The Magic Behind Translating Flattr

It all started quite a while ago on the Flattr Forum, where people were volunteering to start translating the site. The only problem was that we didn’t have a way to provide or implement the translations that started to build up.

So we recently took another gander at translating, and decided use Crowdin. Awesome, everyone could help out! And they did! The most notable successes were the translation for French and German. So we took it upon ourselves to ask those users about the secrets behind their success.

Paul Da Silva has been promoting Flattr almost since the beginning and therefore has a lot of Flattr users among his followers on Twitter.
“It implied some sort of trust within the Flattr team so they asked me to supervise the French translation.”
He accepted, started by translating about 10 entries on Crowdin and tweeted then the link. “Some of my followers wanted to help, registered and translated the whole thing in about an hour…. Without me (busy at work).” he said.

What do you think was the main reason you guys beat the Germans in translating, considering that Germany has a lot more Flattr users than France does.
Nobody beat anybody ;) Maybe it was easier for us; maybe I found more people to help by luck. The important thing is that the translation goes well. ;)

Which words did you have issues with translating?
It was hard to decide was the translation of the word “thing”. We had a short discussion after that but otherwise, smooth ride!

Kai de Haan, aka SkaveRat on Twitter, is the man behind the German translation whom I spoke with.
“The German translation was very fast, but the French beat us by one or two days. (I was told, we will avenge them in the next soccer world cup ;))”
There were some problems to do a quick translation, since information about whether it was supposed to be translated in a formal or personal way was missing. So half of the phrases had to be re-translated after the decision was made to go personal, rather than formal.

The first wave of translators came via the first Twitter announcement.
Another group joined because of the blogpost. These were the events that caused the biggest translation boosts for German.

Which words did you have issues with translating?
The biggest problem about the translation, and the reason that the validation was stuck for a while, really was to get proper terms for “Thing” and “Button” and the declension of the verb “to flattr”. These all are defining words in Flattr-jargon and have to be carefully chosen.
After a lot of discussion in the Crowdin-Threads and talking with the Flattr-team, we decided to translate “Thing”, but kept the word “Button”.

Why do you think the French beat you in translation?
I have no clue how they beat us. Ask them for their secret, so we can use it aswell. My guess is, that they didn’t bother to discuss the important words in the first run-through and so they just fixed the translation afterwards. We discussed some stuff before translation, so yeah, we were probably overthinking a lot of stuff.

Since the initial start of the translation project more languages have been added to the Crowdin project: Portuguese, Galician, Turkish, Polish, Deutch, Hungarian, Italian, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, and more.
If you want to help us finish have a look at Crowdin

3 thoughts on “The Magic Behind Translating Flattr

  1. Ah sorry, should probably have mentioned that!

    No it’s not live yet, we’re waiting for a few more languages, and then testing it with real people before release! :) Should be up within the next couple of weeks *keeps fingers crossed*

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