ODK Central is ready for translating

We get questions periodically from people who want to manage ODK projects in a language other than English. Good news: @Matthew_White has just gone through the big task of pulling all of the strings out of ODK Central so that they can be translated!

We are working with partners who are translating it to Spanish and one of the ODK Collect translators to Czech has made excellent progress. We've also just gotten a request for French to be added (thanks, @bertrand_rukundo).

See the translation progress and join in at https://www.transifex.com/getodk/central/dashboard/! Please request languages that would be useful to you and check out our translation guide. Each string is provided with context for where it appears in Central. If you have further questions, you can either ask in in this thread or in Transifex by clicking on comments!


Sent a request for :de: :beers:


Thanks, @Florian_May! I just added German to Transifex (though as de rather than de_DE). :rocket:


" Something went wrong: the server returned an invalid error."

Is that an error about something invalid (request/state/response/etc) or is the error itself invalid?

I will spend 5 hours in a train on monday. I will start french translation. But as I am not yet a central user (hope to be one in the end of August) I will focus on strings that are not too specific.


The latter! Usually the frontend shows a more informative message when something goes wrong. However, this message is shown when something has gone wrong, but the frontend doesn't know what, because the body of the error response is itself invalid (for example, it isn't JSON). This can happen if the API server isn't running, for example. I'll add a comment about this string in Transifex. Let me know here or on Transifex if you encounter other strings that need more context!

Thanks for the clarification, Matt!
Shower thought: what if the "invalid error" or any error message could have a "show diagnostic details" and instructions where to look for help?

A question about the general tone:
Directly translated, the easy to read English becomes quite terse German. E.g. "success" becomes "ERFOLG" (a German reader hears that in all caps), while a nicer way to put it would be the equivalent of "that worked" ("das hat geklappt") although that's a bit more "Umgangssprache" or common lingo.

Should the German translation be "precise and terse" or make the user feel politely talked to?
I'm erring on the former for now to keep the translation as clean and sober as possible.

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Good thought! :shower:

We do log error details to the browser console, so users can find more information there (not that that's easy to find). So far though, when we've had to troubleshoot Central, it's been rare that we've needed those details. But if that changes, I think it'd be a good idea to make those details more accessible — I like your "show diagnostic details" idea.

Related to this, I've been thinking it'd be helpful to add link(s) to the dropdown in the navbar that link to the documentation and/or forum. I'll create a GitHub issue for that!

The translation guide that @LN linked to suggests a "professional but friendly tone." If "ERFOLG" feels jarring or unnatural or not polite, that might be a reason to choose another phrase. If "das hat geklappt" is professional, that might be the right choice. Does that help at all?

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Thanks, that helps!

re error details - a hint to open the browser console might save a round trip to the forum. A "view details" that I can copy straight away would save a round trip to the browser console and could include details about central version, deployment, issue with certificates etc (similar to R sessionInfo()). Galaxy brain: A link to the FAQ or a preformed link to search the forum for that error.

re tone - Translating the strings too literally results in long-winded German that won't flow too well. English has just such elegant little multi-functional words :slight_smile:
Taking liberties with voice (active/passive) and other grammar can result in much more concise sentences. Risk: maintaining the "must have" message.
e.g. "das hat geklappt" (that worked) instead of "success" (Erfolg) I'd write in an email to my director, but not in a formal report or a peer-reviewed paper. Paging my German ruODK user @dmenne - what's your take on how formal the translation should be?


I think the "das hat geklappt" - style is fine. It is not anbiedernd (strange, no Linguee has no nice translation) as nowaday's "Das hast Du aber schön gemacht"

" Something went wrong: the server returned an invalid error.": "Ich blicke nicht mehr durch.." .-)


I have reviewed all translated items. Thanks to Florian!

One thing I noted: I had learned at school that incomplete sentences do not take a period in English, and only later realized that this also holds for German. You use the period sometimes in English - I removed it from incomplete German sentences. (Example: "Incorrect Email adress")


I also started today to add some text and suggestions in French.
You did a really good job on this!


60 more strings to translate to french :wink:

All strings translated to french, thanks a lot @mathieubossaert.