Thanks for Helping us Translate iFixit.com!
Four Golden Rules for Translating
Written by you—Please do not copy and paste machine translation—you’re much smarter than algorithms.
Modern and informal style—Write as if you're explaining how to change a light bulb to a friend.
Complete and accurate—Make sure you've translated all words, converted all measurements, researched technical terms, etc.
Comprehensible—Would your neighbor/niece/grandpa understand?
Translating the Various Parts of iFixit into Various Languages
You can translate directly on iFixit.com, all you need to do is create a user account to get started.
Translation of Wikis is open to anyone in all the languages listed in our dropdown menu. For guides, however, we'll want to have a certain number of them translated by staff so that you to have a reference, before opening this feature to everyone as well. Make sure to fill in this form to be one of the first to be contacted as soon as we get started with guide translation into your language and bring forward our mission to share how to fix anything with the entire world.
We're working on adding even more languages which we don't support yet. The process starts with translating the iFixit.com user interface. If you don't see your language in the menu, head over to Crowdin, an open software translation tool, your help will be very much appreciated! If you want to know more about that, you'll find the Crowdin guidelines at the bottom of this page.
If you have any question on this behalf, please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org, we'll be happy to get back to you!
If you're thinking about becoming an iFixit translator, here are a few questions to ask yourself: How often do you speak, read, and write in the language in question? Can you have a philosophical conversation? Watch a documentary? Read a novel? If you answered NO to one of those questions, that's okay. We don't require translators to have any formal training, but we do ask that you take the role of translating seriously.
If you’re working outside your area of expertise, be sure to research terminology or ask someone in the field. If you’re struggling with a particular phrase or term, be sure to ask for advice from other translators.
Machine translations are translations made by a computer, instead of a human—usually through services like Google Translate. They’re quick and convenient. In fact, you can machine translate any page within any browser to see in your language the parts of iFixit that haven’t been translated by our translators yet. We see machine translation as a stop-gap. It’s not a solution and even the best machine translations tend to be pretty bad. Human translations are more nuanced, more accurate, and much better. That’s why we ask our translators not to use services like Google Translate to translate material on iFixit. Our proofreaders will reject these entries and you won’t get any reputation points for them.
In short: Machine Translation is out, your brain is in!
Informal vs. formal
When in doubt, go with formal. However, use your best judgement when interpreting a phrase. If a phrase is very friendly and casual, then it's okay to go with informal, colloquial terms.
Modern vs. traditional
Modern terms and phrases should be chosen over a phrase that is old-fashioned or idiomatic. Translators should strive to be up-to-date in the topics covered.
Personal vs. generic
Sometimes, we use colorful, informal language on iFixit, which can be hard to translate. Translators should strive to match the tone and flow of the original content as closely as possible. Rather than produce a hyper-formal, word-for-word translation, translators should aim to find the color, energy and "poetry" of the original style and emulate it in the target language, using words and phrases that match the gist of the points.
As you translate, you might encounter some idioms—such as puns, culture-specific phrasing, and metaphorical expressions. A phrase like It’s raining cats and dogs or Catch us on the flipside wouldn’t make any sense if it were translated word-for-word. Rather, an equivalent or similar expression should be found and used as a substitution. If no such equivalent can be found, translators should opt for a translation that gets the same point across, even if the language you choose is less colorful than in the original phrase.
That’s us! iFixit is always written as
iFixit and should not be translated.
- People's names: If the target language uses a non-Latin alphabet, always translate people's names—using the closest corresponding letters of language you are translating the material in to.
- Places: Use the name of the place that is in most common usage in your language. If the name is not found in your lexicon, transliterate—using the closest corresponding letters of language you are translating the material in to.
- Please refer to this wiki for more details about our Device Nomenclature.
Try to find the punctuation that best enhances readability while keeping as close to the original flow and direction as possible. Always use the target language's native punctuation.
Please use standard unicode characters and avoid those that are platform-specific.
Units of Measurement
You may convert units of measurement to make them more understandable to speakers of your language. We recommend the Google unit conversion tool. Please remember to add a no broken space between a number and a unit of measurement so that they won’t be separated with a line break. (Depending on your operating system, you may have to try different ways: e.g. press Alt + Space (on Mac), or Ctrl + Shift + Space, or hold Alt and type 0160 on the numeric keypad on the right of your keyboard.)
Translating Guides and Wikis
When translating a guide on iFixit.com, make sure you're browsing in the language you'd like to translate to and then use the" Translate" button (which should be the corresponding word in your language) in the upper right corner to open the translation interface. First, translate the guide information and then translate the guide steps. If you aren’t quite sure how to translate some of the content in the guide steps, it can be helpful to refer to the pictures paired with the English step for more context. For more information, check our guide.
Translation of wikis is even more straightforward: Go to the Wiki page you want to translate, choose your target language and hit the respective Translate button in the upper right corner. Provide your translation on the right side of the page. When choosing the wikis you want to translate, keep in mind what’s relevant for your folks. The Careers page, for instance, is probably not relevant for international users. For more information, check our guide.
First, check if the content of the link is useful for people who don’t speak English—if not, look online for something similar in your target language.
The easiest way to translate a link is to add a new one. You can do this by clicking on the icon or button Insert a link. Enter the link URL in the according box of the pop up window. You can enter an optional link text. To save click on Insert the link or Confirm link.
