ! No, no I assure you, machines won't control us ! :D

About Pootle :
  • Written texts call for at least two rounds of proofreading, as quality is key when translating those types of materials.
  • Translation : the translator submits his work with the “Fuzzy” box ticked.
  • Proofreading : the proofreader uses the “Suggest” button exclusively, which allows other team members to compare different versions of the same paragraph.
  • 2nd proofreading : ideally, those different revisions were discussed, a consensus was reached and the final version of the text can be applied, my mixing those different revisions or simply by approving one of them.

Caution: submitted works are written permanently, and can't be reversed ! Of course if big mistakes were made, we can rollback to an earlier version of a given Pootle project using backups, that are made periodically.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "nomada" (Jul 4th 2011, 11:44am) with the following reason: Update the information on how to move threads between sections.

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