Lingua Editors Guide
From Global Voices Wiki
You will find in this document instructions for all the major activities involved in setting up and running a Global Voices Lingua translation site.
For editors who would rather a video please watch [this 20 minute screencast that explains everything], or keep reading if you are a fast reader.
For instructions about being a translator for Global Voices, and how to post translations, see Lingua Translators Guide.
You should also check out the GV Shortcodes article on the wiki. It has documentation about the various WordPress [shortcodes] you can use on GV sites to insert things into posts or widgets.
Welcome to your new Lingua site!
If you are a new editor, thank you very much for joining Global Voices Lingua Project and starting a site in your language. In this wiki, you will find instructions about how to get started and running a Global Voices Lingua translation site.
About this guide
Whenever you need to go to a specific part of the WordPress admin it will be indicated in the following format: SECTION > PAGE. This means that if, for example, you are told to go to Posts > Categories it means you should log into the backend of your site (http://xx.globalvoicesonline.org/wp-admin/ where xx is your language code) and look for the page called Categories in the Posts section of the sidebar.
If you want to start translating posts right away that's great! Get some content in there so you can see how it looks when you set up the site, but before you start showing off and promoting the site please take some time to set it up properly to be localized and organized. These tasks are outlined below but here is a quick checklist:
- Translate the theme in Appearance > Theme Translator
- Translate the category labels in Posts > Categories.
- Set up some widgets in the theme's sidebars in Appearance > Widgets.
- Translate some of the core pages (about, contributor listing, contact)
- Add users for other volunteers
Translating the theme
Translating the Global Voices theme (the frontend of the site that visitors see) is the first thing you should do. Having all of the buttons and labels in your language will make the site seem professional and will make it easier to use for your readers who don't know English.
Theme translation for Global Voices is only accessible to administrators. You can find it in the admin section of the site in the Appearance > Theme Translator page.
In that page you'll find a long list of short strings that need to be translated. These are used mostly independently but often in combination with other text like post titles, category names and other translated strings. There are some extra guidelines and instructions at the top of the Theme Translator page, please read them carefully before starting.
Go through each string and add in the translation into your language. As you translate, read the attached notes about the strings and consider how the text will appear on the site. You can save any time and if anything goes wrong there are automatic backups created. Once you have translated the strings you should visit the homepage and other parts of the site to see how your translations look and ensure that everything makes sense.
You can change the text as much as you want and it is not necessary that all strings be translated word-for-word. The important thing is that the site make sense and be easy to use, so if the assumptions based on English make it impossible to translate a given string then try to think creatively of what text could be put in that same space to achieve the same effect.
Translating Category Labels
Global Voices uses a detailed taxonomy with hundreds of categories to carefully sort our content and make it easy to find information about a specific place or topic. In your Lingua site the labels of our categories need to be translated into your language so that your visitors will be able to sort the content in just as much detail without knowing English.
To translate the categories on your Lingua site you should go to the category admin page in Posts > Categories. This will show you a list of all the categories on the site. For each one you need to edit the category and change its Name only.
Note: Each category has both a Name and a Slug that you will see in English when you edit it. Your users will only see the Name and not the Slug, and we use the slugs as a standard in the translation system so it is important that you do not edit or translate the category slugs at all. Doing so will likely break the automatic category importer during the translation process.
Translating NEW Categories
As the GV sites grow there are sometimes new categories that need to be added. We use a system that automatically adds new categories to all sites simultaneously, but because the new category will be in English they need to be translated.
To simplify the process of finding and translating new categories you can use the Posts > GV New Categories admin page. It lists all the recently added categories with their original English names as well as their "Current name". Just look down the list of "Current Names" to see which categories need to be translated and use the 'edit' links to change their labels.
Setting up the date format
Displaying dates in different languages is tricky to get right. In the GV theme we have a special system that uses the built-in WordPress date settings but with a custom code that activates a set of translated month names from the Theme Translator.
The main Date Format setting is on the page Settings > General. There you can choose one of the default configurations or define your own 'Custom' date format. This setting is complicated because it uses the PHP date strings as explained in the link inside the setting.
In GV the trick is to use the code _m in the string format where you want it to show the month name. So normally if you set it to "F j, Y" the dates would look like April 25, 2010. Because of our special system if you wanted 'April' to be translated you would use _m j, Y instead.
Most Lingua sites will probably find that day month year is the cleanest format. If you're not sure try using the following date format and see if it works for your language:
j _m Y
If you have trouble with this please contact the site administrator and they can help you get a good format that works in your language.
