The state of WordPress in Indian languages

Not more than a year ago, thinking of having the entire WordPress dashboard in an Indian language looked like an ambitious dream. Today WordPress is available in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and few more languages.

I have been involved with Indian Polyglots team I am trying to summerize the journey so far, what have we achived and what imporvements we should be looking at.

What I have observed is:

1. Since the last World translation day, the Polyglots team has gain a lot of momentum.

2. Local having local meetup for the translation hackathon worked exceptionally well.

3. Not many contributers have increased after the initial bump.

4. User testing hasn’t taken place for any language as far as I know. .

5. No Indian language seems to have a complete and well defined glossary yet.

6. For all the Indian languages, concentration had always been in the core project only, we collectively failed to realise that a local language experience cannot be delivered without atleast having the most popular themes and plugins translated.

7. The adaptation rate for the languages have been poor. Usability seems to be the reason.

Here is a user testing I had performed along with a friend {link}

What are the reasons I am not using WordPress in my mother tongue yet?

1. The translation are in a little too bookish language, it’s too formal, not the kind of Marathi we speak in general. This causes a discomfort using our own language when compared to English.

2. Even if I decide to use the dashboard in Marathi, there are few plugins and themes that will maintain the language consistently without switching to English every once in a while… Very few themes are plugins have been translated so far.

3. We might also have to consider that, the users who would typically want to use WordPress in these language arent the once who are involved with the Polyglots team yet. We collectively need to find ways to involve the target audiance.

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