Calamares welcomes an Assamese translation.

During in Delhi in january 2020, I met Wrishiraj Kaushik of SuperX. SuperX is a Linux distribution that is built in Assam.

We got to talking about translation and he said he’d get right on it. A week later I added Assamese as a language to the “ok” list (that just means there’s a translation, and it’s between 5% and 75% done). Two weeks later, Assamese is now at 100% and part of the “complete” list.

Assamese in Calamares

If the system language is set to Assamese, Calamares will start up that way; otherwise, pick the language from the drop-down next to the international (ought-to-be) standard icon for language selection, and you get this:

Calamares in Assamese

One of the things specialized distro’s do is make sure things look good and work well for the target market, so you don’t get this (which means “you don’t have the right specialized fonts installed”):

Calamares in bad Assamese

What I personally find impressive is the drive to reach 100% and produce the best-possible translation. Wrishiraj contacted me a few times to check out meanings of strings and to double-check grammar. As an eager upstream, I make time for that kind of improvement and encouraged him to file issues as needed – after all, the strings I’ve written may not be the best or easiest to translate, and there where I can help improve translators’ lives, I will.

Supporting Translations

Thinking about translation prompted me to add something new to Calamares in 3.2.19: a mechanism to load translations from the Calamares app-data directory and from the local directory. Previously, translations were compiled-in, so to test a translation update you would need to build Calamares itself. Now, you only need to rebuild the translation (with lrelease, a tool a translator probably already has installed).

This makes in-place testing of the translations easier; I’ve documented it, too.

Let me wrap this up by a renewed call for translators, based on Transifex statistics:

  • Italian, Spanish, Dutch and more are below 90%, above 50%
  • Greek is just below 50%
  • Marathi is at 13%
  • Urdu, Uzbek and Farsi are all languages that were requested once, but are still stuck at 0%

This is just a sampling of translations. Many software projects can use a little push with translation – not just Calamares – and you can find them on Transifex and Weblate and KDE.

More Translations in Assam

With Calamares out of the way – at least until my next strings update – Wrishiraj and the people at SuperX are going to continue by translating all the available KDE software (that’s 12000 strings for KDE Frameworks alone).

And then start over for Bodo, another official language of Assam.

So, with the mantra translation is accessibility in mind, that’s good work to make Linux systems, and KDE Plasma, accessible to another 35 million people. Thank you Wrishiraj.