You can control the contents of your site's sidebar by adding "widgets" into it using the WordPress admin panel. Go to Appearance > Widgets
All widgets added to Global Voices sites need a title! This is not a normal requirement with WordPress widgets but our theme depends on each widget having a title. So if you add text widgets please make sure they have a title. Widgets without titles break the sidebar so if the sidebar is ever acting crazy check that all your widgets have titles.
There are several gv-specific widgets that you can try out, you should definitely have the 'recent comments' and 'random users' widgets somewhere in your sidebar.
If you've never used WordPress widgets before you might want to watch this video at wordpress.tv about how they work.
Note: When editing widgets please read the titles and descriptions of each sidebar carefully, they explain how the sidebar will work, where it will show up and what to expect.
Global Voices Lingua and the GV theme have several very particular settings that you can configure to make your site work just right. Many are not essential but it is a good idea to look through all the settings on the Settings > GV Settings page of the admin and change anything that applies to you.
The settings page is fairly self-explanatory so please read all text as you go through the page and you should understand what each setting does.
A large part of the settings page is devoted to specifying different pages depending on their roles. See the section on pages below for details about adding new pages.
It is in GV-Settings that you may choose to show the short Updates/Roundups in a separate column, separately from the main content. Check the Content Segregation / Segregate Links box.
It takes all of the Updates (roundups, the short posts with no excerpts) out of the main content column of your site and move them into the sidebar. This gives them their own special space and clears up the main column for long posts. This happens on the homepage and on category pages, where the Updates replace the "Promo Sidebar" widgets that are normally there. If you want some widgets to always show above the Updates even on the homepage you can add them to the "Omnipresent Sidebar Top"
If you don't have a lot of Updates/Roundups and you like how they look mixed in with the other posts leave this off. If you have a lot and want theme seperate turn it on. It's totally optional and some sites use it while others don't. It's not new but maybe it's new to you so consider if you want it and contact Jeremy/Paula/Gohary if you have questions about it.
Tweak number of updates showing in sidebar
If you choose to "Segregate Updates" you can also control how many links are shown in "Post count modifier", just below the "Segregate Updates" setting, so that both columns are shown evenly on the homepage. First check he number of posts shown in the main content column, which is controlled by WP's "Blog pages show at most" option in Settings > Reading. Going back to "Post count modifier", if you set it to a negative number then that many less Updates will show the same as the number of posts in the main content column.
So if you have the "Blog pages show at most" option set to 10 and the "Post count modifier" option set to "-2" then only 8 updates will show.
Adding new users
Once your site is set up as detailed above you can start adding user accounts for people who want to translate for you. As the site administrator you have full access to add whoever you want in Users > Add New.
Just fill out the form with the required information and have the details emailed to the user. Whereas for Global Voices in English volunteer real names are required as the login details to open an account, each Lingua site has been given freedom to develop their own policies towards the use of real names or nicknames.
You can also skip the automatic email and instead send a personal email to your new user with their username and password included. Either way, when you sign a new user up please be sure to send them a link to the Lingua Translators Guide here on the wiki so they know how to get started.
ROLES: Each new user you add is assigned a role on the Users > Add new screen. Please consider which role is best for each user, depending on their skills and how much you trust them.
- Contributor - Can create new posts but not publish them. Perfect for new users who's posts need to be looked over by an editor before being published.
- Author - Can create and publish their own posts, but cannot edit posts created by other users. Give this to users who you trust to publish their own work.
- Editor - Can edit any post on the site, as well as pages. Give this role to people helping you manage the site or deeply trusted contributors.
- Administrator - Has all powers. Only the site's managing editor should be administrator.
Translating core pages
Most of the time you will be translating the actual content of Global Voices: Posts, which we also call 'stories'. These are logged in time and are about specific topics. GV sites (like all WordPress sites) also have Pages, documents that are always there and explain what the site is about, how to get involved etc. Lingua sites are allowed to create new pages about their site if they want, and pages are what is shown in the menu at the top of the site.
To make your site understandable to readers we recommend translating a few of the most important pages from Global Voices English right from the start. Taking the time to translate these pages will make your site look serious and make it easy for people to grasp Global Voices, which is pretty complex in a lot of ways.
If you have a brand new lingua site the main pages should already be loaded into your site and you can translate them by going to Pages > Edit and editing each page's content to be in your language.
If you want to add translated pages to your existing Lingua site you can create a new page and use the normal post-translation system to import the English page and translate it like you would a post.
