Ubuntu is brought to users in their own language by a large community of volunteer translators, who tirelessly work on localizing every part of the operating system on every release.
In this series of interviews we’ll get to know who they are, about their language and how they work.
This week we’re introducing you to Milo Casagrande, the Italian translation team coordinator.
Could you tell us a bit about you and the language you help translate Ubuntu into?
I’m a Java developer by day, but always with my Ubuntu/GNOME/Linux hat on. I’m helping coordinating the Italian Ubuntu translation team, and also helping translating Ubuntu into the beautiful romance language that is Italian.
How and when did you become an Ubuntu translator?
I started contributing to Ubuntu translations just after the Warty release, at the time I was helping out with GNOME translations. When I started contributing there wasn’t a real Italian team, but soon after I was contacted by Matthew East, and we started to set up and structure a team for that purpose.
What other projects do you help with inside the community?
I’m much more involved in the Ubuntu Italian community rather than the international one. I did some documentation work in the past for the Ubuntu Doc team. Right now I’m focusing on translations for the Italian community and some “management” aspects always of the Italian community.
Do you belong to an Ubuntu LoCo team? If so, which one?
Yes, the wonderful Ubuntu Italian LoCo team!
How can people who want to help with translating Ubuntu and all the various pieces and parts into your language get started?
The most important aspect, if somebody wants to start helping translating Ubuntu in Italian, is subscribing to our mailing list. All the communications happen there, and communication is a key aspect of our work. Please, do not wander through Launchpad leaving a translation here and there: if you don’t tell us, it’s very difficult for us to always know what is going on.
We have a wiki page here: http://wiki.ubuntu-it.org/GruppoTraduzione that lists all the various bureaucratic steps (create a Launchpad account, a wiki page…), the various guidelines that people needs to follow, our contacts, and how the workflow is organized.
I always say that if something is not clear on that page to let us know, so please, let us know!
What’s the desktop experience for Ubuntu users in your language? Is Ubuntu in your language popular among native speakers?
I think the Ubuntu Italian desktop experience is awesome, really. If there is a piece of software that is under our direct control, and is going to be shipped by default in Ubuntu, we assure that that very piece of software is up to our standards concerning translations: if there is no translation, we provide one, and review the existing one.
I think the Italian translation of Ubuntu is popular among native speakers, albeit some coworkers of mine use Ubuntu in English. But most of the Italian users I know are using Ubuntu in Italian.
Where does your team need help?
Upstream! We need help upstream (so that we can spend the weekends at the beach)!
I think that right now the team is working at its best. There are small parts of the system that are not completely translated, but usually those are the not-so-user-visible parts. We would really like for people to get involved with the various upstream translation teams (GNOME, Translation Project, KDE), and help there, so that the very same translations flow into Ubuntu without any work from our side. If people wants to be part of the Ubuntu Italian translators team, but help out with upstream translations, we can handle that too: we have done that, and we still do it.
Do you know of any projects or organizations where Ubuntu is used in your language?
Unfortunately not. I know that some universities in Italy use Ubuntu in their labs, but don’t know if in English or Italian. That would be some great information to know, also to understand where we should focus our strengths and to have a direct contact with someone that really deploys Ubuntu in our native language.
What do you feel is the most rewarding part of translating Ubuntu?
To me, is watching the results of our work being used by other people.
Is there anything else about your team or translation efforts that I haven’t asked you about that you would like to talk about?
Not at this time.
Become an Ubuntu Translator
Do you speak languages? Join the our translation community and make Ubuntu accessible to everyone in their own language. You can: