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Mobile Translation (Community Project)

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Mobile Translation is a project that supports Church mobile apps – Gospel Library, LDS Music, LDS Youth, etc. – by providing UI translation and localization. The UI, or user interface, includes the buttons, menus, and titles of an app. The project also includes translation of app store descriptions and release notes. We are looking for volunteers who speak English and another language fluently. Anyone with an LDS Account can join the project here at Tech.LDS.org.

How to join the project (volunteer translators/reviewers)

You will need an LDS Account, which is the same account used to sign in to other church web sites.

  1. Go to the Projects page (log in if necessary).
  2. (If you've never signed up for an LDSTech project before:)
    1. Follow the link to the Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA). Read and agree.
    2. Click on Profile (on the second red bar at the top of the page). Fill out all required fields on your profile (the ones marked with an asterisk*) and press Save.
  3. On the Projects page, find the project called Mobile Translation (the list is in alphabetical order). Click on the title.
  4. Near the top of the page there’s a little black button that says Join – click it!

By joining, you will become part of the team and automatically be added to the announcement group (hosted by Google Groups). Your subscription settings for the group can be changed on the project page.

After you have joined the project, email Samuel your LDS Account username and what language you speak. He will give you access to the OneSky website, where volunteers help with translating and voting for translations.

Your username on OneSky is your email address, and you should receive a temporary password from OneSky. If you don't receive the password or if you've forgotten it, you can reset your password here.

How to join the project (employee moderators)

Church employees who are assigned to help finalize strings as moderators are not required to join the LDSTech project. Instead, they can be added directly to OneSky.

After receiving your assignment, email Samuel your LDS Account username, the email address you want to use with OneSky, and the language you will be helping with. He will give you access to the OneSky website, where translations are created and reviewed, then finalized by moderators.

Your username on OneSky is your email address, and you should receive a temporary password from OneSky. If you don't receive the password or if you've forgotten it, you can reset your password here.

Church employees who don't have an assignment to help in OneSky are welcome to contribute as volunteers. Instructions for joining the project as a volunteer can be found above.

Translation and review process

After receiving access to the OneSky website from an administrator, go to the OneSky collaboration page. From there, you can click on a project, then click the language you will be working on. This will take you to the translation page. On the translation page, you should see a blue bar on the left and the name of the language you will be working on at the top.

For each string, first check the panel on the right to see if there are any existing translations. You can vote for the best translation by clicking the star icon (or heart, on a mobile device). If there are no existing translations, or if the existing translations could be improved, you can write your own translation. After translations have been "approved" by voting, they will be "finalized" by a moderator or administrator. Phrases that are finalized are grayed out to prevent them from being edited.

You can use the filter at the top of the page to only show phrases that are "Not Translated," "Not Approved," or (for moderators) "Not Finalized." You should also check for phrases that are marked as "Updated phrases" or "Needs Revision."

If you have questions about a specific phrase, or if you want to leave a note about a phrase for future translators/reviewers, you can use the "Comments" tab on the right. For general questions that might apply to more than one phrase, you can click the conversation bubbles icon on the left to go to the project forum, or you can send an email to an administrator.

Translation guidelines

Consider the following as you translate:

  • Be aware of where your translation will appear in the app. Use the notes/comments and attached screenshots, or look in the app on your device, to get an idea of the context of your translation. Sometimes the string (word or phrase) you are translating needs to be short to fit into a small space in the app, forcing you to use abbreviations or short words. In other cases, the length of your translation won't matter.
  • Compare your translations to the wording in built-in apps on your device. Translations for technical vocabulary can be found by switching your device into a different language and looking around (especially in the built-in Music app), or by browsing online help articles about your device and finding the same help page in a different language.
  • If you are not a native speaker, invite a native speaker to check your translations. Everyone needs an opportunity to serve. A native speaker has a feel for his language and can quickly identify errors. When the translations are finished he will benefit directly from the translated app.
  • If needed, use online resources to help you translate. If you are unsure how to translate a word, look it up in a dictionary or use Google translate. Machine translation isn't perfect, but it can help you get started. If you are deciding between two possible translations, one trick is to do a Google search for each phrase in quote marks and see which phrase appears most often, or in the closest context.
  • Use capitalization and punctuation appropriate for your language. Each language has unique rules for capitalization. Quotation marks, apostrophes, and other punctuation can also vary between languages. In languages that punctuate similar to English, curly quotes ( “ ” ’ ) are preferred to straight quotes ( " " ' ).
  • Keep variables when translating. Some strings include things like “%s”, “%d”, or “%1$@”. These are variables for words or numbers that will be plugged in by the app. If the original English contains a variable, make sure your translation does as well.

Related projects

You may also be interested in participating in the LDS Music Content project, which allows volunteers to digitize hymnbooks and other Church music in around 100 languages so they can be made available in Church apps and on LDS.org.

If you are at Brigham Young University (Provo), there is a group called Vineyard at BYU that gathers each week to work together on Mobile Translation, LDS Music Content, and related projects. More information can be found on their Facebook page or by emailing vineyard@byu.edu.

There are also several LDSTech projects for Church apps, such as Gospel Library, LDS Tools, and LDS Music, that allow you to beta test pre-release versions of the apps and send feedback. The complete project list is available by clicking Projects above.

This page was last modified on 17 July 2017, at 16:20.

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