DoudouLinux DoudouLinux

The computer they prefer!

DoudouLinux DoudouLinux

The computer they prefer!

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> English > Contribute > Translate DoudouLinux > Translator’s FAQ

Translator’s FAQ

September 2010 — last update October 2012

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English] [русский] [Tiếng Việt]

We have collected questions that frequently arose while translating DoudouLinux. We do not pretend to know every question that our translators may ask themselves, so do not hesitate to ask us if something is not clear or wrong!

Article table of contents


Do you need my help for a language already being translated?

Probably yes. DoudouLinux is a young project. Even if you can see some web pages in your language, the more people who participate, the quicker the job is done! The CD may also need work which is less visible than the website. You can take a look at CD translation status on our translation portal on TransiFex. Finally, even if everything looks 100% translated, proofreading may be welcomed and web pages may not be up to date.

How can I help translating?

Just contact us at or register to TransiFex and join the team of your language. If the team already has contributors for your language, you will join them and learn what work is pending. If you are the first one, well, you may organize your work with our help. In any case, you will be welcome!

Why should I help translating?

Well… Because you think that DoudouLinux is great and you speak a language in which it is not yet translated or only partially. Translating DoudouLinux is a way to give your time to potentially all the children of your country and more. Expect to have to spend tens of evenings if you are alone to translate both the CD and the website, but try to imagine the finished work. "Begin with the end in mind." This is also a good way to spread the Software Libre movement [1] and its philosophy.

Where can I discuss any eventual problems?

We have two mailing lists dedicated to translators: one for CD translation and one for website translation. This way problems and issues can be easily shared between all team members. Additionally, once you have an account on to translate web pages, you can send Spip internal messages to other contributors and comment articles internally. The only drawback is that this is internal: contributors who do not get connected do not know about these messages…

What skills are required?

You need to speak fluently one of the source languages; that is, one that is already translated, such as, English, French, Russian or other. And of course you need to speak fluently the language you are translating into. This is better if you also have a computing background because some parts may be a little bit technical, even if we try to avoid this. For text edition, all is text but this is again better if you have ever used a content management system (online blog software, wiki, etc.). But do not worry, we try to keep it simple for DoudouLinux internals too!

How technical should be my translated texts?

Low! Of course the CD targets children, so you must take care to remove any technical language from it. You should also take care to avoid references to computer history, such as “a clone of stuff”. Concerning web pages, our target is the standard family, not computer science graduated people! So please take care to use technical language only when strictly necessary. For example, try to speak of “autorun CDROM” instead of “LiveCD”, of “computer environment” or “computer system” instead of “operating system”. We should not suppose that our visitors have ever heard of LiveCD’s and even less of Linux. Yes, sadly, this is the truth :(

Finally, on the home page you are invited to use correct language but close to spoken speech (and without any technical words!). For example, you may use pet names such as “compy” for “computer” or “Dad, Mum” for “Daddy, Mummy” whenever available in your language.

What software can I use to translate, especially under Windows?

Well you need a good web browser, a good text editor which supports UTF-8 encoding [2], plus optionally a PO file editor. As Windows has none of these ;-), we recommend using Notepad++, PoEdit and Mozilla Firefox which has built-in spellchecker for online forms. Be sure to have set the UTF-8 encoding as the default in Notepad++. Moreover, if you still do not feel comfortable while editing long web pages, you may be interested in using the Firefox extension It’s all text. You will then be able to edit pages from within any standard text editor. Finally please contact Jean-Michel Philippe if you dream of Spip syntax highlighting in Kwrite and Kate editors ;).

Will I have my name in the list of contributors?

Yes. The DoudouLinux project does not wish for any contributor to work under the hood, anonymously. So as soon as your contribution is significant (= more than typo corrections), you will have your name in our list of contributors. You may also mention your company/organization if this makes sense, or you may also use a nickname instead of your real name. This is just as you want! NB: do not hesitate to complain if we have forgotten to add your name in our list.

Does it matter if I do not write English correctly?

Mmmm, maybe you write French, Russian or Spanish fluently? As you may guess, each of us do not speak many languages fluently. So you have to know that we discuss mostly in English in order to be sure everyone can understand. However, you can exchange private mails with our contributors who speak your language to be sure to be understood.

