For native English speakers

Most of Tails developers are not native English speakers so you're more than welcome to correct or improve our English. For this, you can either follow the Git workflow or propose another way that suits you better to share your improvements with us.

Translate Tails

You can help correct, improve, or complete the translations of Tails programs and documentation into your native language:

With Transifex

Most of Tails can be translated directly online with Transifex:

You are now doing translation work for Tails on Transifex. This is great, thanks!

Beware, we don't host Transifex.com, they do have their own privacy policy.

Further:

Translation team using Git

On the long run, translators team often decide to use Git to share and synchronize their work, and ask us to integrate it within the official repositories.

What can be translated

Various bits of text can be translated:

  • Custom programs (Tails Greeter, Tails Persistence Setup, Tails Installer, Tails Upgrader, Tails Perl library and WhisperBack): each one has its own Git repository, where PO files live in the po directory. Some have a README.translators at the root of their source tree: please read it.
  • A set of various translatable strings live in the po directory, in the devel branch of the main Tails Git repository.
  • This website must be translated in the master branch of the main Tails Git repository. Please note there are requirements to translate the website into a new language.

gettext

The translation system used to translate Tails is called gettext. Every sentence that needs to be translated is written in a PO file.

To edit these PO files, we recommend that you use Poedit, a cross-platform editor for PO files. Poedit is included in Tails.

If there is no existing PO file for your language, you can copy the corresponding .pot file into a new .po file.

Workflow

You can take advantage of Git to send us your work by asking us to pull from your Git branch. Here is the typical workflow used by Tails translators teams:

  1. Set up your personal Git repository: if you already know where to host it in a public place, this is great; else, fork us on repo.or.cz or ask the Tails system administrators (tails-sysadmins@boum.org) to host your repository.
  2. Translate whatever you can in your preferred PO file editor.
  3. Commit the changes you made to .po files.
  4. Merge our main repository into yours.
  5. Push your changes to your online Git repository.
  6. Ask other members of your translation team to review your work.
  7. The reviewer, once happy with the result, should ask on the mailing list for translators to pull from the branch that was worked on.

Let's get organized

You are now doing translation work for Tails using Git. This is great, thanks! It would be awesome if you did follow-up on translation needs.

Team duties

Our custom programs can be translated using Transifex. Work done there is not automatically synchronized with the translations your team does in Git.

It is nice to minimize time wasted by unknown people who work, with Transifex, on the same thing as your translation team.

So, a translation team using Git should regularly contact Transifex translators (listed in the Last-translator field of the PO files one can download from Transifex), either over email or using the Transifex interface, to:

  1. Thank them for translating Tails stuff.
  2. Make it clear their work is not imported (and is therefore, well, useless).
  3. Invite them to join the team and share the team's preferred workflow.
  4. Invite them to subscribe to the mailing list for translators.

Translate this website into a new language

So, you want the Tails website to be available in a new language. Please keep in mind that it represents quite a lot of work.

Therefore, here are a few things that would be required in order to start translating the Tails website to a new language:

  1. A team of translators, not just one person, is necessary. That also allows for peer reviews between the team, more flexibility for example when an important deadline arrives.

  2. At least part of the team should subscribe to the mailing list for translators.

  3. Since the content of the website is sensitive in terms of privacy protection, Tails developers need to establish contacts with trusted people to review the work from time to time.

  4. For translations to be useful, they need to be maintained in the long run. This takes a few hours a month.

Once those conditions are fulfilled, the new team can start working on a first batch of translations.

Do not hesitate to report the progress of your work on the mailing list for translators.

Follow-up on translation needs

Translators coordinate on the tails-l10n mailing list (l10n stands for localization). Important changes to translatable strings are announced there.

Please subscribe to the list if you want to become a regular translator.

Any message sent to this list is stored in a public archive, so beware of what your email content and headers reveal about yourself: location, IP address, email subject and content, etc.

You can consult this archive to search for recent translation requests.

See also the translation tickets on Redmine.

Resources