Multi-lingual documentation?

westis's picture

Can the Community Media documentation be translated to other languages? Once the Comminuty Media theme is ready for its first official release I'm thinking of maybe translating some documentation to Swedish, for other Swedish channels to use Drupal and Community Media.


translate away

synchlayer's picture

That sounds excellent @westis, go right ahead.

All documentation on is -I believe - automatically given a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license and is thus available for translation as long as the original author(s) are credited.

@synchlayer: Thanks! How is

westis's picture

@synchlayer: Thanks! How is it done? Do I need to create new pages, or can there be links to multiple language versions from each page?

this page

synchlayer's picture

Translate Drupal to your Language seems to be the most current resource for translating

Yeah, although that seems to

westis's picture

Yeah, although that seems to be more about translating modules and core than documentation. I was hoping there was an easy way to translate documentation, where all translations could be accessed from the same page. Now it seems that an English and a Swedish version of the Community Media documentation, for example, would be two separate "projects"?

Sorry, just saw this

jhodgdon's picture

Sorry, I just noticed this post... We don't host documentation in languages other than English (currently, anyway) on If you want to write documentation in another language, the thing to do would be to put it on drupal.* (where * = the suffix for the language site in your language).

We've already tried hosting

kreynen's picture

We've already tried hosting documentation on another site other sites several times. It never works. Originally I pushed for that because only people who knew a special handshake could edit pages on Unfortunately it was only after learning the handshake did someone tell you that you also need to memorize an ancient chant before you could add images to a page. Now everyone can edit, add images, and even discuss the documentation. Yeah!

I never considered translations. Sorry.

These drupal.* sites are a mess. Doing some spot checking with Google Translate, they also seem far from usable versions of documentation.

These drupal.* sites don't have any connection to so anyone working on the translation would have no indication that the original english version was updated. You can't log in with your username/pass. All of the images would have to be copied and re-uploaded.

It's a shame we've developed such such an advanced process for translating modules and are still so far from having translated nodes hosted on, but with the limited resources we have I suggest we take advantage what IS available from

Since the swedish users would likely only be using select modules, one option is to periodically take the existing English documentation and embed that into the modules where it can be translated using

This would allow us to follow a pretty simple workflow...

  • People involved in development continue updating dev version of the modules the same way we always have
  • Before tagging a release, double check the english version of the documentation
  • Make any updates necessary on
  • Follow the yet to be defined process* for embedding that documentation into the module
  • Commit that update and tag the release
  • Then the group translating the documentation to swedish could update the documentation strings (as well as the UI stings) using the module localization process

*I'd like to look at as part of the process of updating embedded documentation. @Itangalo already has a potential feature for...

It would be really nice if there was a way to fetch the external help pages and store locally cached copies. Especially if it was possible to change these and have documentation modified to fit the present site.

That sounds really similar to what we were doing with in D6. We're already pulling localized Creative Commons license descriptions based on the jurisdictions the user selects. That only works with CC because we can get the info for any supported language from the same location. With dozens of drupal.* sites with no common structure, trying to create cached copies of documentation in the language of the site would be impossible.

Instead, I'd like to float the idea of writing a drush extension to work with externalhelp. This could make update the documentation as easy as typing something like drush updoc cm_slideshow before git push.

Obviously this is FAR more complicated than the i18n translate tab @westis was hoping for, but I'd rather but effort into that then go back to hosting documentation somewhere other than again.


jhodgdon's picture

I'm sorry that you have found that the language communities around Drupal have disorganized web sites. There is a LOT of (English) documentation at, and I am not surprised that the translations are not accurate -- how could anyone keep up with it? But we don't plan to add translations to at this time. Sorry.

We do have plans to build a separate multi-lingual, carefully managed documentation system:
The first phase should be done at the end of the summer, and will go on or but I don't know when the multi-lingual bit will be added. That is probably too far in the future for you right now.

You are right: if you can get your documentation into your base module's text, you can use to manage it. That is probably your best option for now.

@jhodgdon Didn't mean for

kreynen's picture

@jhodgdon Didn't mean for that to come off as criticism of what's already been accomplished on The tools available now are FAR better than where things were at even 2-3 years ago.

Reading, that seems like it will only apply to "Official/Curated Documentation".

This group of community media organizations is focussed on documenting the layers of Drupal and CiviCRM (core/contrib/cm specific contrib) in a specific use case while also creating/maintaining Easy, Moderate, and Difficult Starter Kits.

Just confirming that even when docs/ is launched, that won't be available for distribution specific documentation like

Distributions are projects...

jhodgdon's picture

The intention of the official/curated documentation is that each project on (Drupal Core, Documentation, plus every module, theme, and distribution/install profile) will have a space to create its own "official" documentation. We plan to put the official module help for core modules in the Drupal Core space, and an official "how to build a site in Drupal", which would include both core and contrib modules in the future) in the Documentation space (and perhaps there will be more guides available in the future too).

So if this documentation pertains to a particular distribution that is available on (and it looks like it is), it will have a space in the curated docs.

And don't worry, my skin is pretty thick as far as criticism of the tools we have on, especially since I didn't invent the vast majority of them. I'm just doing what I can to improve them while I'm at the helm of the Docs Team. :)

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