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Language updates

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

As many of you know, we provide language support for communities all around the world. In all, we provide translated strings in 17 languages in addition to English.

 

For the uninitiated, strings are what we call the bits of text -- words, phrases, buttons, commands, menus, and help text, for example -- that appear on community pages. With a few exceptions (and their numbers are shrinking) every word you see on a page lives in a string in one of our string files. Those of you who have changed the terminology in your communities, either in English or other languages, have your own custom string files as well.

 

You might be interested to know that we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 19,000 strings divided across close to a dozen files. Things like that happen when you have a product with as many features and as much history as ours. Part of my job here at Lithium is to ride herd on the English strings and make them as meaningful and useful as I can. All of the other languages are the province of our globalization manager, ElsebethF.

 

The reason for this post is provide information about the new policies and commitments we're putting into place for Elsebeth's 17 languages. Some of them will delight you (we hope).

 

First, the question we're asked most often: When will the translated version be available? The answer is 1 week after the GA date of the English release. This means that depending on our upgrade schedule, you will see translations available within days of being upgraded to a new release.

 

Notice we said GA. That's important. We don't translate strings for features that are still in the Beta program; we only start translating strings for features once they are formally released.

 

Something else we plan to do this week is make a complete list of all new and revised strings available for your review as part of the release notes for each release, starting with 9.9. It will be in the form of a spreadsheet attached to the release notes blog post. But wait, you say, the 9.9 release notes have already been published. And you're right. We're working the kinks out of producing the list right now and expect to have it posted on the 9.9 release notes within a day or two. Check back in a couple of days.

 

Update: The list of changes in the 9.9 release are posted here! The zip file attached to that post contains a spreadsheet that lists every single change in every language we support. Enjoy! For future releases, expect to see a similar spreadsheet attached to the blog articles that announces new features for the release.

 

So you have the list. What's next? For the moment, we'd like you to review it and use the Customer Portal (or your normal process) for making change requests. Soon, you'll be able to take care of these changes yourself. Which brings me to the other thing that's truly exciting (at least I think so): the tool we're developing that will allow you to edit your strings yourself. We gave a glimpse of our inline text editing feature, PACE, at the user conference, and are planning to make it available in the next 3 months. At that time, you will be able to edit strings not only in English, but also in any other language used in your community. Stay tuned!