Freedcamp Translation Guidelines (FTG)

Table of Contents



    This guideline is written for translators working on the Freedcamp translation. It is valid for all user plans and Freedcamp versions, as for all languages unless explicitly stated otherwise. The PDF version of this document can be sent on request as an e-mail attachment to people who apply to work on translations.

    The guideline is maintained by Robert Okadar and he will gladly help you with any issue or question regarding this guideline via email (just click on the name).

    Freedcamp team and community want to thank you for your interest in this project. We believe in our good cause - producing the best collaboration tool for working on projects. We believe Freedcamp team will give you free features as much as possible, and Freedcamp users can use paid plans if they choose so. Good collaboration is the crucial part of every successful multi-user project, which is why we at Freedcamp value collaboration so much.

    General instructions

    The source language is always English, and the target language is the language Freedcamp is translated to. Official language for communication among project members is English.

    Why should you apply?

    By helping us with translations, you will:

    • support our cause to offer Freedcamp features for free
    • meet and collaborate with our development team
    • meet other fellow translators
    • practice translating
    • learn about software translating procedures

    Many schools and non-profits rely on our tools to organize their work, and they get it either for free or at a great discount. By helping us in translation work, you are helping them too.

    Who should apply?

    All people with following skills may apply:

    1. Advanced English language proficiency
    2. Native or professional language proficiency in the target language
    3. Experience in translating software is desirable, but not a requirement

    IMPORTANT: Please do not apply if you do not meet criteria 1 and 2. You will only produce more work for other translators if you make poor translations. If you have never translated software before, please read and follow this guide carefully. It will help you to work more efficiently, as to avoid errors beginners tend to do. The guide maintainer will gladly help you with any question or problem you may encounter during your work on translations.

    How to apply?

    1. Register to Freedcamp plan suiting to your needs (any will do if you are just interested in practicing translating)
    2. Register to OneSky app online translation services site
    3. Send an email to Freedcamp team, follow their instructions
    4. If you are an advanced user, please state so in your email message and provide your Github account name (see the criteria in next section if it applies to you)

    What tools do you need?

    You can't work on Freedcamp translations without an internet connection (preferably broadband), and a web browser. All major web browsers are supported, but we recommend Firefox. Yep, that's it - an internet connection and a browser, along with your good will and expertise, is all you need! You don't need to download any resource files or specialized programs.

    If you want to submit bugs, a screenshot making tool might prove as helpful. If you use Firefox, we recommend Screengrab! extension. Windows 10 users can also use Snipping tool (it is included in every Windows 10 installation). More about how to submit a bug at the end of this guide.

    Please see our wiki Useful online resources for translators for more information on this topic.

    Advanced users

    If the following applies to you, we consider you as an advanced user:

    1. you know how to use CVS like Git, Mercury, etc. (we use Github)
    2. you can read PHP code and you understand what the code does
    3. you are willing to help us with English proofreading
    4. your English language skill is at native/professional proficiency level
    5. we recommend to set up a separate virtual machine if you use Git locally

    You must meet criteria 1-4, otherwise we can't give you access to our Github repository. However, if you do meet all the criteria from 1 to 4, and you know how to setup a "virtual machine", you probably already have all the tools you need installed on your computer.

    Translation rules

    All rules defined here should be considered as guidelines. Language is like a living body and greatly depends on the context where it is used. Also, translating software is somewhat different than doing live, book or articles translations.

    You will not be good at translating software if you do not follow these few basic principles.


    Always be aware of the context where the certain word or phrase is used. Subtle differences may occur for the same word used in different context, and thus the meaning also changes.

    Example 1: Save or Print are direct talk, but not applicable in German language where the infinitive form of the same verb is used - Speichern or Drucken (to save, to print). The German language has the form of direct talk, but it is not their custom to use it in this context, so this is something you must take into consideration when translating to certain target languages.

    Example 2: Another example would be the word "undo". You can translate it as öffnen, lösen, abzetteln, aufknoten, rücksetzen, trennen, wiederrufen. But only one of these truly reflects the meaning of "undo" operation in software translation - rücksetzen. Undo means return to previous state - undo your doing, this is the proper usage context.

