Wed 8 Oct 2014 2:51AM

How to treat out-of-date languages

MI mix irving Public Seen by 74

As Loomio grows, translations are added to or modified. This means that even if a translation reached 100%, over time the translation gets out of date and this percentage decreases.

Currently there are 6 "Live" languages where this has happened, and they are now below 60% translated. I am concerned that this might mean that Loomio is confusing for a new person trying to use that language. (Bit that are not translated will be English)

Should a language that drops below some percentage be removed from the list of selectable languages?


mix irving Wed 8 Oct 2014 2:52AM

For reference the 6 languages that are live and below 60% are:

  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Malayalam
  • Vietnamese

Christian Mairoll Wed 8 Oct 2014 4:49AM

I'd say that depends on which parts are missing. If the basic functionality of Loomio is still available in the translated language, I'd keep it online. E.g. if there is just the main website missing, but all the discussion features are available, keep it.

If you decide to hide some of them, please flag them somewhere very visible on the translators panel and on Transifex to avoid confusion.


mix irving Wed 8 Oct 2014 8:36AM

We have a commitment to clear communication, so if there won't be any out of the blue changes.

This is the start of a conversation to broaden understanding of the impact (if any) on low translation percentage.

It would be ideal to have a good idea of what is core translation text and what isn't and where each language is at. Unfortunately there is quite a lot of work involved in that we've not had time. (would love to collaborate on that if anyone is interested in helping.)


Chris Taklis Wed 8 Oct 2014 8:52AM

i say if a translation below e.g. 60% to be treated as out-of-date. Because it's confusing and you never know if the translators to these languages are still active or they don't care any more about the translation. So if you don't do anything that percent score will continue to fall as new strings to be translated come all the time.


Christian Mairoll Wed 8 Oct 2014 9:04AM

Before deleting a translation, I'd suggest to make a public call to find newly engaged translators for that language. If you raise awareness of a partial translation, I'm sure you can quickly find some new people.

Also: Maybe the original translators don't even know that their translation fell below the 60% mark? There have been massive additions during the last couple of months.


nando @colgado Wed 8 Oct 2014 10:08AM

Hi Mix and cia!

I think the clever way to manage this is to give users the possibility to choose what they want.

Of course will be nice to give them the percentage of the amount currently translated, but letting them to choose what they prefer.

Also would be nice to make them feel part of the translation team, in the sense that they could even become collaborators eventually if we make that Loomio give users the best option based on what most of the people with that language has done by now. :)

As you know translation is one of the hardest part of any multilingual application. And the challenge in Loomio is even harder, 'cause it tries to be useful for every community everywhere.

I think is fair and good for all of us to make the users feel part of Loomio.

-- nando


nando @colgado Wed 8 Oct 2014 10:11AM

If they are right, I don't think deleting translations could be ever a good idea...


Chris Taklis Wed 8 Oct 2014 10:27AM

i don't think anyone spoke about deleting language translations.

only about disabling it, especially when they are missing so many words/phrases and become confusing for the members.


nando @colgado Wed 8 Oct 2014 3:40PM

Sorry Chris, the comment of Christian Mairoll sent at the same time than mine just started talking about that. And that was my fast response about that issue.


nando @colgado Wed 8 Oct 2014 3:47PM


maybe is not the "corporate way" of thinking or doing things, but I think that if we let the users to give us that feedback, it could help us to know when a translations is becoming unusable and translations are urgently needed.

Don't you agree?
-- nando


Chris Taklis Wed 8 Oct 2014 4:11PM

i agree @fernandogs ...

but when it is real urgent for a translation? when i started and continue to translate to greek language i didn't do it because i use my native language (i use english everywhere in programms)... i did it and do it because 2 people said that they wanted greek language... is that urgent??? or it is unusable for 2 people only?

i don't think it's unusable or urgent in translating languages. every language translated it can be used by nobody, 1 person or hundred/thousands. It is fair to be translated in each language that there is on the planet.

BUT what will happen if the 50% of the language is in your native language and the other 50% in on english?
WOULD you like to see something like that "Loomio is υπέροχο εργαλείο and i αρέσει." ---> the translation to english to understand everyone because i don't think many people here know greek is: "Loomio is great tool and i like it."...

But i agree for users give us feedback!


Juan Alberto González Wed 8 Oct 2014 6:27PM

In my opinion, incomplete translations should be accesible to people that want loomio in this language, with a notice that this translation is not complete and that some phrases may be in english.
Also promoting individuals to translate untranslated strings maybe a good idea (as facebook was doing sometime ago, just pop up an optional window Do you know how to say X in Y language?


Chris Taklis Wed 8 Oct 2014 7:23PM

Maybe that's the answer we are looking... And @juanalbertogonzale said it.... with a notice that this translation is not complete and that some phrases may be in english.


Giuseppe Schiavone Thu 9 Oct 2014 9:15AM

I guess I agree with the latest comments.

Users can (and ought to be able to) choose for themselves whether to set the website in their own, though partially translated, language, or to have the whole thing in a language they know but which is not their own.

I don't know to what extent this is technically possible, but displaying the percentages of content translated for partial languages seems like the best of solutions. I would however suggest the addition of some kind of contextual prompt to contribute to the translation.


A. Renato Thu 9 Oct 2014 10:40AM

The best option (imo) was already said. Even if a translation is way below 60% it may be useful for some users (since they are advised that their language isn’t full translated), what can bring new translators on board too.

By the way, in some point (maybe closer to the launching of version 1.0 or after that – when Loomio become a very popular app) the number of translators will soar.

An interesting guideline is given by facebook experience on translating. And there are also good tips for manage a multinational social media in this article. Despite my aversion to facebook, their translation process works like a charm.


PauKokura Thu 9 Oct 2014 12:43PM

I'll check spanish, catalan and esperanto soon.


mix irving Thu 9 Oct 2014 11:40PM

I like the sound of these features. I really like the idea of being able to offer more detail which might encourage people to contribute. There are several challenges I see :

  • how do we make percentages visible and meaningful in a way which does not clutter the interface
  • brand new users being confused by arriving on a page with a confusing mixture of language.

For context, here are the ways I can think a user can get different translations:
*logged out user:*

logged in user:


mix irving Thu 9 Oct 2014 11:55PM

maybe we could start with something like a link which takes people to a page where there are a whole lot more options and stats. e.g. (see attached fast mockups)


A. Renato Fri 10 Oct 2014 12:05AM

Good option, offer options :)


Christian Mairoll Fri 10 Oct 2014 4:16AM

A different suggestion:

Instead of hiding languages from the dropdown, display a red note dynamically below the dropdown when one of the "less than x %" languages is selected:

Note: This language currently misses some of the latest additions (x % complete). Please help us to fix it

Make the last sentence a link to the translation group.


zack Fri 10 Oct 2014 2:29PM

I think there is a common agreement that languages should be kept while trying to encourage people using them to contribute. The only differenece is on how to do it.

I would keep the language list as it is now, just show a message when a user picks a language with less than x% translated items mentioning this and asking if they want to help with translation in their language.