11. Guidelines for Translators

This section provides basic guidelines for translators of edX documentation. The complete edX documentation translation process is described in Documentation Translation Process.


Before you begin an edX documentation translation project, contact us at docs.edx.org to confirm the language or languages that you are translating into, and so that we can make sure the repository is ready for you to work with.

To work on translations of edX documentation, you should have a basic understanding of reStructuredText and formatting in .rst files. For more information and links to some resources, see Working with edX Documentation Source Files.

In addition, you or another person on the translation team should understand GitHub repositories and the GitHub pull request process. For more information about using GitHub, see https://help.github.com.

When you translate edX documentation source .rst files, follow these general guidelines. For examples of each type of element, see the Example .rst file.

For information about working with edX documentation source files, see Working with edX Documentation Source Files.

For information about the documentation translation process, see Documentation Translation Process.

11.1. What to Translate

In addition to obvious text, do translate the following items.

  • The text of notes and warnings. Translate text following the tags .. note::, .. important::, or .. warning::. Be careful to wrap and indent lines correctly, as described in Working with edX Documentation Source Files.

  • The link text in cross references. Link text is optional, so be sure to identify the difference between link text and anchor text if both are present in a cross reference. Only translate link text; if you translate anchor text, the link will be broken.

    For example, in :ref:`Work with edX Documentation Source Files` the text between the accent characters (`) is the anchor text and should not be translated.

    However, in the example :ref:`this is link text<Work with edX Documentation Source Files>` link text is also present. The anchor text is between the angle brackets and should not be translated. The text string between the first grave accent character and the opening bracket (“this is link text”) is link text, and should be translated.

  • The alt text for images. Translate text following the tag :alt: so that a useful description is provided for screen readers.

    An example of the formatting used to include an image follows.

    .. image:: ../../../data/source/Images/DataCzar_Initialization.png
       :width: 100
       :alt: Flowchart showing process for initializing a data czar.

11.2. What Not to Translate

Do not translate or alter any of the following elements.

  • The filenames and locations of any .rst files in the repository.

  • The filenames and locations of any image files in the repository. If you replace any original source images with localized images, make sure the replacement image files have exactly the same filenames, and place them in the same images folder location, so that image links within the documentation are not broken.

  • Words in file paths in cross-references or image references.

  • Words that are part of .rst directives, including note anf important. Examples are listed in Working with edX Documentation Source Files and ExampleRSTFile.

  • The text of anchors in .rst files.

  • Code examples that are tagged with .. code-block::.

  • Variables, database field names, or code examples that are tagged with monospace code font (placed between double grave accent characters).

    For example, in the following sentence, do not translate the event names that are between pairs of double grave accent characters.

    The edX mobile app for iOS now emits ``play_video``, ``pause_video``, ``stop_video``, ``load_video``, and ``seek_video`` events.

If a specific instance of one of these elements should be translated, the writer will include a translator note in a comment immediately before that element. An example follows.

.. Translators: the "msg" text that is included between the paragraph <p></p> tags can be translated.


   "correct": true,
   "score": 1,
   "msg": "<p>The code passed all tests.</p>"