    Source language proofreading comes first

    This is a common source of translation errors. You need some experience in software translation, at a source language native/professional proficiency skill level, in order to recognize these errors. If software developers are not the source language native speakers, they will probably produce at least a few grammar errors, or they will use wrong synonyms or idioms. The source language comes first - good practice is to leave source language phrases untranslated until they are corrected. Source language in Freedcamp is English, US (


    This is a very important part in the software translation process. Once you choose your term for certain translation, you should always use it in the same context. So choose your words carefully. Best practice is to write your terms down as you stumble upon them. I.e., word "issue" has many meanings and synonyms. Go carefully through all of them and choose the best translation that fits the given context. Write it down onto your list. In Freedcamp, word "issue" has completely different meaning than i.e., in Scribus software. Be careful when choosing the right translation and use it consistently.


    The style is a type of language used for translation. We listed a few most common styles used in software translation process.

    Direct talk

    This style is used if the user gives an order to the computer what to do. The user then talks to the computer as you would issue a request to your colleague - "Igor, print this file for me" or "Katya, save this file for me". Of course, you don't refer to your computer by name, nor there is a need to tell your computer every time "this file for me", so the parts "Igor", "Katya" and "this for me" are not needed. This leaves as with underlined parts - print and save. We refer to these as "commands". Commands tend to appear on menus and buttons, and sometimes in front of text fields or checkboxes. More examples: Save as, Cancel, Send, Export to PDF, Undo, Assign Tab, Show Properties, Enter password.

    Some languages may use infinitive form instead of direct talk. An example would be German language - Drucken, Speichern, Speichern als, Abbrechen, Als PDF exportieren, Rücksetzen, Tab zuordnen, Eigenschaften anzeigen, Passwort eingeben.

    Remember: Direct style is used to give an order to the computer what to do. Consider it as a direct talk. Some languages use the infinitive form instead.

    Indirect talk or neutral style

    It is used in a situation where software delivers the information or option to the user. It is mostly used in menu commands like Options, About us, Image information, Properties, Help. Also, a very common use is the descriptive label, like First name, Address, VAT ID.

    Descriptive or informative style

    This style is used when a program shows some information to the user. It is frequently used in error or hint messages, and descriptive labels.

    Translating strings with variables

    While you translate strings in OneSkyapp, you will often see strings containing variables. One example might be:

    user_full_name commented on  ​task u_title

    You never translate the variable itself. However, you must pay attention how the end result will look like. The position of the variable may vary from language to language:

    • German: user_full_name hat einen Kommentar zur Aufgabe u_title abgegeben
    • Croatian: user_full_name je komentirao zadatak u_title

    Translating names

    People's names

    You should not translate personal names. As an example, we will take George Orwell as a name in the source language.

    • German - George Orwell (and not Georg Orwell)
    • Greek - George Orwell (and not Georgios Orwell)
    • Croatian - George Orwell (and not Juraj Orwell)
    • Serbian - George Orwell (and not Đuro Orvel or Žorž Orvel)

    We strongly advise retaining names as close to the original as possible.

    Software programs names

    Application names are not allowed to translate. This is for the reason of practicality. If the application is called Freedcamp, you don't invent the name for it on your own language. This way everybody in the world knows what do you mean by Freedcamp when you write or talk about it. You do not write Freedcamp differently - it is Freedcamp in all languages. We have a numerous external and internal applications mentioned in Freedcamp software, and when you see them, just write their names as they are. A few examples: Freedcamp, Tasky, Email In, Skype, Facebook, Twitter

    Geographical names

    As a translator, you should localize the geographical names as it is natural to your target language. A few examples in English, then translated to Croatian and German:

    • Vienna - Beč, Wien
    • Munich - Minhen, München
    • Ljubljana - Ljubljana, Laibach
    • Belgrade - Beograd, Belgrad

    If there is no localized name for a particular town, just use the original. Examples might be Berlin, Bern or London.

    Bug submission

    If you have found a bug related to translation, open a task in Translation project for it. Set a task title that describes the bug best as it goes. Please do not open tasks with generic titles like "Error", "Help" or "Bug". It has to be clear from the title itself what is it about in particular task. If possible, provide a screenshot. An example of translation bug might be a translation you made is not shown in Freedcamp after translation upload. Wrong grammar or mistyped words are not a bug!