Hello Translators! This guide should have most of the information you'll need to start translating and get your articles looking good and organized and stuff. If you ever have a question or problem please check here first, then email Jeremy or the GVLingua email list for help. If the answer wasn't here, please make a note of it in your email so we can add the answer here. Better yet, add it yourself!

Posting BasicsEdit

The software we use for the main Global Voices site as well as for lingua is called WordPress. It is a blogging tool with lots of options and features that we use on a regular basis. A full explanation of how to use WP for blogging is a bit beyond the scope of this document, but it is fairly intuitive and you should be able to get the hang of it pretty fast. If you want to learn about using WordPress they have good documentation at their documentation wiki.

When translating GV articles you should focus on leaving the HTML and formatting the same as the original article whenever possible. You will get used to the standard formatting used by GV and learn to mimic it when translating.

You can choose whether you want to write your posts on your own computer with a simple text editor (not Microsoft Word or similar complex word processors) then paste them into WordPress to post, or type them directly into WordPress as you translate.

WARNING: Using Microsoft Word or similar complex word processors will make your article broken when you save it. Please use only simple editors like Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on Mac OSX.

Linking Back to Original ArticleEdit

We have set up a system that automatically links back to the original post you are translating and informs the post that there is a translation (so that it can link to your translation). This works by pasting the URL of the original article into the box that says "Permalink of the GV article you are translating".

WARNING: Once you save the article with the link in this box it will be stuck with that link forever. Please doublecheck the URL you pasted before saving your article, and do not enter the url of the article until you are done translating and ready to publish the article.

WARNING: Only links to GV articles should ever go in this box!

After posting an article, please look at it and ensure that the link in the header that says 'original article' does indeed lead back to the article.


Again, style in translations should mimic the style used in the original post, so checking the HTML source of the original article (right click on the page and choose 'view source' is a good way to find out how a given style was achieved in that article.

When translating text, the policy at GV is to show the original text followed by the translation. The original text is in a blockquote and the translation is in a div clas="translation". When translating articles, you should leave the 'original text' alone and only change the english version of the text.


For large, quoted text use the blockquote HTML tags (there is a button in the editor to make this easier). Eg:

This is what he said:
<blockquote> BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH</blockquote>


For big blocks of translated text (i.e. translated in the original article, use a div with the translation class (there is a button for this as well in the editor). Eg:

Mon chaise est tres petit
<div class="translation">My chair is very small</div>


Because Arabic text is right-to-left in direction there is a special class for blocks of Arabic text:

 <div class="arabic">اف الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين ف</div>

Other Style ConsiderationsEdit

  • Either italicize blog names or don't. Whichever you choose, be consistent throughout your translation. If you choose to not italicize and the title has more than one word, capitalize the first letter of each word. Example: either Blog Jokester or Blog jokester. Blog Jokester is fine too.
  • For consistency the first letter in the first word of titles should be capitalized. Example: Soudan: Diversité et identité culturelle as opposed to Soudan: diversité et identité culturelle.


Always add the original author's name at the end of the translated post.


Global Voices has three main category types, Geographical, Topics and Media. When translating a post, take note of the Countries and Topics listed at the top and make sure you tick all of them in your translated posts screen.

Media Icons: In the categories sections of posts there is also sometimes a small icon for Podcats, Video or Photos. This means that the article contains a prominent media item of this type. If you see one of these icons be sure to tick the corresponding category on your translation. This way the icon will show up on your post as well.

Text excerptsEdit

If there is ever a problem on the sites article listing that doesn't appear on the articles themselves it has to do with the the optional excerpt.

Under the post content field on the post editing page there is a bar called "Optional Excerpt", if you click on it you can enter text which will appear on the front page as the summary. If no excerpt has been entered, Wordpress displays the first 50 words of text without formatting, and some specially formatted articles look wrong or break the page.

When translating articles, you should always use the excerpt you see on the article listing of the main site for that article, unless there is none (you can tell when there is no excerpt because the summary of the text ends in [...])

When using Podpress to post video or audio code, make sure to set an excerpt with only text inside.

Posting MediaEdit

We are not posting original content on Lingua so please only use pictures or media featured in the original english post.


Along with the excerpts, most GV posts have a small 75x75px thumbnail image that shows on listing pages. If you look at the post you are translating on it's category page (or the front page) you should see this image.