Here are some pages we recommend translating. You can also see what special pages are important to translate by going to the Page Settings section of the Settings > GV Settings page, where you can define the page that should be used for specific purposes:
- About Global Voices
- About Lingua
- Manifesto – Please note that Global Voices Manifesto has already been translated into many languages as you will see in the page, so you can copy it from the English site. Please keep the same text.
Note: Some of the pages involve special WordPress [shortcodes], tags you insert into the content that get replaced with more complicated content, for example a list of users with avatars or a list of lingua sites. If you encounter a shortcode and don't know how it works please check the GV Shortcodes wiki page to see how that shortcode can be used.
User Listing Page with [gvuserlist]
On GV we have a special shortcode [gvuserlist] which, when placed in a page or post, is replaced on viewing with a full list of authors from the current site, including their avatars, names, links to their profiles and their RSS feeds.
To create a user listing page just go to Pages > Add new and create a new page with an appropriate title, then add in the shortcode:
That will use the default behavior, which shows all users with their full info (including bio text). You can use attributes inside the shortcode to be more specific, for example this shortcode:
[gvuserlist type="summary" user_filter="active=no"]
This would specify that we want the 'summary' format which means no bio and that we want to show only users who are active (posted in last 90 days) and not others.
You can see the full documentation of the [gvuserlist] shortcode on the GV Shortcodes page.
Contact Pages with Contact Form 7 Plugin
Every website needs a contact page, a link visitors can use to communicate with the site manager without leaving a comment. On Lingua sites a contact page is especially important because people who want to volunteer can use it to get in touch with you (there is no registration button).
On Global Voices we use the Contact Form 7 WordPress plugin to manage our contact forms. The settings for the plugin are in the sidebar section called Contact.
- Go to Contact > Edit.
- Use the Add new link at the top to create a new contact form.
- In the popup window look for your language in the dropdown and choose it if its there. If not you can start with the default English and edit the settings after.
This will create the outline of your contact form. Now its time to configure it:
- Change the title at the top to something that makes sense like "Contact Us".
- Look through the Form section HTML and translate any of the labels if necessary.
- Do not translate the form shortcodes like [your-name] and [your-email]! These are used by the system to construct the form. Anything between square brackets [...] will not be shown to users and should stay in english.
- Look through the Mail section and make sure it has your email address.
- Expand the Messages section and translate all messages into your language so that users get localized errors and success messages when using the form.
- Use the Save button at the bottom of the window to save your contact form.
Now there is one more thing to do: Add the form to a page:
- At the top of the contact form settings page there should be a brown section with a shortcode, something like [contact-form 2 "Contact Us"].
- As instructed above that code, copy the shortcode.
- Create a new page using Pages > Add New.
- Paste the shortcode into the page content and save the page with a useful title.
That's it! Your contact form should show on the new page when you look at it on the frontend (in the editor it will just show the [shortcode]).
Application Form page with Google Docs
Many Lingua sites find that volunteers are more likely to get in touch if there is a detailed application form rather than a basic contact form, so despite the extra effort it might be worth creating one for your site.
TODO: Explain process of creating the form. Can there be a general version that doesn't need to be shared?
There is a simple system for embedding Translator, author and editor badges (example) into a page so that your contributors can copy and paste the HTML for them onto their own sites. Just add the following code into a page:
Good places to have these badges are on a "Help us translate" page or anywhere else that makes sense. You can use it more than once if you want.
You can also embed the HTML for a general site badge with the following code:
Email Subscription Page
Another one of the useful pages to set up and define in the Page Settings section of the Settings > GV Settings page is a 'subscribe' page. This page should include instructions on how people can subscribe by email to your site, as well as a reference to your RSS feed and any social networks that regularly update with content from the site. You can see an example on the GV English subscribe page.
The mailing list solution we use on GV English is not available to all Lingua sites because it is not multilingual, but you can set up email updates using services like Feedburner, then paste the form into the "subscribe" post.
Along with the Feedburner subscribe form, your subscription page should explain what the mailing list is (i.e. that it emails each new post on the blog). Giving a sense of how much email the list will generate is also a good idea. You may also want to explain the Feedburner subscribe process a bit so people aren't surprised when they're redirected away from your main site.
TODO: Instructions for setting up a feedburner mailing list.
Feeds Page with [gvrsslist]
The [gvrsslist] shortcode can be used to show an automated listing of RSS feeds for a type of categories (like countries or topics). It is used on the English GV site's "Feeds" page.
