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1 Introduction

This manual is an attempt to describe in detail the process of translating articles—how to join a team, or start a new one, the responsibilities of the team members and leaders, as well as some peculiarities of the GNU Project’s website when it comes to localization.

The GNU website contains hundreds of documents, most of them philosophical articles (essays) and technical documents which need to be translated to make them available to a broader audience. This is especially important for the philosophy-related materials, as many people do not speak English and even those that do usually prefer to read such articles in their native language. Dealing with the task of translating a website this large is a hard job, and too often people volunteering as translators get frustrated or lose interest in keeping up with that work. Reading this manual, and the related GNUN manual (see GNUnited Nations in The GNUnited Nations Manual), is just the tip of the iceberg. This is not meant to discourage any potential volunteer; rather, we prefer to be honest and to give preliminary estimation of the work/responsibility involved—if you feel you are not in a position to help you may move on to a smaller project before going through all procedures.

It is important to realize that being a GNU Web Translator is a hard job at all levels, but your help is much appreciated and is invaluable contribution to the society. While there are many people who contribute to our community by writing free software (and their number is constantly increasing), the ones actively engaged in teaching others to appreciate and defend their freedom are only a few. Consequently and rather unfortunately, there are not so many volunteers willing to maintain in the long term translations of the various essays that describe the fundamental values of the free software movement.

Translators of the website are organized in language teams. Each team has one or more co-ordinators, who are responsible for the respective team; they are also referred to as leaders or (when multiple in a single team) co-leaders. The co-ordinators participate in the Savannah ‘trans-coord’ organizational project, which is managed by the GNU Web Translation Managers (also known as Translation Managers or web-translators). The manual is organized in chapters that follow the organizational structure of the whole translation project.

For the issues common for all translators, see Translation Process. The sections of that chapter are sorted so that those interesting for less involved people (like occasional contributors) come first; the technical details tend to be at the end.

If you wish to join a translation team or contribute a translation or two, see Team Members. If your intention is to form a translation team, see Team Co-ordinators.

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