Transifex is a novel web application for localization in an easy, agile, and hassle-free way. Transifex was designed from the ground-up for dynamic, frequently-published content consolidated from multiple sources, such as software, documentation, websites, and news publication.
Transifex seamlessly integrates with existing content infrastructure, such as a software development repository or content management system, using a rich API. Translation is “crowd-sourced” to a global network of human translators using smart and agile translation techniques adopted from the open source ecosystem.
Some of the currents enterprise users of Transifex include Intel, Nokia, Opera, Red Hat, Mozilla Firefox and Creative Commons. More than 1000 open-source projects use Transifex, including Fedora, MeeGo, Mozilla, Mercurial, Creative Commons and Django.
Before going any further with more details, we’ll take a step back and explain how Transifex fits in the ecosystem of localization.
This guide will bring examples from software localization, however most notions and workflows apply to arbitrary content localization as well.
(This section contains text from the awesome related articles of Wikipedia.)
Localization is the second phase of a larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation (for specific countries, regions, or groups) to account for differences in distinct markets, a process known as internationalisation and localisation.
Language localisation is not merely a translation activity, because it involves a comprehensive study of the target culture in order to correctly adapt the product to local needs. Localisation is sometimes referred to by the numeronym “L10N” (as in: “L”, followed by ten more letters, and then “N”).
First, a software application is designed in a way so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. This is a developer task, which enables a product to be used with multiple scripts and cultures (globalization) and separating user interface resources in a localizable format.
The localisation process is most generally related to the cultural adaptation and translation of software, video games, and websites, and less frequently to any written translation (which may also involve cultural adaptation processes). Localisation can be done for regions or countries where people speak different languages, or where the same language is spoken: for instance, different dialects of Spanish, with different idioms, are spoken in Spain than are spoken in Latin America; likewise, word choices and idioms vary among countries where English is the official language (e.g., in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines).
The current prevailing practice is for applications to place text in resource strings which are loaded during program execution as needed. These strings, stored in resource files, are relatively easy to translate. Programs are often built to reference resource libraries depending on the selected locale data. One software library that aids this is gettext.
Thus to get an application to support multiple languages one would design the application to select the relevant language resource file at runtime. Resource files are translated to the required languages. This method tends to be application-specific and, at best, vendor-specific. The code required to manage date entry verification and many other locale-sensitive data types also must support differing locale requirements. Modern development systems and operating systems include sophisticated libraries for international support of these types.
Traditional localization solutions, such as translation offices, in-house translators and others work well with content which is rarely updated, such as books, traditional products, advertisements and others. However, in the world of technology and the Internet, where content is updated very frequently, Transifex offers a number of advantages:
Transifex.com is a one-stop, batteries-included service which serves translations to independent projects, which don’t have to worry about deploying their own instance, growing a community and managing the infrastructure.
Transifex.com is managed by Transifex, the company sponsoring the development of Transifex itself.
Transifex Community Edition is an open-source product, developed in the open with its code freely available under the GPL. Planning, development and bug reporting takes place at the development site of http://code.transifex.com/.
This guide covers the common characteristics, but also presents a number of features available exclusively on Transifex.com.
Professional services such as 24/7 Support, Community Localization consulting and training are available by Transifex. For more information, please refer to the company’s website.
For some companies Transifex.com is a perfect way to manage their translations but not having the burden of maintenance of one’s own Transifex instance. But, for some other companies such as large enterprises, a self-hosted robust Transifex instance is needed.
Transifex Enterprise Edition is tailored towards large companies with complex localization workflows, hundreds of translatable projects and heavy customization needs.
Some of the extra features available in Transifex EE include support for more file formats, performance optimizations for large deployments and Enterprise- level Support Services.
Learn more about Transifex Professional Services.