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This article is a basic guide to translating content on MDN, including both the mechanics of translation work and tips on the proper way to handle various types of content.

Starting a new page translation

When you come across a page you'd like to translate into your language, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Languages icon () to open the Languages menu, and click Add a Translation. The Select Languages page appears.
  2. Click the language that you want to translate the page into. The Translating Article view opens with the original language text displayed on the left side of the view.
  3. Under Translate Description, you can translate the title and, optionally, the slug into the target language. The slug is the last part of the URL of a page (for example, "Translating_pages" for this article.) Some language communities do not translate the slug, keeping the same slug as English. Compare with other articles in your language to determine the common practice. You can click the minus sign next to Translate Description to hide this information when you are done with it, to make more room for the Translate Content section.
  4. Under Translate Content, translate the body of the page.
  5. Fill at least one tag for the page
  6. Click Save Changes when you are done.
Note: The user interface elements of the Translating Article view are initially shown in English. On subsequent visits to translate a particular article, the UI is shown in the appropriate language if a localization of MDN is available for that language. The MDN user interface can be localized using Pontoon. See Localizing with Pontoon for details on how to use this tool.

Editing a translated page

  • On a translated page, click the Edit button (sometimes labeled in the target language). The Translating Article view opens.

If the English version has been changed since the translation was last updated, the Translating Article view shows a source-level "diff" of the changes in the English version. This helps you see what needs to be updated in the translation.

Tagging translations

It's important that each page is tagged with at least one tag. Even if this is translation. In general, using the same tags as the original article is a good idea.

Some tags are used for search filters, or as conventions between contributors. They should not be translated. To know these tags, read the tagging standards. You are free to create translated tags to group content if this is not covered by one of the standards tags.

Tips for new localizers

If you're new to localizing on MDN, here are some suggestions:

  • Articles in the Glossary are great for newcomers to translate, because they're short and simple.
  • Articles that are tagged "l10n:priority" are considered high-priority to translate.
  • If you see text between double-curly-braces, like {{some-text("more text")}}, leave it untranslated in the article, and don't change the punctuation characters. This is a macro, which probably creates a structure on the page, or does something else useful. You might see untranslated text that is generated by a macro; don't worry about it until you gain more experience with MDN. (Changing this text requires special privileges because macros can be very powerful.) If you're curious, look at the Commonly-used macros to see the kinds of things that macros do.
  • Check the Localization projects page to find out more about localization for your locale.


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 Last updated by: Sheppy,