How to Translate Scratch
The Scratch programming language has been translated into more than 40 languages with the help of volunteering translators from all over the world. However, parts of the Scratch interface and website in many languages are still missing translations, and some translations might have glitches — If you have experience with some language, you can help the Scratch Team and other translators in completing the translations and correcting any mistakes.
- 1 Important Note — February 2017
- 2 Translating Scratch Interface and Website
- 3 Translating Scratch Support Materials
- 4 Reporting Issues
Important Note — February 2017
The Scratch Team has transitioned to Transifex for translation instead of Pootle. We've put together a guide outlining our transition to Transifex that should help answer any questions you have. Dates to note:
- February 6: All translations exported from pootle for import to Transifex. Any translations after this date will not be migrated.
- February 8: All translations imported into Transifex, start using Transifex for all translations.
Translating Scratch Interface and Website
The Scratch program and website are translated using the Transifex service. It lets registered translators suggest and edit the translations. The submitted translations are licensed under The MIT License
Registration and Log in
To translate part of Scratch interface or website, you have to sign up for a free Translator account at Transifex. Please see the Transifex Getting Started Guide for more details.
Once signed up you can return the list of all the Scratch translation projects – the ones specifically related to the Scratch website are called "Scratch Website" and "Scratch Legacy Website". You can join the Scratch translators Team by clicking the button on the right-hand side that says “Help Lifelong Kindergarten translate content” – this will give you the ability to translate all of our projects.
What Not to Translate
Please do not translate the following words as they are trademarks and formal names:
- Scratch Foundation
"Scratch Day" and "Scratch Conference" may be translated (not the Scratch parts), for example, "Journée Scratch" in French. If there isn't a good equivalent, please keep them in English.
The following character names in the Library should not be translated:
The term "Scratcher" is specific to users registered on the Scratch site and probably should not be translated. If you wish to make an exception, please start a discussion on Transifex for your language to talk about it.
After you’ve successfully signed up to help translate our projects, you can get started at any time! The Transifex web editor guide has more information on how to translate online. There is also a guide for translating offline if you prefer that.
In some of the strings to translate you'll see placeholders for things filled in with values dynamically. For example, variable names, message names, numbers, strings etc. When there is only one placeholder in a string it can go anywhere in your translated string. However, if there are multiple placeholders, they must stay in the same order.
For example, the variable command 'change %m.var by %n', must have %m.var before %n. If the order of the placeholders gets switched it will cause problems in the editor when a user tries to use that block.
We recommend that you translate directly on the Transifex server, as it provides suggestions from others and warns of possible errors. However, if prefer, you can translate offline.
Testing Your Translation
The Scratch 2.0 website will be updated every month to reflect the translations submitted to the translation server. However, you can test (preview) your Scratch interface translation directly by doing the following:
Shift+click the language menu in the Editor, and you'll get "import translation file" at the top of the language menu. Download the editor-full file for your language from the Scratch Legacy project. Make sure to name the po file using the language code (e.g. ar.po, pt_BR.po)
What to Translate First
The most important thing to get translated is the Scratch Editor (including the blocks) - the editor-full resource in the Scratch Legacy Project. They need to be almost completely translated and reviewed before the Scratch Team will add the language to the languages menu.
After the blocks and editor, it's important to make sure that the home page and general navigation of the website are also translated. These items have been marked as high priority within Transifex, look for a yellow caret (^) icon to the left of the name.
To add a new language to the Scratch languages menu important parts of the site must be completely translated and maintained at a high level. The high priority areas and goals for translation include:
- Blocks and interface (Scratch Legacy - editor-full) [100% for new language/90% to maintain]
- Getting Started Tutorial [100% for new language/90% to maintain]
- Navigation Bar (at top of site) – [100% for new language/90% to maintain]
- Footer – 100%/90%
- Home page – 100%/90%
- Community Guidelines page – 100%/90%
- Registration flow – 100%/90%
- Email Verification – 100%/90%
- Downloads page – 100%/90%
- Contact Us page – 100%/90%
- Explore page – 100%/90%
- Search page – 100%/90%
- Studios page – 100%/90%
- Projects page – 100%/90%
- Comments – 100%/90% (not the actual comments themselves though)
- User Profile page – 100%/90%
- MyStuff page – 80/50%
- Account Settings page – 80/50%
Where a whole resource needs to be translated/maintained we will mark it high priority in transifex. Individual strings within a resource will be marked with the priority tag if they need to be translated/maintained.
