Building a multilingual Space, part I

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Dodhara Chadani Bridge, Kanchanpur.jpgFile:Dodhara_Chadani_Bridge,_Kanchanpur.jpg (1 August 2018, 18:25:22) by Hopingyousuf, CC-BY-SA-4.0. Array

A critical part of Space’s mission is to offer a welcoming and accessible place for all movement contributors. And how can you be welcoming, accessible and monolingual, you ask? Great question. You can’t. 

Today, we officially embarked on the (long and winding) journey toward making Space a fully-functioning multilingual forum. 

Your language preference can now be set in your interface preferences. Anonymous users will have their language automatically set from their web browser’s language headers.

When using another language you’ll notice that, while Discourse software’s content is translated to varying degrees, all of the content that we have customized in our theme (like the header menu, for example) remains in English. Our next step is to add localizable strings to our theme components to make the UI smoother across languages.

As said, this is just the beginning, and even Discourse translations are far from complete. Notice something missing in your language? You can contribute!

Discourse is being translated by the Discourse community in Transifex. To get started, sign up for an account and join the Discourse project.

To support translators, both in the context of Space and in the Wikimedia projects in general, we are also opening a new category in Space, Translations. Translators have been a cornerstone of our movement, doing the difficult but critical work of making Wikimedia content accessible across the globe. This category will serve as a hub for translators to connect, collaborate and support one another. Have a look around the new category, and change your notifications settings to “Watching” to stay up to date on all conversations within it.

If you’re interested in how multilingual features will continue to be developed into the future, and in providing input on the overall plan, feel free to comment in Discussions in many languages, organized by tags, or open a new topic in Translations.


Has anyone checked Discourse’s interface in a language other than English?

I have tested Catalan and Spanish, and everything seemed quite OK. Then I went to check the translation statistic and… well… turns out Catalan is at 100%, and Spanish at 99,6%!

There are 15 languages with very/fairly good coverage of translations. Then there is 20 more above 50%, 16 more above 10%, and then 19% more with a small coverage.

Percentage alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Most users deal with a small portion of the total amount of strings in their regular use, so it may be that a language with a small coverage is still pretty good for basic use.

Please share your own impressions in other languages!

1 Like

I have tried Finnish interface. Almost everything seems translated, at least on pages where i have visited. And I visit daily on other Finnish forum that use Discourse and everything seems fine.


Great to hear those three look good. @Joalpe, how does Portuguese look so far? @Lucas_Werkmeister, how about German? @Ymblanter how’s Russian? @TheDJ how about Dutch?

German translation looks okay to me, though I’ve switched the UI back to English for now.


Dutch looks pretty complete to me in usage, even though it’s only at 87% at transifex


3 posts were split to a new topic: Right-to-left language support

There have been some issues reported with the translation to Portuguese (i guess Brazilian Portuguese) - I opened a new topic about them