If you’re copy-pasting and translating a link from the original text, please don’t translate the word
link at the beginning of the square bracket. It’s part of the code and is not displayed in the text.
Pro tip: Include the magic code:
|new_window=true. Now the link will be opened in a new tab and your readers are more likely to return to your translation afterwards.
Translating the iFixit User Interface
We are using a tool called Crowdin to translate the user interface of the site. Actual content—guides and wikis—can be translated directly on iFixit.com.
Crowdin is an online, peer-review translation platform. They offer an excellent introduction including information regarding your account and on how to contact iFixit employees.
We recommend you read through their overview and get familiar with the Crowdin interface before you start translating. If you are ready to dive in, make an account, join the iFixit translation project, and get to work on the untranslated portions of iFixit.com.
We’d like for the entire site to sound like it was written by the same person, instead of many different people. As you translate, try to maintain consistency with the entire site. If you want to talk to your fellow translators, you can use the commentary function on Crowdin.
The Benefits of Crowdin
- In-context translation
- Per-language forums
- Awesome moderation / proofreading interface
Crowdin separates the material that needs translating into different categories, based on where that material lives on iFixit.com. The highest priority for translation is labeled as Base.po—that’s essentially the base architecture of iFixit, and what most visitors to the site see.
Crowdin delivers phrases, sentences, and strings of text that have yet to be translated on iFixit.com. Some of the phrases will be accompanied by administrator comments that provide the translator with information on where that particular phrase appears on the site. For the most part, translators just translate a phrase as they see it, and move on. But if you’re not sure how to translate the phrase, you can try searching for it In-Context and translate it directly: https://ts.ifixit.com.
One strategy to find the translation on the site, which can be quite challenging, might be to Google your target phrase, like this:
site:ifixit.com "ask a question" .
email@example.com or open an issue via the comment function in Crowdin and ask for context.
Crowdin keeps track of your translation progress. As you translate more phrases (or strings) on iFixit, you’ll see the language completion percentage slowly increase. In the event that the language you’re working on has reached 100% completion, please continue to check Crowdin on a regularly basis. We are constantly adding new content to the site that needs to be translated.
Ensuring Translation Quality: Basic Rules
- When you have translated a string of text, read it again and see if there are any errors and if the translation sounds right in your language.
- If the translated phrase does not make sense, it is definitely wrong and you should rephrase it.
Of course, it's very important to be correct when translating, but if you happen to mistranslate something, there's a safety mechanism engineered into Crowdin: All the translations you submit will be reviewed by someone else. So rest easy—you won't accidentally take down the site if you mess up a translation.
Glossary and Translation Memory
A helpful tool on Crowdin is the Translation Memory (tab Search TM) where you can search for specific words and how they have been translated within the iFixit project before. If you work on a string that has been translated before, Crowdin will suggest the old translation. Furthermore, you can check the memory for specific translations that have been used before (TM and MT Suggestions below the translation box). But be careful: Just that they are in the memory is no proof they are still in use – to make sure, check the specific string. With the translation memory, we try to get a continuity in a language even though it has been translated by several different translators.
Moreover, Crowdin offers a Glossary (Terms, icon can be found on the right hand side, below Comments and the Search TM icon). Terms found in the glossary are underlined in the source string. When you hover over them with your cursor, you can see the translation—and, sometimes, additional context or definitions are given. Please stick to the suggested translation to ensure consistency across translations on iFixit.
What Should Not Be Translated on Crowdin
Data Placeholders and Variable Names
In many programming languages, a developer can insert data into a string by using a placeholder, such as a
% sign followed by a number. You might see something like that on the site. These placeholders should not be modified.
Here are some examples of placeholders you might encounter:
I Have %1 Reputation
In this case, the
%1 is most likely going to be a number. So when you translate this sentence, place the
%1 where a number would make sense. You can also reword it to something like
I have a reputation of %1 — but the
% and the
1 must always appear in the same order. Likewise, inserting a space between the
1 will break the placeholder’s function on iFixit.
This is a %1Link%2 to Google
When placeholders are surrounding text, then they imply some kind of styling. It can be indicating bold type, italics, URLs, etc. We have done this to reduce the amount of HTML you need to copy. When the placeholder is substituted, the sentence might look like this:
This is a <a href="https://www.google.com">link</a> to Google
Once again, don’t change the order of the placeholders, and don’t insert spaces that didn’t appear in the original text. Otherwise, you could break the link when you translate.
Tips and Tricks about Placeholders
- In some cases, you might encounter a character that resembles a small square attached to a placeholder. Ignore the small squares in your translations.
- By default, Crowdin enables the option to validate translations. The option checks translations for missing punctuation, variables, and more. This is ideal, except for one small caveat. You may find a string of text that has a placeholder and a word without a space in between, such as
%1Find us on %2Facebook; Crowdin will think that
%1Fis the placeholder. In which case, if you attempt to commit the translation, you will find yourself with an error message saying you have missed or mistranslated some variables. Go ahead and click Save Anyway and continue with your translations.
Formatting XML Tags
While we try to minimize it, you may see HTML/XML tags, such as
<strong>, used to format text in a string. If you see code, don’t translate it. It shouldn’t be there. Report the issue to iFixit admins at this address:
There are numerous resources for translation freely available on the internet. These are just a few of them that we have found to be useful:
- Dictionaries English <-> Other Languages
- English only Dictionaries
- English Thesauri