Should I keep local copies of my work?

We recommend that you keep local copies of your work for a few days even for web pages. Concerning web pages we have a backup system which runs every two days only.

How should I tell to pronounce DoudouLinux?

In French and Chinese it is pronounced “doodoolinux”. However as the word “doodoo” has a weird meaning in slang American English, we recommend English-speakers to say it as if it was an English word, the way they prefer to say it. We also ask to not write “doodoolinux” at all to avoid any confusion (except here!). Of course if pronouncing the word the French way has no awful meaning in your language, please tell to use this pronunciation.

Should I explain free as freedom and free as free of charge?

In English there is a possible confusion between two different meanings of the word free. While in our project DoudouLinux we are mainly speaking of “free” as in free speech or freedom of speech; there are, however, many people who are more accustomed to think of free of charge, especially when it comes to computers, internet and software. This is why it is often important in English to clearly distinguish between the two meanings. However in your language, such differentiation may be totally irrelevant because there are two different words for both meanings. In this case you have to adapt your translation and remove explanations about the possible confusion in English – people most likely don’t care. We believe many languages should indeed replace any reference to free of charge and free as in free speech.

System Translation

Do I need an account to translate the system?

You can begin with just sending us the modified files but we prefer that you register to TransiFex and join the team of your language since this is the central place for many of our translation files. It is easy and not intrusive. If you want to post tickets via our project managing tool for bugs or requests concerning your language, it is also recommended to have an account on our project manager.

I have never translated any program, is it easy?

Well basically yes: just use the online translation interface on TransiFex! You can fully translate online or decide to download translation files for offline edition, at your convenience.

How can I know which application is not fully translated?

Just have a look at the online Translation status on TransiFex for a global translation status. Language pages provide the detailed status, resource per resource.

How can I know that some translation files need updating?

The easiest way is to subscribe to lang mailing list on which we will make announcements about files to be updated. Alternatively, you can regularly visit TransiFex or try to use its feeds.

I cannot find a file to translate a given application

If you have asked us to create your language team on Transifex or if it was already existing, this should not happen! However we may have missed an application, in this case ask us on the lang list.

I cannot see my language file in some translation charts

Pages in the section Translation status show charts of translation progress per application. However for unknown technical reasons, these charts may be vertically truncated. If your language file is not translated enough, or if there are too many 100% translated languages, your language may not be displayed.

When will I see a CD with my translations?

As soon as you have completed enough translations :). We recommend to start translating the resources on TransiFex marked with a red flag. You can also ask us to make a new build but depending on our workload, we may not be able to answer you quickly…

Website Translation

Do I need an account to translate the website?

Yes, if you intend to translate several pages it is better to obtain an account on our website. On the other hand you do not need an account neither on our project manager, our source code host Gna nor on TransiFex. Such account is useful if you work on the CD, not the website.

How can I see messages sent by other writers?

There are two kinds of messaging tools inside the website edition tool: personal messaging and internal messaging. Personal messaging is accessed using the mail icon on the toolbox on the top of the interface. It can be used to send messages directly to other writers. When they connect, writers are informed of new messages on the top of their interface.

Internal messaging is accessed using the forum icon on the toolbox on the top of the interface. Internal messages are comments that authors write on an article or a section. This is the only way to check for new comments but you can use its RSS link if you do not want to visit regularly this page. Of course you can also send a message to the author to tell him about the comment!

What should I not translate in a page?

Pages may contain special codes that tell Spip, the publishing engine, to do something. Most of these codes are just tags such <table_des_matieres87> or <img53|left>. There are also links to internal pages/sections. You should not translate the word “article” or “rubrique” in these links. So in a link like this:

[see this page->article 45]

you should only change the text before the arrow “->”, for example:

[leer esta pagina->article 45]

Most probably you will have to change the article number of the link (here 45) since Spip cannot know the number of the target article translated into your language. It may even not exist yet!

