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  • "brunodc" is male
  • "brunodc" started this thread

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Date of registration: May 31st 2011

Language Team: French

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Sunday, July 10th 2011, 8:52am

What's your take on translation and proofreading rights on Pootle?

I thought we'd use this thread to discuss Pootle administration and management of rights for our beloved translators and proofreaders. I've had some discussions about the subject on Skype in which I exposed one vision and it turns that when I was faced with the admin console I applied a completely different vision. And we've been working on the translation of the 4th newsletter lately, so things got less "Fuzzy", if you'll forgive the play of words here.

First, I'd like to quote 21st century philosopher Ray Gman, who declared the following (from a Skype conversation), about translations :


Both Submit and Review have destructive possibilities, so reserve them for members you have come to know who are ready for that 'next step'.

Don't provide them with that next step until you can chat with them and make them understand the responsibility that goes along with the ability to destroy stuff.

We're not here to fix other people's less than perfect efforts by deleting them. Instead, we want to develop much more of a learning environment where everyone helps each other improve over time.

So, for those who do get the possibly destructive permissions, I pass them a simple rule of thumb to remember :
If a translation already exists in a string, use Suggest only. You will be adding your translation to the list of possible translations and the proofreaders will work out what works best from all of the entries.

If no translation already exists, then you are the first one there and should use Submit to fill in that translation box.

In light of this information, here's how the French do it :

A translator is given the following rights :
- Can make a suggestion for a translation,
- Can submit a translation,
- Can view a translation project.

All translations are marked as "Needs Work".
Once translations are over, all rights are reset, until someone informs the team that he/she would like to proofread. In that case :

Again, I'm gonna quote what Ray shared with us about proofreading :


Proofreaders have an entirely different focus.

Their task is to work through all submissions & suggestions and come up with the best of all solutions, based on the translations provided by the translators.

So, they get the Review permission, which allows them to accept, reject or manually merge multiple translations to arrive at the best possible final result.

They also get the Suggest & Submit permissions, so they can Submit the final version before moving onto the next string. They should Submit as "Needs Work" if they are still slightly unsure of anything for a given string, but use Suggest if they are more uncomfortable with a result than that.

"Needs Work" also applies to the translators, but I neglected to include that above.

Translators cannot approve or reject anything. Only the proofreaders & language managers can do that.

Here's how we do it :

evaluates the quality of the translation, i.e if it reflects the meaning of the original text.
A bilingual proofreader is given the following rights :
- Can make a suggestion for a translation,
- Can view a translation project

So there might be multiple proofreaders coming in, and adding suggestions and ideas to improve the translation, or simply to correct mistakes.

FRENCH PROOFREADING : evaluates the quality of the text in French : is it understandable ? Does the point get across ?
A French proofreader is given the following rights :
- Can review translations,
- Can make a suggestion for a translation,
- Can submit a translation,
- Can view a translation project.

The French proofreader is the final reviewer, so he's a trustworthy person. We have to be able to guarantee that there 0 spelling and grammar mistakes at the end of the process. And since I trust myself, I'm the final reviewer for now :P. I use a seriously good spellchecker that spots mistakes that we might have overlooked.

Of course, to this day, we (the French team) haven't really applied this configuration through and through yet because I haven't been a coordinator for that long :D...

So, what's your take on this ?

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Ray" (Jan 21st 2019, 3:05am) with the following reason: Adjusted "Fuzzy" to "Needs Work", since the name of that function was changed in a Pootle update

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  • "lizardman" is male

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Date of registration: Jun 3rd 2011

Language Team: Bulgarian

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Sunday, July 10th 2011, 2:43pm

Obviously every language has its own approach. Different approaches can serve best different situations. I'll try to outline a basic approach that can produce extremely good results. Of course, the most important factor are the people that work on the texts. Our job is to organize this human potential in a way that would give the best results, i.e. to use our resources efficiently.

There are a number of things that you notice after spending some time in coordinating. If you have big expectations, you might end up disappointed. But if you accept the reality as it is, you'd be much more prepared to work with the way things are. And the fact is that people come and go, continuously. Given this realization, you now start to focus on using these scattered, chaotic and temporal efforts towards single targets, in order to have something completed.

I'm going to use TVP's website as an example. After I directed dozens of volunteers to that project in Pootle, it was finally translated. So now it was a question of proofreading, which is actually the tough part every language faces (or at least would face, if they consider quality a top priority; translating for the sake of translating and not giving too much regard to quality is a step every language team should outgrow as fast as possible, at least in my opinion). So the proofreading begins. First proofreader goes through the text and what s/he does is making changes and corrections, and after that hitting Submit, if s/he feels confident about the quality. Then the second proofreader comes and does absolutely the same, making changes and corrections to the text (which has already been translated and gone through a single proofreading). This method of working one after the other has an extremely positive effect on the translated content - on every next step the person has a better text to work with, which allows him/her to concentrate on more subtle things. It's a continuous refinement. The better the text you work with, the more you'll be able to think in multiple levels and notice things that haven't been noticed before, mainly because of the more major types of corrections the person before you had to deal with.

Now I am making the third proofreading of TVP's site and the text I work with is great, but still there are multiple things that weren't noticed or understood that well. I'm hoping to have someone do another proofreading after me, making the translation even better (even though it seems great now, there are always things to improve).

Now, one of the most important aspects of this is that people have to leave their ego aside. It doesn't matter if it is "my view" of how it should be translated or someone else's view, who worked on the text prior to me. All that matters is which one is better. You have to be able too look beyond your own point of view.

Another very, very important thing is that you need different people for every step. If you are proofreading your own translation, then you're not proofreading, you're merely noticing some things that you could improve in your translation. If you're making a second proofreading after your first one, it's again not a proofreading. The point is: the text has to go through the prisms of different minds, who have different and unique (1) knowledge about the subjects they are translating, (2) grasp of the language they're translating into, and (3) of the one they're translating from. Obviously most important is to actually understand what you're translating, to understand the whole concept. This is one of the reasons proofreading is such a hard task (if you don't have knowledge about a particular thing, you spend time gaining it, in order to understand the concept) and not everybody can do it. And by having different people work on the text, their combined knowledges are criss-crossing.

About the Suggestions option: it would be pretty hard for anyone to go through a project that has 3-4 suggestions on every string ('string' is a paragraph in Pootle). However, the Suggestion option can also be a useful one. Depending on the case, the approach might be to stick to Suggestions or not use them at all. But a coordinator must know the options, so he or she could suggest the usage of the most appropriate one. This page explains what the different rights give to users and how they can be used:…_Administration I think it is a valuable resource for every coordinator.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Ray" (Jan 21st 2019, 3:02am) with the following reason: Fixed bad link at the end

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