‘Lotte: A Lightweight Online Translation Editor’

‘Lotte: A Lightweight Online Translation Editor’
Table of contents
Dimitris Glezos
May 28, 2009
4 min read

From the very first day here at Transifex, two things have been a constant presence in our days: good coffee at the office, and some very awesome and vocal users! It has been tremendously enlightening to listen to their ideas and thoroughly understand their needs, likes and dislikes! How to help them be more efficient and truly empower them to do their work without having to jump through too many hoops. We value our users’ suggestions and comments so much that we changed our current workflow so that we first ask them for feedback, and then we just shutup and listen!

Through the many conversations we’ve held with them, one common theme kept coming up over and over: how the traditional multilingual publishing workflow is broken and how inefficient the current state-of-the-art tools are. To make sure our current tools are real solutions to real problems out there, we’re encouraging our users to demand satisfaction from us. Tell us what’s wrong and we’ll think of a solution.

I truly think that internationalization of software and dynamic content is a dystopia today because localization engineers just haven’t listened enough. On top of that developers seem to dislike localization because they don’t understand it. They don’t understand it because the traditional workflows leave a lot to be desired and the most advanced tools out there are either too complex to use and/or solve the wrong problems. Translation management and localization today is remarkably hard.

Quality content requires complete translations. One of the biggest challenges any publisher of internationalized content has, including software developers, documentation folks and webmasters, is outdated translations. Say you found a way to receive some great translations. Then you change your content, and now you’re struggling to get them updated again with your new content. Because you care about your readers and users, you don’t want to surprise them by publishing content that starts off with a nice and concise prose that is “sprinkled” every now and then with chunks of text that look like they were written by someone from Klingon.

In Transifex 0.6 we introduced user notifications for translation file changes. What’s that? Say you’re a translator who has recently brought a project with 200 strings to 100% completion for your language. And then the developer decides to change 2 strings and bring your completion percentage to 99%. I bet you’d like to be notified right away so that you can quickly translate them to be included in the next update of the software, right? If you’re using Tx 0.6, you can click watch on the file, and Transifex will notify you when it detects a change to that particular file, with a direct link to grab the file and translate it.


Pushing things to dead-simple

Wouldn’t it make our translators happier (I now notice that this is starting to become Indifex’s motto) to open up a page with only a few edit boxes to translate these 2 strings online, shortening the Translation Turnaround Cycle even more?

Click, type, , type, hit Enter.

These past few weeks at Indifex Labs we’ve been playing with a cool new toy! We’d like to provide Transifex translators with a way to quickly translate small bits of a project through a simple web interface, specialy designed in the fight against the outdated translations problem.

Introducing Lotte: The Lightweight online translation editor.

Here’s a screenshot of the current mockup we’re working on. Highlighted is the support for automatic translation completion using the Google Translate API.

Auto-translation in Lotte

We are all very excited about this new feature and can’t wait until we hear from our users what they think of it! Please click on the image above so that you can get a better view of what we have in mind and as always, come talk to us.

Lotte, coming soon to a Transifex instance near you!

Localization Best Practices for Developers

We know that a developer’s role in the localization and translation management process can be a difficult one if you don’t have the right workflows in place. To help, we’ve put together a guide highlighting the practices that the best development teams put into place to streamline the localization process — from integrating localization into build cycles to tricks for avoiding string freezes. Download the free guide to learn more.


Dimitris Glezos
FacebookgithubGoogle+Fill 88Twitter