Creating an RSS feeds page only makes sense if most of the categories on your site have regular updates. On the English GV site the main RSS is hard to read because there is too much content, but on many Lingua sites this isn't really a problem. Only well-established Lingua sites with lots of posts each day should use the [gvrsslist] tools.
To get an RSS listing use the import tool to translate the the English GV site's "Feeds" page, removing all special feed listings and just keeping the [gvrsslist] sections.
You can read about [gvrsslist] and its parameters on the GV Shortcodes wiki page.
Note: If you do create a feeds page remember to set it as the 'feeds page' in the Page Settings section of the Settings > GV Settings page.
Special Coverage Pages
SCP are created to provide a centralised resource on key topics. Topics can be related to major news stories or just important issues.
Most SCP are currently created first in English on the suggestion of GV authors, editors and managing editors. They are collaborative efforts, with groups of people working together to produce the information required. The responsibility for updating the English pages falls to the managing editors, and to Lingua page editors to do/delegate updates of Lingua translations of the pages.
Eventually, GV hopes decentralised publishing will apply to SCP too, with pages being created in languages other than English. If you do decide to create an SCP in a language other than English, please liaise with your managing editor.
For more information see Special Coverage.
Creating Lingua own pages
If consider relevant, you can create pages on your Lingua site that do not exist in Global Voices in English. Please use this resource sparingly and provide only relevant information. In doubt, please ask the Lingua Director or Multilingue Editor.
You may create a page to advertise volunteering vacancies, such as recruiting page created by Lingua Portuguese team or the Frequently Asked Questions created by the Japanese team. Lingua Italian has a page for their media mentions inspired by, but not necessarily a translation of, its English counterpart
To create a user listing page just go to Pages > Add new and create a new page with an appropriate title, then select the relevant Parent page.
Lingua sites are also encouraged to translate Special Coverage pages.
If you want to change the date of the translated post to an old date, for example when translating breaking news after some time.
To edit the date, click on the edit link next to the Publish immediately just over the Publish button. Choose the date you want then press OK. After finalizing your post press publish. Now your post is published with the new date.
A screenshot is on the right for more details.
See the GV Twitter Template Guide for details on setting up a twitter account for your Lingua site. When you're done don't forget to specify its url in Settings > GV Setttings.
What are Quotes and Quote Categories?
"Quotes" are intended to be used for promotional purposes. Each quote should be part of a "set", for example "fundraising", or "volunteering" so that the quotes can be shown randomly. The "sets" are created using the "quote category" option on each quote post. Each quote should probably only be in one category. Quote categories are not shown on public display of quotes, they are only for editorial use.
All quotes should have a Source Name and preferably also a Source URL (where readers can find the quote in context).
How is the avatar image generated?
The avatar used for the quote source is controlled by the posts's thumbnail in the "GV Post Thumbnail Chooser" box.
How are quotes displayed?
To add the quotes, go to Appearance, widgets, Drag "Text" from the left to the right column. After putting a name to the widget, choose a shortcode from the following, then click save.
Quotes are displayed using the [gvquotes] shortcode, which will be replaced with a quote or set of quotes according to the options you set.
Shows 1 (default count) random (default order) quote from the "fundraising" Quote Category.
[gvquotes category="fundraising" count="3" orderby="date"]
Shows 3 quotes from the "fundraising" Quote Category ordered by most recently published.
[gvquotes category="fundraising" count="999" orderby="date"]
Shows all quotes from the "fundraising" Quote Category ordered by most recently published. This can be used to create a page that lists all the quotes for the public if desired.
Is there a public archive of the quotes?
Currently there is no nicely-styled public-facing listing of quotes, if you need one please use the [gvquotes] shortcode with count="999" inside a page and link to that.
That being said, for translation purposes the archive of all quotes is accessible by going to the URL of the site and adding ?post_type=gv_quotes to the end.
From that screen you can also click on quote categories to see a listing of only quotes in that category
Google Analytics for each Lingua site
We track traffic on all Global Voices websites using Google Analytics.
If you are a Lingua editor, you can ask Lingua management or Tech) for a password to gain access to your traffic stats. You will also be able to compare performance with other Lingua sites.
The following videos on how to Google Analytics are quite good.
GV in English stats
Global Voices in English is set up on a different account, and mostly only the core management team has access. If you have questions, please just ask.
We share traffic stats regularly on the Authors mailing list, but you are always welcome to ask more specific questions about individual posts or regions.