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Unofficial Translations

Information about unofficial translations

The reason the FSF does not approve these translations as officially valid is that checking them would be difficult and expensive (needing the help of bilingual lawyers in other countries). Even worse, if an error did slip through, the results could be disastrous for the whole free software community. As long as the translations are unofficial, they can't do any harm.

The purpose of linking to translations is to help more people understand our licenses. In order for them to do that, translations need to be basically accurate even if not perfect. To produce a good translation, it is essential to have fully understood fundamental concepts such as copyleft and the free software definition. For this reason, those who wish to contribute translations should make sure they are well acquainted with these concepts as well as other philosophical principles that may appear in the document.

We give permission to publish translations of GNU licenses into other languages, provided that:

  1. You label your translation as unofficial to inform people that they do not count legally as substitutes for the authentic version (see below for how to do this).
  2. You agree to install changes at our request, if we learn from other friends of GNU that changes are necessary to make the translation clearer.
  3. The translation is not hosted on a commercial site and does not refer to any company.
  4. The page containing the translation should have no links except to fsf.org and gnu.org. We might accept links about other free software packages, but we prefer to avoid them.
  5. The page should say it is released under some version of the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.
  6. We may accept small exceptions to these rules in legacy cases that are hard to fix.

We do not necessarily link to all the unofficial translations that we know of in any given language. For instance, if one unofficial translation was made by a free software organization that we know and have confidence in, we will link to that translation rather than others. We still can't make it official, but we expect it is probably mostly correct.

To label your translations as unofficial, please add the following text at the beginning, both in English and in the language of the translation. Replace language with the name of that language, and “GNU General Public License” and “GPL” with the name and abbreviation of the license you're translating, if it's not the GPL:

This is an unofficial translation of the GNU General Public License into language. It was not published by the Free Software Foundation, and does not legally state the distribution terms for software that uses the GNU GPL—only the original English text of the GNU GPL does that. However, we hope that this translation will help language speakers understand the GNU GPL better.

The GNU General Public License, version 3

If you make a translation (of any license), please inform the GNU Translation Managers <web-translators@gnu.org>. They will check to make sure that your translation follows the above guidelines and make a link to it from this page.

Translations Underway

The following translation efforts are underway, please contact the person/team if you are willing to help.

The GNU Affero General Public License, version 3

The GNU Lesser General Public License, version 3

If you make a translation, please inform the GNU Translation Managers <web-translators@gnu.org>. They will check to make sure that your translation follows the above guidelines and make a link to it from this page.

We hope someone will write new unofficial translations in Czech and Slovak. Some were made, but the translator used them to advertise a commercial site, so we are not willing to link to them.

The GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.3

If you make a translation, please inform the GNU Translation Managers <web-translators@gnu.org>. They will check to make sure that your translation follows the above guidelines and make a link to it from this page.

FDL 1.3 was released on November 3, 2008 and is a relatively minor modification of FDL 1.2; the only major changes are the revision of section 9 and the addition of section 11. Thus, the translations of FDL 1.2 may help you understand FDL 1.3 as well. You can learn more about the differences between these two versions in our FAQ.

We hope someone will write new unofficial translations in Czech and Slovak. Some were made, but the translator used them to advertise a commercial site, so we are not willing to link to them.

Translations Underway

The following translation efforts are underway, please contact the person/team if you are willing to help.

Unofficial translations of exceptions to GNU licenses

If you make a translation, please inform the GNU Translation Managers <web-translators@gnu.org>. They will check to make sure that your translation follows the above guidelines and make a link to it from this page.

GCC Runtime Library Exception

We hope someone will write new unofficial translations in Czech and Slovak. Some were made, but the translator used them to advertise a commercial site, so we are not willing to link to them.

GNU Autoconf Configure Script Exception, version 3

We hope someone will write new unofficial translations in Czech and Slovak. Some were made, but the translator used them to advertise a commercial site, so we are not willing to link to them.

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