Translators: what do you like & dislike about CrowdIn and TranslateWiki?

We use two different platforms (CrowdIn and TranslateWiki) for crowdsourcing the translations of the mobile apps and website, respectively. You can read more about how that works here.

For those of you who are translating iNaturalist into other languages, first of all, thank you. We are interested to hear what you like and dislike about these translation/localization platforms. If you have suggestions for other platforms we might consider shifting to and why, we’d love to hear that too.

If you know other translators who aren’t on the Forum yet, please encourage them to join this conversation.


It is very difficult to translate with these tools in my opinion…But i prefer often the english language above an less good translation. Is it possible for the app to return to the original language ? It was not clear enough to tranlate with the tools.
And after i did an improvement it did not show up…so i was disappointed.
But local and geographical name/species lists are more important than a translated tool

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@ahospers have you used any other translation platforms that you prefer to TranslateWiki and CrowdIn?

Would still love to hear more feedback from the community on this topic.

I translate on both platforms. My opinion:

TranslateWiki is more free tool, it do not send notifications, I have to check for new translations myself, but i can find my previous translations for adjustment and uniformity of translation, because the translation is often cyclical, in a circle, to achieve the best result.

CrowdIn have only one advantage - notifications of new translations. Disadvantages - it is difficult to find previous similar translations and it is impossible to change what has been translated and approved. I think this is wrong.

I did not use other platforms.

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I did the impossible. :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face:

But I agree that translating stuff is a recurring process and you cannot update, change and improve translations with Crowdin. You have to wait for 7 months or more if a translation is updated, but I think the problem is not the tool but the admins of the project… they do not check for updates every release, including BETA’s.

Maybe I would like some more statistics on translations (see year report 2019, but it is not so important.

@carrieseltzer I think it is better to spent time on improvement of the common names in iNaturalist, cause that is the only stuff that matters, not translation of the GUI.

@katya I found out that if you have made the wrong translation yourself you can delete it and make a better translation. You have to wait seven months or more before the translation get updated, but it is not impossible…

I love the two-week cycle with Translatewiki, but as I told before I think the admins determine if the tool and processes do work, not the tool itself.

Thanks for your thoughts @katya and @optilete. It’s helpful to know that you like the ability to be notified of new translations and don’t like the inability to change translations (or even suggest changes?) once approved.

One of the problems we run into with TranslateWiki is the lack of a proofreader/approval role, which means that translators who are unaware of preferred styles change them and it’s difficult to keep consistency across the site.

Can you provide an example of when this happened? Has it happened more than once?

Always with everything with Crowdin. No example needed. See also the story from Katya:

Because you cannot update, change and improve translations with Crowdin because it has a proofreader/approval role you get consistency between the site and the app:

Comment is translated in the app as Commentaar or Bericht and in the website as Reactie. For consistency I should make the app and website both Reactie but because of proofreader/approval-issues I leave it this way. I do not think proofreader/approval is the solution, it is the problem. Get rid of it today.

Would Katya continue with translating the website if the translation of the website will be moved to Crowdin? I think Crowdin is crap and Translatewiki is terrific.

Found this issue on the same date One issue is about You, I think most languages are translating it to the informal form although it is against the rules of translatewiki.

For observe it is 10 months
Class = “UILabel”; text = “Observe”; ObjectID = “0HC-89-zFL”;

Uh… My language isn’t in the Crowdin project. I would like to start translating, but how do I do that if there’s no Lithuanian language to select? :/

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Hello? Anybody? I really want to translate the app before the school season starts and some biology teachers start using iNat as a teaching tool. It could help them a lot when it’s in Lithuanian language.

Apologies @tomasp. I’ve just added it to the list of languages on Crowdin. You should see it now.

If anyone else would like to translate the app into another language that isn’t listed, we should be able to add it. I check the forum but lost track of this request. Emailing in addition to posting here is probably a good idea. Many thanks!


Thank you!!!

Also, is it possible to edit the translation that’s already finished and approved? For example, if someone notices a mistake. Or is it set in stone once it’s approved? If not, how often does the translation updates on the app for the users?
And who approves the translation? What if I am the only Lithuanian who takes action to translate the app? Can I approve my own translation for it to be put into the app?

If you want to change a translation you have made before be sure you deleted your first translation. And be patient. You need it for App translations… If the translation is made by someone else it seems to be set in stone…

I made some changes in already existing translations with Crowdin for the Seek app and they have been approved, I think after a week or so. They are not set in stone, but you may notify the responsible persons, to raise their attention

Example seems to be updated in Github :-)

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