Becoming a better open source translator
June 6, 2009 7:13 AM   Subscribe

How do I become a better translator for the open source project that I'm volunteering for?

For the past year or so, I've been a translator for an open source project that develops an web based e-commerce application. Basically I translate strings in English to another language. I do this for free and the tools provided to me by the project are mostly web based tools to admin, upload and publish translation files.

I want to become a better translator and I'm looking for suggestions in these areas:
* processes: how do professional translators work on highly technical projects? How do you research and translate technical terms when you find out there are no equivalent terms in the target langauge? How do you handle the translation of software when each major version has its own set of translations?

* tools: which tools/communities do the pros use to translate, research, get help and feedback, etc?
posted by Foci for Analysis to Writing & Language (2 answers total)
 
I think one very helpful thing is to use a bunch of similar software in the target language. So much of interface text is by metaphoric convention. So even if the literal translation of the English word for "Save" is clear, that may not be what the computing convention is in the target language.
posted by advicepig at 9:08 AM on June 6, 2009


You might want to check out Proz.com, which is a translator community website. They have forums where people are generally very helpful and quick to give advice. They have a feature called Kudoz, where people can ask for help researching or translating a certain term, vote on the community's answers, and earn reputation points.

You also might want to check out Trados. It's a software package that a lot of translators use to save time and improve consistancy.
posted by Vorteks at 9:52 AM on June 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


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