There are still foreign texts in the page layout

The page edition interface does not give you access to the page layout. Therefore we maintain a couple of Php scripts on the web server that translate the page layout for each language. However the Php texts to be translated are available as PO files in resources website-download and website-squelettes on TransiFex. Thus you just have to submit your PO files on TransiFex.

Note that Spip embeds its own skeleton messages. If you still see foreign texts while both resources cited above are 100% translated, just contact us!

I can’t figure out how to change the title of the table of contents

The table of contents of an article is automatically created using the tag <table_des_matieresXX> where XX is the number of the article (usually the current one). You cannot change anything directly. The text “table of contents” is defined in a Php script on the web server using a PO file in resource website-squelettes on TransiFex. Just fill your translations on TransiFex and ask us update the file. If after updating the Php file you still have an English “table of contents” please check the article number in the tag.

The table of contents is the table of the reference article, not mine

You certainly forgot to change the article number in the table of contents tag. See previous paragraph.

The download link still redirects to the English page

Once you have translated the download page, the web server administrator has to modify a Php script in order to register your download page. The reason is that the sub-domain is always used for the download page, whatever the language. Thus there is a redirection process that reads the visitor browser language and then moves to the corresponding website article. This defaults to English if the visitor language is not handled by our translation team.

Note that the Torrents page, the Debian repository page and the Dailybuild page also function this way.

Articles all have a logo but mine

Logos have to be manually uploaded. Moreover creating a new article translation does not copies the logo from the source article to the translated one. You can download a tarball of most of our article icons. If you do not want to bother with downloading the logo then uploading it to your article, just inform us that there are missing logos! We can easily upload them for you.

How tables of downloadable files are created?

A Php script does the job, this avoid us the boring work of changing all tables each time we upload a new file. In your page you just have to preserve tags like <downloadlist|dirname=livecd>. This calls the Php script with the name of the directory from which the table of downloadable files will be generated. Another Php script on the web server contains translations for the table texts. They can be modified using PO files in the resource website-download on TransiFex.

What about screenshots?

It would be nice to include in your pages screenshots that are in the same language as the web page. However we know that this can be time consuming so we set a low priority on this task. Moreover this may not be as easy as expected because in DoudouLinux you do not have any tool to do this. Therefore you have two possibilities: either run DoudouLinux in a virtual machine such as VirtualBox, or run DoudouLinux on your computer with full persistence activated. This way you will be able to permanently install software like the Gimp to create your screenshots. You can install the Gimp in a running DoudouLinux (and while connected to the Internet) with the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp

My article still doesn’t appear in my language menu

The usual explanation is that you forgot to change the section of your article. Thus your article appears in the reference article section instead of yours. However, if you did not create a translation of the reference section in which to place your article, you will not be able to move your article into your language section.

Should I publish directly or propose for evaluation first?

First of all if you do not have administration rights on your language section, you will not be able to publish directly. So if you have them, this is often better to propose for evaluation first. This way other contributors can look at your work, check links, add icons, etc. If they understand your language or have a good online translator, they can give you advice too.

Why my article is still for evaluation?

If you see other articles proposed for evaluation going into published state but not yours, this may be because other contributors found in your articles parts to improve. Please check the (internal) comments of your articles to know what they think about your work. And do not worry: none of us is perfect! ;)

How can I know that articles need updating?

Once you have translated an article, it may happen and it probably will happen one day, that the reference article was modified. Please register our dedicated list website translation to keep in touch with us concerning website contents. Later we will setup a tool to visualize pages obsolescence.

Why is my article not linked to other translations?

If your article is not linked to other translations of the same article, this is likely because you did not follow the standard Spip process to start a new translation of an existing article. Please refer to Translating pages.

Why my work is still not online?

See Official website and work copy. When you publish or change an article in our editing software Spip, your work is not officially online yet. It will be online only when a nightly static copy of Spip is manually converted into our official website. Just send a mail on our mailing list dedicated to website translation if nobody is moving your work to the official website!


[1] Libre software is free software, free meaning freedom not free of charge.

[2] In computers characters are coded with numbers since computers are not able to handle anything else. Character encoding defines which number in the computer is used to display each character of a given language. UTF-8 is an encoding which handles many different languages so that you can write messages in various languages in the same file.

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