To include it as the thumbnail in your post right click on the thumbnail on the main GV site and choose "copy image location". Then, in the post editing screen of your translation, paste the url into the box that says "post-thumbnail" just below the content box.


To include a photo from the original post you can use one of two methods.

  • Right click on the photo in the original article and choose 'copy image location', then, in the post editing screen of your translation, press the 'img' button, paste in the URL of the photo and type in a description of what the photo shows. The image should then be inserted into your post (at the place where the cursor was inside the editing box.
  • Save the photo to your computer, then use the image uploader in the posting screen to upload an insert the photo into your post. You should use this method if the photo used in the original post is too big to fit in your post or if there are other problems that arise.

The authors and editors of original GV posts are supposed to make sure that all photos are formatted properly before uploading them and inserting them in posts, this includes the size of the photos. If the photos are not properly formatted you can fix them yourself before putting them in your translation. Software like Photoshop is great for this, but if you don't have photo editing software you can just use the website Pixenate, whicih is free and lets you edit images and save them on your computer (Picnik also does a good job).


Including audio in your posts requires the PodPress plugin, which creates a "Podcasting" menu below the editing box on your editing screen. If you do not see the 'podcasting' box confirm with your Editor that the plugin is turned on.

Podpress doesn't upload anything and you should not try to upload podcast mp3's using the photo uploading tool (which can also be used for pdf's or maybe ppt's but not big audio files). Instead just use a link to the original file that was linked to in the original article.

Use the "add media file" button to add audio to your post, filling in the details it asks for.

Podpress automatically generates the code for the player and the download button. So if you see an audio player and a download button on the post you are translating, just use Podpress and it will include those things for you automatically. If you want them to show in a particular part of the article, insert the text [display_podcast] in that spot and the player will show there instead of at the end.

If you ever have problems with Podcasts that are in english, I recommend avoiding the podcast route entirely and just creating a normal link to the audio file from your post. Just clearly label the link as an audio file and mention that it is in english (if necessary).

Non-Flash English VideoEdit

For non-embedded videos (i.e. NOT youtube etc) the current policy is that we will just link to the original post and encourage readers to see it there.

Video Code Problems (YouTube etc.)Edit

If you have cut and pasted media code into your browser and it doesn’t work, there is an option in your personal profile to "use the visual editor", unchecking this makes the editing screen show only as code view and there is much less risk of your code being altered.

If the video still doesn’t appear, maybe try pasting the code into a program like notepad (a simple text editor, unicode preferred) then back into the edit box of wordpress, sometimes that helps...

Video Translation: dotSUBEdit

dotSUB is a website that allows for volunteer translation of video and audio. They have been wanting to work with us for some time and, time permitting, we encourage you to experiment with using them to translate GV podcasts or videos. dotSUB use depends on the prior existence of transcripts of the original audio or video.

Once you're logged into, you can download the transcription of the podcast from the lower right-hand corner of the screen and translate it offline.

You can embed dotSUB translations into your posts as you would a youtube video. To embed, make sure you are in the code editor as opposed to the visual editor. In order to use HTML you may need to uncheck the option "Use the visual rich editor when writing" in your profile.

How to contact authors for clarificationsEdit

On every author page at the main GV site there is a box that lets you email the author directly.

Example - See on the right sidebar its' a grey box, you click it and it shows the email form.

If you have time to wait for an email reply, then this is a good method to contact individual authors with questions. You can get to any author's page by clicking their name or photo on the article itself.

If you need a faster response or if it depends more on a language problem than on real context then maybe try the appropriate editor from the main GV site, who will likely be able to help you as well (with a little information from you). You can reach regional and language editors using the GV Contact Page by choosing the appropriate recipient and sending it to them.

When sending emails to authors, please use the subject "LINGUA TRANSLATION HELP NEEDED" so that they don't suspect it's spam or something.

Translation Philosophy: “Mirror it” v. “Make it new”Edit

There are several schools of translation out there, there is the "mirror" school (keep it exactly the same to preserve accuracy) and there is the "make it new" school.

Ideally, translators will adopt a sensible approach that incorporates elements of each and will use their judgment taking in account their audience to make calls on tough case scenarios.

Translators are encouraged to use bracketed "translators' notes" when they needed to change something in the original post. Here is a ridiculous example:

Once upon a time [Note: In English, this is a common expression used to start a fantastical story] there was a young princess blah blah blah.