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WordPress Translation Day: how do you contribute?

September 28th is WordPress Translation Day – what’s it all about, and how can you get involved?

Since 2016, one of the largest WordPress contributor communities – the Polyglots team – has hosted the annual global WordPress Translation Day. To celebrate the occasion and shine a light on the amazing Polyglots team, Human Made’s Director of Agency Operations Petya Raykovska tells us about her experiences in the community and how you can get involved.

From passionate to professional

There are very many ways to contribute to WordPress. My two favourite ways are community building and translations. 

I started my WordPress journey through translating WordPress to Bulgarian. Pretty quickly, that led me into the warm welcoming embrace of the global WordPress Polyglots community, and in less than a year I started contributing to both translating and helping the translation community grow and thrive.

Global WordPress Translation day is something I take personal pride in. I usually try very hard to not toot my own horn, but leading the Polyglots team into organising and executing two global virtual contributor days in 2016 (in May and September) and starting this amazing tradition to unite and ignite the translation community is probably at the top of my personal “I made this happen” list. 

And guess what? Sometimes you really do get back what you put in: my contributing path ultimately led to a full time job at Human Made, a company built by many active WordPress contributors. 

Human Made has grown into an amazing diverse place in terms of people. We operate across three regions and in 13 timezones; we come from 27 different countries and speak so many languages! But a lot of people who started with the company in the last few years don’t come from the WordPress world and, especially if you are not a developer, you probably don’t know about a lot of ways to actively contribute to the Open Source project. WordPress Translation Day gives us the perfect opportunity to change that!

Person, Human, Clothing
Image credit: Florian Ziegler, CC BY SA 2.0 

A few fun facts about WordPress languages

You might assume that English has majority status across WordPress (as it does on the internet generally), but guess again! The facts below are just some of the surprises I’ve come across on my Polyglots journey so far, and I hope they’ll serve as a taster of the linguistic richness to be found just under the surface of WordPress.

  • WordPress actually has more active installs in languages different than English than it has in English!
  • WordPress powers 41% of the web. Non en_US WordPress powers 24% of the web.
  • The WordPress Polyglots team has more than 16,000 active contributors who translate it into more than 200 languages and language variants.
  • The most installed languages for WordPress are Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Chinese, and Arabic.
  • There are 6 different English locales you can contribute to – there are locale variants for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and… wait for it… Pirate.
  • There are 14 locale versions of WordPress for Spanish! Three for French, three for Portuguese, 4 for Chinese.
  • WordPress has a version in Emoji 🤪🌍🚀
  • If you speak a language different from English (US) you will likely find it among the hundreds of languages WordPress is being translated in and you can suggest translations yourself on translate.wordpress.org.
Person, Human, Clothing
Happy WordPress Polyglots at WCEU Contributor day in Berlin

What’s in it for you?

There’s no shortage of fun things that’ll happen to you when you start translating WordPress, but here are a few of my personal highlights. I encourage everyone to discover more!

  • You learn new cool features of the software – I learned WordPress inside and out by translating it. I’d have never even reached parts of it as a content creator or a PM if it wasn’t for translations!
  • Do it for your grandma! I found that you can teach your grandma to use WordPress after spending ridiculous amounts of time trying to translate WordPress features into my local language so that she could understand them. It was one of my favourite bits! My grandma used to love her cooking blog. My mum uses WordPress in Russian. Go figure.
  • You meet other wonderful people in your local community and get to have fun linguistic arguments about software translation. They both teach you about your language and the way people use WordPress in your language. It’s very meta, extremely nerdy, and an absolute delight if you are a language geek.
  • Last but not least: you contribute to something that makes the lives of millions of people better – a few minutes of your time can make a really big impact.

Getting involved in WordPress translation

To this day, translating WordPress is my favourite way of giving back – it’s both easy and impactful. Give it a try and earn your WordPress translation contributor badge. 

Becoming a translation contributor is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1.  Register at WordPress.org
  2. Open translate.wordpress.org and find your language
  3. Pick a project (WordPress version, a theme or a plugin you love and use) and start translating!

Find out more information at Translate.WordPress.org or read the Getting Started Guide in the Polyglots Handbook.