Localizing OpenOffice to spanish with Lokalize

I am Not a fan of localization, is repetitive, boring, and sometimes confusing. However is something that needs to be DONE. With OpenOffice, there are hundreds and thousands of words on the interface, we need a healthy team to be able to do the translation and another team for the quality assurance. Unfortunately the community doesn’t have enough helping hands or simply are not focused on do actual contributions. In this case only the people with experience are left to go into it and do it. This means me, myself and I in charge on localizing the whole review.

OpenOffice community uses a website at the moment using Pootle, which is great. However the server is deadly slow and translating or reviewing the moves is very hard to do. So I eventually realize that the advantages of instant commit and cloud base review.

Pootle on Apache OpenOffice
Translate Apache OpenOffice through the web.

So eventually I start trying with different PO files, at the beginning I tried POEdit which is simple but compliant and very popular. However is somehow too limited, and to be honest, I still dont get how the memory language works that well. So I actually went into trying virtaal, but this wasn’t a very good choice in my Linux distro that created a python error which prevent me from running it. So eventually I went to KDE proposal called: Lokalize

The tool is actually quite nice, KDE has usually been condemned for looking like windows, however I never believe that crap, KDE looks like a power user tool. And that is what I actually like, I can configure it as much as I want, and having shortcut for many different behaviors actually was worth it to learn some of the shortcuts. And the result: It was awesome.

Lokalize PO and XLIF editor
Lokalize screenshot

I was flying through 100 string modules and was able to commit the translated PO really fast, and even the more scary modules where somewhat long to resolved but in the end took me around 10 or 5% of what it would have normally take on the web.

Key shortcuts like move between strings with Pg Up and Pg Down or jump to the next untranslated or fuzzy string with Ctrl+Pg Up/Down.

To copy the content from the original string to the Spanish one using Ctrl+Space and maybe the best thing to do on localize is the capability to do Search / Replace for the terminology.

Lokalize also offers other things that I need to explore like Autocomplete, Glossary, and correctly use the Translation Memory. I should read the documentation (here) and learn about projects and such.

Translation of OpenOffice 4.0 might come with a better quality however, there are still a lot of layers to be able to understand the way we are putting the accelerators (the key selection letters in a word like File), terminology of tools and even evaluating some of the current terms and it’s extension. One that I keep debating is the use of shortcuts for words like Auto<word> vs <word> automaticamente or Re<word>, lke Rename, Rephrase, Refresh etc. Phrasing is so important that maybe the correct Spanish shouldn’t be the priority.

But I think this will be my tool from now on to be able to work with to translate, and maybe doing something else like the wiki, to be able to break down the jobs on each project. We’ll see how it can go from now on.