Some of the existing translations are not very well maintained and, so far, only a couple languages are supported, so keeping files up to date or adding new translations helps the MegaGlest community a great deal.
How translations workEdit
MegaGlest comes with several language files, a few for each supported language. These files always contain several lines which always take the same pattern:
KeyWord=This is some lengthy translation string.
These keywords, also dubbed 'translation keys', are referenced in the source code of the game. Depending on the language the user has chosen, when these keywords are met during execution of the game, the translation string which matches this keyword is taken from the language file and printed on screen.
The main game language is English, so when a developer adds a new translation key, s/he will also edit the english language variant of the corresponding translation file and place translation key and the English string in there.
The english variant of the main language file is called english.lng. The latest version of english.lng is the one in trunk. There could theoretically be newer ones in (other) branches of the subversion source code repository but that's unlikely and if this should ever happen the developers should be telling you.
How to provide translationsEdit
MegaGlest's translations are now managed on Transifex, a website allowing for easy translation of a software such as MegaGlest, all from within your web browser.
Start by signing up at Transifex - that's a quick, one-time process. All accounts are free, you only pay when you host a commercial translation with them, but never as a translator. Do click on Sign up free.
Once you've entered your details, click on I am a translator, then head over to the MegaGlest project on Transifex. Over there, just click on the language you want to translate to. On the next screen, you select which resource to edit - these are the various language files there are in MegaGlest. Click on a resource to get a detail screen, then just push the Translate now button. Only the first time you do this, you will need to review and accept the contributor license.
You can then start translating right away. On the left are the source strings, as they appear in the English language file. On the right is where you type your translation. Pretty simple, eh? There are some helpers to the left and right of each translation box. Give them a try, you will quickly find out what they are good for. Be sure to save your individual translations or, when you're done, click on the Save... buttons on the very bottom of the page.
By default, only those strings which are not yet translated will be shown. However, we also need you to confirm that existing translations are good so we can improve the overall quality. So once everything is translated for a language, untick the Reviewed box on top of the page, then verify that the previously existing translations are fine, too.
Later, when the MegaGlest developers add new translation keys, they will automatically show up on Transifex, so translation is now a continuous work. Of course, translations still matter most for releases, so we'll keep notifying you on the translation mailing list when it's time to get translations into shape. So be sure to subscribe, it makes really little traffic .
Adding new languagesEdit
To add support for an entirely new language to MegaGlest, or to add a resource which is not yet available for a given language, please contact the MegaGlest team and state which languages and resources (all?) we should be adding. We'll add them swiftly.
Testing your translationEdit
It is now very easy to test translations submitted to Transifex on your computer. All you need is to download the latest beta release (those usually come with an installer and we usually make those available some time before a stable release) or, better yet, the latest nightly snapshot (those come without an installer, but as two archives which you just need to unpack). If you consider yourself a developer, you could also build MegaGlest yourself .
Once you have installed the current development version of MegaGlest, run it, then turn to the Options menu (or you can take a look at this screenshot of the options menu in 3.7.0 beta2). Click the Advanced Translation button (in the top right corner). This enables some Transifex options at the bottom of the screen. Enter your Transifex username, password and the standard 2 character language code for your translation. You should also be able to see this on Transifex while editing the translation: there should be a key saying ISO639-1 with an English default string of en (on the left), with the translations' standard 2 character language code set on the right hand side. So, for example, if you are editing the German translation, this value would be de while for Chinese, it would be zh.
Once you entered this information, click the Download button to pull in your work from Transifex into MegaGlest for testing. Now do test, make corrections on the Transifex website, and repeat. Now be aware that these translations apply to all installed MegaGlest versions, and older versions you may have installed (such as the latest stable release) may not work well with the new translations you downloaded from Transifex. As such, when you're done testing, you should click the Delete language files button remove the files you pulled form Transifex. This way every version of MegaGlest will revert to its own original translations that existed before your changes.
Note that the Transifex credentials you enter on the options screen will only last until you quit MegaGlest. You can also set these in glestuser.ini as follows:
TranslationGetURLUser=MyTransifexUserName TranslationGetURLPassword=MySecretPassword TranslationGetURLLanguage=de
Please be aware that storing your password in this file can be a security risk, though. If you do, you must ensure that only you, not anyone else using your computer, or a different system user (apart of the administrative user), is able do read this file. On Linux, you would do so by running: chmod 600 ~/.megaglest/glestuser.ini Hint: To switch between translations anytime while running MegaGlest, just press Ctrl-L. This will show a pop-up menu where you can select the new language. As you click, the change applies immediately.
Please note: Techtree translations for the Megapack (MegaGlest's default techtree) are not currently accepted. You are welcome to translate any other techtrees, though.
Some techtree related information which displays in the graphical user interface, such as unit or structure names or unit/attack properties, can now (starting r3285) be translated, too. Here is how it works:
- For a given techtree (lets assume Megapack) create a subdirectory named lang within the megapack (techtree) directory, i.e. techtrees/megapack/lang/ (skip if it already exists)
- In this new directory, create a new language file using this naming convention (skip if it already exists):
- Edit the file. Supported translatable items are currently: resource, unit and upgrade names. So In each language file add:
Here, food, archer and advanced_architecture are examples. You need to use the keywords this very techtree defines there. In game the discovered translated strings will display if the user is using a supported language, otherwise it defaults to original behavior.
Keep yourself in the loopEdit
Translations are never complete: During development it will happen that new translation keys are added, and old ones removed, so it is very likely that changes need to be made to existing translations to make them complete for the next release.
So if you're already helping with translations (or just consider doing so), please make sure you also subscribe to the megaglest-translations mailing list. This mailing list is used to notify translators before we will release a new version, so they have a chance to update and complete translations for the upcoming release.