dougk wrote:There are literally tens of thousands of people in the Church who speak both English and Spanish well enough to translate. Just in my own ward here at BYU, we have had several completely bilingual people (Hispanic or part-Hispanic), not to mention dozens of English speakers who have served Spanish-speaking missions. In addition to Spanish, we have (or have had) several who speak Mongolian, Japanese, Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, German, Portuguese, French, Russian, and various other languages (many just because of missions, but quite a few have actually been native speakers from those countries). Some of those people already have volunteered to translate for the Church (mostly at the MTC, but I know of at least one who translated Mongolian for General Conference a couple years ago).
I don't think finding people who are capable of translating would be the problem, any more than the problem with doing indexing was finding people capable of reading names and typing them in. The problem is just showing people what they can do to help out and getting them to the site to do it. If there are problems with vocabulary or phrases, they would be more likely to occur with the technology-related terms than with Church phrases, but especially for a language like Spanish where so many Church members speak it, there are plenty of people who know the technology lingo in those languages. It's just a matter of whether or not they are the same few people who frequent the LDS Tech Forum.
While there is obviously (and rightfully so) a more rigorous process for translating things like scriptures, lesson manuals, and other doctrinally-sensitive materials, I think that it's definitely a great idea to get the community (maybe a larger community, not just those in this forum) involved in helping with translation for other less-important things like computer programs. Good luck!
Doug is right, as is Russell. The biggest problem with making this successful is getting the right people here to help.
Tools is a large part of the problem. Russell suggests a glossary of terms would be helpful. He is right.
But, I found it rather difficult to try and check the translations in the format given. Comments in a forum (itself a difficult and perhaps out-moded way of communicating on the web, IMO) are a very difficult way to get translations done.
Unfortunately, I've not found any good software tool for collaborative translations, which is what would be ideal in this case. (the site http://traduwiki.org/ is very good, nearly what is needed - unfortunately, the creator hasn't yet released the sourcecode, although he says he will eventually).
A good collaborative translation tool will be wiki-like (a software innovation the Church has yet to take advantage of, probably due to control issues, I'd guess), and include the ability for collaborators to update a common glossary of terms, such as what Russell called for.
The problem with the above is that I found myself bouncing between multiple windows to consult the previous translation, the original English. I should have also had various pages on the church's websites open to review the terms others used for things like the Facilities Management offices and even words like Clerk and Technology Specialist. Since I'm not a local leader or even a member of a Spanish or Portuguese-speaking unit, I have no idea what are the terms for these things. Given enough time, I'll bet I could figure it out, but allowing members to contribute to a common glossary would make the process much faster.
Perhaps the administrators here on the LDSTech forum could give us a collaborative, wiki-like tool that would allow easy translations. I think that would be a great step forward, and allow the army of members who have some knowledge of various languages to help the Church.
And, if you really wanted to be helpful, such a tool could then be released as freeware, so others could set up collaborative translation sites for their own material. That would indeed be a service to the LDS community around the world.