OpenOffice traditionally has had excellent localization support, especially with its support of over 100 languages, including many minority languages that are not commonly supported in commercial products. Our community-led, all-volunteer, open source development model facilitates this.
Each new version of OpenOffice requires the translations to be updated, to add translations for terms and phrases that have been added or changed in the product. So maintaining support for any given translation is an ongoing effort, requiring volunteers to help keep the translations current, complete and accurate.
A list of translations available in the most recent release of Apache OpenOffice can be found here
A larger list of languages, including ones that have incomplete translations are listed here.
First, register your interest. We track a list of volunteers interested in helping with each language on our wiki here.
You should add your name to that list, and subscribe to our localization mailing list by sending an email to L10Nfirstname.lastname@example.org; you will receive a confirmation request, just reply to it to be subscribed. Then you should send a note to the list and introduce yourself and your interest in helping with that language.
If an OpenOffice build is already available in your language, you should download and install it. If you find errors in the translation, you can report them via bug reports in Bugzilla or enter a suggested fix into Pootle (more on Pootle below).
If an OpenOffice build is not yet available for your language, then that typically means that the translation is not yet complete. You can help finish the translation in several ways:
You can send a note to the L10n list requesting the PO files for that language. These files can be loaded into a translation management tool (some tools are listed here, with POEdit being a popular choice) where you can edit the translation. When done, or when you've made progress that you want to verify, you can submit the new PO files as an attachment in Bugzilla. This approach works well if you are the only person working on a translation.
You can suggest translations on our
The project "Committers" (those volunteers who have demonstrated sustained contributions to the project and have been voted in as committers) already have a password. If you are not a committer, you can request a personal password for Pootle by sending an e-mail to our L10n list and then you can start providing suggestions in Pootle. Suggestions will need to be reviewed by a Committer, but translators who have made substantial contributions via their efforts are regularly given Committer rights.
Whichever method you use, when you have completed the initial translation, send a note to the L10n list. At that point we can make a special test build of Apache OpenOffice for you to review. If more changes are required in the translation, we can iterate on these steps, making changes, making new test builds, etc.
Note: This process works best if there is a community of users supporting the effort, and not just a single translator. The additional users, even if they cannot help with the translation directly, can help review the test build and point out errors in translation, as well as other localization errors. Others on the OpenOffice project might be able to help you find other interested users, so let us know, via a note to the L10n list if you want that help.
If you are a new translator, you can find the following tips helpful. Please ask on the L10n list if you have any questions.
Do not translate the file basic/source/app.po; these strings belong to an outdated tool (TestTool) no longer distributed with OpenOffice. Ignore that file and return it exactly as you received it.
When you save a file in POEdit, you may receive the error "Header Field Project-Id-Version still has the initial default value". That error is not problematic in itself, since that field is not used in the current localization process. However, it may shadow other errors, so it's better that you edit your PO file settings (in POEdit: Catalog - Settings) and replace "PACKAGE_VERSION" with something like "aoo40" and "LANGUAGE" with the English name of your language (e.g., "German", "Italian", "Spanish"...).
Some strings contain a "~", like "All ~Pages"; these are meant for keyboard accelerators; you should ignore the "~" in newly translated strings: OpenOffice will automatically assign an accelerator to commands.
Some strings, especially those in the helpcontent2 directory, contain markup, e.g.
You see the <link href=\"text/schart/main0202.xhp\">Formatting Bar</link> here.In that case, do not touch anything between "<" and ">". So your translated string should be a copy of the original, where you only translate "You see the", "Formatting Bar", and "here".
When a PO file contains both translated and untranslated strings, PoEdit will show untranslated (or partially translated by automatic matching, so-called "fuzzy") strings first. You can scroll down the file to see already translated strings if you want to be consistent with the terminology in use.
If you are a team, or you plan to have someone else review your changes, please note that PO files do not have a way to mark a translation as "to be reviewed". Most teams who want to review translated file before submitting them agree to mark new and modified translations as "Fuzzy" in Pootle, so that reviewers can immediately see what has changed and "unfuzzy" those strings after verifying that the translation is correct.