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About Open Translate

Image 1 of 12 Open Translate is a translation management system, especially geared towards open source / free projects. It provides a simple, user-friendly interface for project managers and translators to import, translate, manage and export data.

The age-old problem with having anything translated is that you doesn't always know when a translation is good - not unless you speak the language it's being translated into. With projects that require translations into many languages the likelihood that you speak every one becomes increasingly unrealistic: how many languages do you speak?

Image 2 of 12 Open Translate solves this problem. It employs a review-based mechanism to authenticate each translation. Each translation must reach a "review threshold" before it's approved; multiple translators must review each translation and mark it as approved before the translation is completed and closed.

Projects can be either public or private. Open Source projects would generally be set to public: anyone could sign up to help translate (whether or not a person may join the project is either through a configuration setting: automatic or explicit approval by a Project Manager). Companies which have their own in-house translators would set their projects to "private": the content wouldn't be visible to anyone but themselves, and only their own translators would be able to work on them.

Behind the scenes, statistics are compiled for each translator. This will be valuable for companies needing to gauge the experience and quality of a translator's work. For example, if Greenpeace set up a new project and needed translations into German, they could review a list of all English-German translators and contact the people with the highest translation reliability, number of translations and reviews. Translation reliability is calculated by reviews made by the translator's peers.

Image 3 of 12 All projects have a built-in "versioning". At any point, you can make copies of the entire project for separate translation. For example, imagine you had your project translated last year, but this year you need the same thing translated again - except a few minor modifications to the original text. Instead of re-translating everything, you can simply create a new version, make the changes to the original text, and then open the new changes for translation. This has the advantage of keeping both versions entirely distinct and keeps the translation work to a minimum.

The Game Plan

The goal of Open Translate was to create a self-managing system for the entire translation project - and it's getting pretty close. The site will offer nightly exports of the translations via FTP (or manual download) to whatever server you need. The initial release will be PHP-centric: data will only be imported and exported in PHP format. But this will be expanded to XML, Excel, CSV, by generating a populated MySQL table and, of course, the standardized .po and .mo formatted files generated by GNU gettext. Once that is completed, we'll be focusing on simplifying the process of extracting text for translation.

A Few More Screenshots

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