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Non-English as a Source Language

There are cases where English is not a source language such as:

  • The content is written in a different language (Chinese, German, etc.) and needs to be translated into English; then, from this English version to be translated into the target languages;

  • The content is written in a not-ideal “developer” English and needs to be reviewed/polished; then, from this reviewed version to be translated into the target languages.

There are a few possible workflows for such cases.

Working in a single project

Translators working from non-perfect “developer” English or non-English source into English, can use the feature of viewing the source strings in a different language.

Let’s take a look at two examples.

  • Non-English source content: You need to translate from Chinese into English and French.

    Source language - Chinese (China)

    Target /Project languages - English (United States), French (France).



    1. A Chinese-English translator enters the Editor and translates the content from Chinese (China) to English (United States). So you have the Chinese (source) and English files.


    2. Now your French-English translator enters the editor and and sees the file in Chinese (as it was the source language). He/she would need to click on the gear icon, as explained here, choose English from the drop-down menu


    and see the English translation displayed as the main source text (with the initial source text in Chinese still displaying, in case a translator does know Chinese and can double-check with the original source):


    3. Once this is done, you will have all your languages in the project completed:

  • “Developer” English source: You need to translate from non-perfect English into proper English and then into French.

    Source language - English (you’ll need to choose one English locale for the “developer” English, e.g. generic “en” and another locale for the final English, e.g. “en_US”)

    Target /Project languages - English (United States), French (France).


    The steps will be exactly the same as in the example above. Please note: 

    • Make sure to different locales for the two versions of English (plus, a general recommendation to check the target languages locales with other existing projects)

    • When translating from the polished English to French with the help of the “View the source string in a different language”, a translator would need to be careful as to pay attention to the “current” source string (i.e. polished English), rather than the original source string (i.e. developer English) that might not be perfect or even misleading.

Working in different projects

1. Create Project A - for translating from non-English/"developer" English into English.

Source language - Chinese (China) // “developer” English

Target /Project languages - English

Please note, that for the “developer” English case, you would need to choose different English locales: e.g. generic “en” for the “developer” English and “en_US” for the final reviewed English.

2. Download the target files from Project A  - those are your final English files.

3. Upload those files as source files into Project B - the project for translating from English into other target languages.

Source language - English

Target/Project languages - French, German, etc.