At the heart of the Ubuntu Accomplishments system is the idea that you can read documentation in your own language about how to participate in different parts of the community. The motivation here is to provide plenty of help and guidance of how to participate so it makes the Ubuntu experience easier, more fun, and more rewarding.

The idea is simple: each accomplishment outlines a new skill or method of contribution and the user can double-click on it to learn more about how to participate. This puts help, instructions for what to do, links to further reading, and places to find help at the finger-tips of everyone.

This weekend I built translations support for this documentation into Ubuntu Accomplishments and I wanted to reach out to our wonderful translations community and everyone else to ask for help in providing this documentation. Fortunately this is as simple as contributing some text to a web page. 🙂

Not just a translation

Importantly, this is not just about word-for-word translation from English to another language, but instead providing awesome documentation designed for people who speak your native language.

As an example, every accomplishment has a Summary section which provides an introduction to the accomplishment, what is involved, and what the jargon means. Feel free to write the most detailed explanation you like in your language, even if the original English version is quite short. The English translation is provided as an example: feel free to improve on the summary in your own language.

Another good example are the Links and Help resources: the original English ones will be English resources – feel free to provide resources and links that are native to your language.

I want to encourage you all to help make the documentation for your language the best possible documentation for new users (e.g. “e.g. our French documentation is the most complete of any of the languages!“). 🙂

How to contribute

Contributing is really simple. Just follow these steps:

First, go to https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-community-accomplishments/trunk.

When you go there you might see some languages listed below like this:

If you don’t or would like to select another language, click the Change your preferred languages link and select the languages you want to translate in to. Those languages will now appear like the ones above. The colored bar shows what proportion of the accomplishments are translated (green) and what are not (red).

Now click one of the languages (e.g. if I click on English (United Kingdom)) and you will see the list of things you can translate. Here is an example of one:

The translation of Ubuntu Accomplishments works a little differently. You should IGNORE the English line at the top (e.g. where it says member-loco-team_description) and instead look at the documentation just below. There it tells you which accomplishment you are editing and what the original English translation is. In the above image you can see we are writing German documentation, the accomplishment is ‘LoCo Team Member’ and this specific field in the accomplishment documentation is ‘steps’. More the different fields below.

You can now type your own language’s documentation into the New translation box. For the larger chunks of text you can use the grey button at the end of the New translation box to make the text entry bigger.

If there is already a translation there and you want to edit and improve it, click the Current <language> translation button and the text will be copied to the edit box where you can edit it.

Now click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save your contributions. Sometimes you have to scroll to the right to see the Save button due to some of the long chunks of the text on the page.

Thanks for making Ubuntu easier and more fun to participate in for our community!

Each accomplishment file has the following documentation you can add:

  • Title – the name of the accomplishment (this should be a very short piece of text…it appears under the accomplishment icons).
  • Description – a single-line description of what the accomplishment performs.
  • Summary – a series of paragraphs that introduce the accomplishment, explain some of the jargon (e.g. explaining what a “bug” is), and what is involved in accomplishing this trophy. Always assume the user is quite new when writing this content. You should put each paragraph on a new line in the edit box.
  • Steps – this is a set of instructions that the user can follow to achieve the accomplishment. Don’t include numbers or bullet points and put each step on a new line.
  • Tips – these are a set of tips and tricks that you can recommend to help the user be successful in achieving the accomplishment. Put each tip on a new line and dont include any numbers or bullet points.
  • Pitfalls – these are a set of pitfalls and things the user should avoid when working to achieve the accomplishment. Put each pitfall on a new line and dont include any numbers or bullet points.
  • Links – a series of web address to further documentation (feel free to add links that are specific to your language). Put each link on a new line.
  • Help – this is a set of place where the user can find help. Feel free to include IRC channels, website, or other resources and feel free to use resources in your language. Put each resource on a new line.

Quick FAQ

How can participate here?
Everyone! Everyone is welcome to help.

Do I have to be in an approved translation team to help?
No, everyone can participate.

There are no translations for a language I am interested in. Can I start translating it?
Sure! Go right ahead!

If I contribute a translation and the original English translation has a typo fix or other change, will I lose my contribution in my language?
Nope. The system has been designed so that your contribution to a particular field will not be lost.

How do I search for a particular accomplishment to edit?
When viewing the translatable items for a language, use the Search box in the top right-hand corner.

Why don’t you show the English translation in the actual ‘English’ field?
There are various technical reasons around being able to use Launchpad to translate accomplishments that mean’t I had to put the translation below in the comments.

Any more questions? Feel free to ask in the comments or join the mailing list!

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