Miro Internet TV Blog

Translations in EFX

April 25th, 2006 by Tiffiniy Cheng

Our new programmer, Chris Lahey, jumped on board a few weeks ago (pictures coming soon). While he has been getting his feet wet, he swiftly set the Democracy Player up for translations. So far, he has localized most of the app on the Linux side. But. we’re still 1 and half steps away. And we’re 2 steps away from translating our website, www.getmiro.com.

We have lots of volunteers on our translation list and they have been patiently waiting for our translation project. Thanks to them for catalyzing this effort. Maybe you’re one of them — thank you for volunteering.

As much as this is great news, we’ve run into a blackhole, I think. I haven’t seen a simple user interface for translations of applications like Democracy Player, or for websites for that matter and am not sure if there are projects like this out there. Most translation systems involve using command lines or sending files back and forth. We’re very keen to translate our website and Democracy Player so that everyone in the world can read it, but we’re worried about how the translation system will work.

I have been unable to find the perfect solution for translations — a translation system that posts the text that needs to be changed onto a webpage, accepts translation candidates, verifies, chooses and displays translations on a webpage, and presents changes of text to previous translators and automatically updates the site or application.

Late edited addition: Do you know of any websites that are voluntarily-translated in bulk? Do you know of any website or application project with a system for getting translations from people to put on their site that is the most automated and able to keep up to date? Do you have any information on previous systems that have been worked out for translating websites and applications? Do they work well? How do they deal with changes or “fuzzy” translations? If you can point me to a webpage, that would be great. Please email me directly at tiffiniy at pculture dot org. Thanks a lot, everyone.

Translations of our website seem really important for everyone, is this not the general thinking on translations — most international non-corporate sites don’t do it from what I can tell, though it seems like this is due to difficulty rather than importance. Like I said, translations are almost ready to go, I just wanted to double-check on the general wisdom out there.

15 Responses to “Translations in EFX”

  1. I believe what you may be looking for is the IRMA project funded by Linspire. They were having exactly the same issues.


    It is currenty used for Linspire itself, as well as other open source projects.

  2. tikal26 says:

    You might also want to try launchpad.net Ubuntu uses that to translate all of their documets and maybe you can make it work.

  3. Tiffiniy Cheng says:

    Thanks to the both of you. I am looking into this now. So, do you guys know of any volunteer-driven translated websites?

  4. Ilgaz says:

    I am turkish translator of weather underground (volunteer) and as this project is non profit, they may be interested in sharing their methods.

    It is just a web form, a huge one working every browser and you “submit” the translations and the “translation admin” grants them to appear on site.

    As you perhaps know that is Slackware Linux based site.


    It is already working solution for 80+ languages on commercial site :)

  5. Tiffiniy Cheng says:

    Hey, thanks for this tip. I will have to ask them if they want to help us. Do you like the interface, as a translator?

  6. Ilgaz says:

    Of course, it is very simple, browser independent and even machine independent.

    Web form is way to go IMHO.

  7. Ilgaz says:

    Sorry for double comment, the “weather market” is very competitive and they can be real busy all the time.

    Contact me with my mail (should be available to you)

    Have a nice day

  8. We are in beta with a browser based tool that can subtitle films or videos on the fly with no downloads, currently only from our site. We have spent a great deal of time with the professional translation community and understand it quite well.

    We would be interested in discussing making the actual TV content available for subtitling in other languages – which is a much more complex issue than subtitling web pages. Please get in touch with me if you wish to discuss this further.


    Michael L. Smolens
    Founder & CEO
    dotSUB llc – Any Film Any Language
    360 East 72nd St. #C3104
    New York, NY 10021 USA
    1-917-742-0158 – tel
    1-212-772-9657 – fax
    mlsmolens – Skype
    michael@dotSUB.com – email
    http://dotsub.com/ – website

  9. I have been using a translation tool on my website that was designed by Alta Vista, it is Babelfish (babelfish.altavista.com). It is free, and if it was installed within the website (not the player), it would at least provide translation of the content into nine languages. I have even installed it into my broadcast machine (www.paxstereo.tv/bm). You can check it out in action by going there. I think this is at least an inexpensive alternative to translating the entire site. It does put an ad banner at the top, but this can be resized down to almost nothing.
    Good luck!
    Mario Hemsley
    Pax Stereo Online (www.paxstereo.com)
    Pax Stereo Tv (www.paxstereo.tv)
    Pax Stereo Broadcast Machine (www.paxstereo.tv/bm)

  10. Dustin says:

    You might want to check out Debian’s website: http://www.debian.org. Notice how each page at the website has languages at the bottom. The Debian is entirely volunteer based, it is not a Corporation, and is the only major Linux distro that can claim this. So whatever method they use will no doubt be of interest to you. If you ask on the right debian mailing list, I’m sure someone will gladly explain how their translation system works to you.

  11. Paul Irish says:

    Web IM client meebo set this up with a wiki. It seemed to work extremely well for them:

    I think such a setup would work just fine for you guys.

  12. houerv says:

    thank you for your work

  13. ulvelaik says:

    I love this site. Good work…

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