Today we would like to tell you about a client that is especially dear to us. Since 2011 Plan Finland has been using Get Localization to coordinate their voluntary translation work. We actually started our relationship by offering them a slightly different service, but soon discovered together with the folks at Plan that the best solution for them is to use Get Localization to coordinate all translation activities of their volunteer translators.
But enough from me, now I’ll give the word to Plan Finland’s Lotta Kallio:
Q1. Tell us about Plan!
Plan is an international development organization promoting children’s rights. Plan has been operating in Finland since 1998. Plan International was founded in 1937. Today, around 30,000 people in Finland support our work. Plan is the largest organization practicing child sponsorship in Finland. Plan has no religious or political affiliations. Plan International works in 69 countries and runs development programs in 50 countries. There are fundraising national offices in 22 countries. In Plan’s world, human rights are respected and children realize their full potential as members of society. In addition to development projects and child sponsorship in developing countries, we also work on a national level in Finland, focus on corporate partnerships, advocacy work and communication.
Q2. Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Lotta Kallio and I work as a Sponsorship communications coordinator here at Plan Finland. I oversee the correspondence between our Finnish sponsors and sponsored children around the world. I also coordinate our office and translation volunteer workers.
Q3. How are you using Get Localization?
I’ve found that Get Localization is a very effective way to coordinate translation work to our volunteers. Documents are mainly Plan’s reports of sponsored children’s communities, overviews, annual reports, area updates etc. and the translation languages are English and Finnish at the moment. Get Localization provides a great way for our volunteers to do work from home, it’s easy to access and user friendly. Also, the translation memory is a great feature when the documents have similarities in structure. Loading the documents is simple to and from the program.
Q4. Do you have translation tips or best practices you would like to share with other NGOs?
Our volunteers have been very pleased with this program. Because the documents are “cut” in smaller fragments, a person can translate a few lines at the time so there’s no pressure of having to translate a whole document in a certain timeframe. I’ve found that this encourages our volunteers to do more translation work than via e-mail.
We want to thank Lotta for taking the time to inform our readers about Plan and their experiences with Get Localization! It’s our pleasure to help.
To all our readers, please check out the Plan website. Maybe it could be something for you too? If you want to know about other ways the localization and translation industry is giving back to society, you can check out Translators Without Borders.
We have recently added support for the Nokia Java SDK, which is an Eclipse based IDE for Java ME development. This post covers basics on how to get started with localizing your Java ME apps for multiple languages by using the Get Localization Sync plug-in and Nokia Java SDK.
If you are not aware of the concept of internalization or I18n, please refer to our earlier blog post Software Internalization for Dummies. Java ME is one of those frameworks that are shipped without a standard internalization framework. Fortunately Nokia provides internalization support within their SDK and it’s easy to set up.
When you create a new project, you have an option to ‘Enable Localization Support’ (see screenshot below). This feature allows you to localize your application strings easily.
TIP: If you already have a project and/or an existing app, you can enable the localization support by right-clicking your project and selecting ‘Mobile Tools for Java’ ⇒ ‘Enable Localization’.
So now you have everything set up, let’s see what the SDK created for us:
As you can see, there’s now two new files inside the package that we defined in the previous step.
L10nConstants.java – This is a generated Java file and will contain all the metadata of your localization data.
L10nResources.java– This is a utility class for loading the strings inside your UI.
Then we got the new editor called Localization Data. This editor is used to manage all your application strings. First you need to add your first ‘locale’ i.e. the language your application will be translated from. We recommend writing the initial version in English, as it’s easier to find translators to translate from English than other languages. Click the ‘Add locale’ button and it will add automatically en-US language for you. Make sure to check ‘Default locale’ on for this language (you can find this option to the right). You can also modify the language and country code here if you want but it’s not necessary if your app is in English.
Next you can add your first entry. Entry is a string you are using in your application, let’s say you have a ListBox element and you are setting a title for it like this:
listBox.setTitle("My Awesome App");
Now, what you want is to add this very same text as an entry to the localization file. Click ‘Add entry’ button in Localization Data editor and define key for this entry e.g. LISTBOX_TITLE and then the value ‘My Awesome App”‘ Hit save and now a few things happened:
1. Inside the res folder you can find a file called messages_en-US.properties. This is a master file which will be translated into another languages.
2. L10nConstants.java was generated and updated.
This means that you can now modify your code to use these new classes.
First of all, you need an instance of L10nResources, for example:
L10nResources res = L10nResources.getL10nResources(null);
Given parameter is null here but you could also define language code here e.g. “en-US” or “fi-FI”. It’s good for testing purposes so you don’t have to change e.g. your emulator language. Giving null means that it will try to use the same language the device is currently using.
Now we can actually load the string from resources instead of hardcoding it:
That’s it. Now the text is always loaded from resource files based on the phone language.
That was easy. Now it’s time to start translating your app and for that Get Localization is the perfect companion. It is a browser based service that will help you manage the files, translate them and even let you to manage your own translators if you wish. This part assumes that you are familiar with Get Localization already. If not, then please visit the frontpage, take a tour or if you have questions, create a support ticket in the ticketing system and someone will get back to you ASAP.
Configuring the Get Localization Sync Plug-In
First you need to configure your Get Localization Sync plugin. I hope you already installed it but if not, please refer to the section ‘Getting started: Install everything’. Now in Package Explorer, right-click your project name e.g. MyApp in Screenshot #2 and select ‘Properties’. Then find Get Localization Sync leaf in your properties and you should see the below screen:
Default Platform – Platform you are developing on. IMPORTANT: You should choose “Java Properties (UTF-8)”
Pull file filter allows you to filter which files you wish to pull to your Eclipse project. For example just pull all the .properties files, you can use filter:
Replace rules can be used to alter file names when they’re pulled to project. Typically it’s not necessary but you can e.g. rename language codes in files in case they happen to be wrong.
Replace rules can be imported and exported so if you manage to do proper rules, please do share them with us. We’re happy to add them to our library.
Sending Files to Translation
Simply right-click the file in the res folder called messages_en-US.properties, then select ‘Get Localization Sync’ ⇒ ‘Send to translation’.
Syncing Translations Back to Project
When the files have been translated, you can sync them easily back to your project. Right-click ‘res’ folder and select ‘Get Localization Sync’ ⇒ ‘Sync translations to this folder’ and that is it.
Localizing Your Other Data
Metadata such as Store Description
It’s highly recommended to localize your store description and other meta data. You can add multiple files to Get Localization so it’s easiest to add the store description e.g. as a plain text file. You can do this via browser on Get Localization project (Files tab) or via the plug-in.
Dates and Times
Java ME does provide some help to localize dates and times. What you want to do is to provide them both in the same format based on user settings. These settings are already configured in the device and accessing them is easy.
You can get currently used date format using following piece of code:
String format = System.getProperty("com.nokia.mid.dateformat");
This method returns for example these values with following settings:
Gregorian calendar date in little endian format: dd-MM-yyyy
Gregorian calendar date in big endian format: yyyy/MM/dd
Gregorian calendar date in big endian format: yyyy-MM-dd
Note that the date separator can be often changed from the phone settings.
In a similar way you can also get the time format which the Nokia Series 40 or Asha device is configured to use.