DEV Community

Cover image for Have you translated your app?
Torsten Dittmann
Torsten Dittmann

Posted on

Have you translated your app?

I am currently playing with the idea to extend my app with more languages. I can do the translation of German and English by myself, but for more languages I would have to get help. I was advised to have my app translated by volunteers. That wouldn't be a problem at all, since my project is already Open Source.

But there are 3 points that I am worried about.

Quality

Since it is extremely hard for me to evaluate the quality of a translation in a language that is foreign to me, I don't like to let a faulty or poor localization loose on my users.

Dependence

Let's say I have 6 languages and add a new function that needs an update of the languages. Since I can maintain 2 of them myself - there are 4 left before I can deliver a complete update. I cannot expect people to maintain these and again, I don't want to publish incomplete translations.

Finding volunteers

I wouldn't know where to look for volunteers in the first place, except here on dev.to maybe - but that should be well planned ;-) Of course there are events like Hacktoberfest in which I could easily get 20+ translations done in a month, but I expect a mess and incomplete translation in the future.

Thanks to some wonderful services and software the implementation is an easy one. Companies like POEditor offer unlimited plans for open source projects that makes collaboration and integration very easy.

Maybe there are some users here who have had some experience with this in the past and can share it with me.

Discussion (1)

Collapse
riidom profile image
riidom

My experience on this is kinda limited. But maybe it's a good idea to add translations on demand. So you have german and english as languages. Then you may get a lot of users from let's say Russia. There may be someone among them who is willing to do a translation. The other users can review it. While you are not sure about the quality, you can add an (experimental) behind the language name in the language selection.

In other words, an alternative approach could be to let translations happen from bottom, instead of planning them from top. You'd probably need a way to have the users communicate with you, so you know about demand on languages in first place.

You could also use some sort of telemetry to find out about demand. In language selection, have a text field for "The language I'd use if it were available" and have that sent to you. But there may be pitfalls if people install it repeatedly to "vote" more often, and that can be a rabbit hole of its own.