When the required translations are mostly complete, contact the translation admin on the Scratch Team (email@example.com) to start the process of adding the language to the menu.
NOTE: The Scratch Team is transitioning to this system. Our goal is to make it easy for translators to find the high priority strings to translate, but many of the items above are not yet tagged. We are not expecting you to find and translate high priority items if we have not yet tagged them. Over the next few months, we will be tagging items and adding context to make it easier to translate. Translators will have time after new requirements are added to translate them if they're not already translated. We also welcome your thoughts and feedback, and encourage you to start discussions in the Scratch translators team forum.
Translating Scratch 1.4
An alternative if you are not able to translate the number of required phrases is to translate the offline editor for Scratch 1.4 (the previous version of Scratch). Scratch 1.4 allows you to customize the version installed on your computer with additional languages. To do this, download Scratch 1.4, and install it on your computer. Create a new .po file in the Scratch 1.4/locale folder, using the two-letter ISO language code that corresponds with your language if possible. Using one of the other .po files in the locale folder as an example, provide the translations for your language in the new .po file.
Scratch 1.4 will automatically load all the languages in the locale folder. You can also change the default language. Instructions are provided in the README file in the Scratch 1.4 folder.
Translating Scratch Support Materials
Scratch Tips Window
Text for Tips Window
Images for Tips Window
You translate the images that appear in the tips window following these steps:
1) Download the English images from the Dropbox folder: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5ko43g9lqs9003m/BN6u5rk6g7
2) Make your own version of each image that needs translating (only some images have text).
- Make a screenshot in Scratch that is equivalent in your language.
- Use an image editor program to make the image size the same, if possible - but no wider than 291 pixels.
- If it's an animated gif, you can either provide a static image instead, or make an animated gif (see below).
3) Save your translated images using the English file names but in your own folder. (The image extension can be png, jpg, or gif).
Animated GIFs for Tips Window
1) Make a screen recording of dragging the blocks (for example, using Camstudio on Windows or Quicktime on Mac).
2) Import that movie into a GIF creating program (such as Photoshop, GIMP, Gifcam, or GIFBrewery).
Scratch Activity Cards and Educator Guides
The Scratch Activity Cards and corresponding Educator Guides are available for translation. You can choose which format to translate: (1) the easiest method is to edit the PDFs (using Adobe Acrobat or any PDF editor); (2) or, if you have Adobe InDesign you can edit the InDesign source files; (3) or, you can edit Powerpoint versions.
The original and translated files are all available on the Scratch resources server. To see the PDFs for all the languages that have been translated and uploaded so far, see the www/ directory.
- To translate the PDFs, download the English PDFs for the Activity Cards in the www/cards/en subfolder and for the Educator Guides in the www/guides/en subfolder
- Or, to translate the InDesign or Powerpoint source files, see the Cards subfolder and Guides subfolder
- If you also want to translate the older set of 12 "starter" cards, see the / old-starter-cards subfolder.
Submitting translated Activity Card and Guide PDFs
If you are familiar with GitHub and comfortable making pull requests, you can submit a pull request on the scratch-resources repository.
Otherwise, please just send your translated PDFs to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the files are too big to email, save them on a shared drive (e.g., Dropbox or Google Drive) and send the link to email@example.com.
Scratch 2.0 Getting Started Guide
After completing the translation, save a PDF version and email it to Scratch translation admin. The translated materials will be placed on the Scratch Tips page for that language.
Older Support Materials
You can access translated support materials for older versions of Scratch here: Scratch Support Materials.
If you have any questions or problems regarding Scratch translation that are not addressed on this page, please write to the translation admin on the Scratch Team: firstname.lastname@example.org.