TortoiseSVN - Translation Work
Posted by Evan at 3:39 pm on August 2nd, 2009
When I posted Free and Open Source Software I mentioned that TortoiseSVN was looking for Indonesian translators. After waiting several months, I recently took the plunge and have been working on updating and finishing the Indonesian translation of the TortoiseSVN GUI (which, as of July 19, has been completed!).
Translating for the TortoiseSVN project has been my first real-world experience with translating, and it's definitely been my first time translating technical terms! I've found it an enjoyable, though challenging, task and I'm looking forward to continuing to improve the TortoiseSVN Indonesian translations.
When I started I was at a loss with how to learn the Indonesian jargon for working with computers. Terms such as file, folder, directory, and desktop, while they have very precise non-jargon definitions, take on distinct meanings in the realm of computers. I've read that for non-native-English-speakers it's often easiest to talk about technical topics (like computers, programming, and software) using borrowed English words, partly because English has such a rich technical vocabulary already. Plus, within the context of a program like TortoiseSVN, how do you translate words like revert, merge, or blame, which take on such specific meanings within that context?
Solving (for the most part) the former issue (of how to translate general computer terms) I happily found an online Indonesian technical dictionary at http://www.total.or.id/info.php. I also realized that since I was working with a mostly-complete translation I could actually use the previously translated strings as a baseline. If previous translators had translated a word a certain way then there was a very good chance that I would need to translate the word the same way. Working off the previously translated strings also helped with the latter issue of how to translate program-context specific terms!
Perhaps most exciting of all, my translation work with TortoiseSVN has culminated in me being granted commit access to the repository! This means that as a translator I will be able to quickly and easily update the translations for the GUI and the documentation without needing to wait for approval from another translator first. It's a major milestone for me: it's the first time I've been granted commit access to a FOSS project! Woohoo! :)