I’m looking for volunteers who are native speakers of various languages to translate articles from Joel on Software.

You don’t have to translate everything—every contribution helps. Even if you only want to translate a single article into a single language, that will be helpful. I keep it all indexed on my site by language.

If you are fluent in another language but don’t have time to translate, maybe you’d be willing to copy edit. To insure high quality I try to have every translated article copy edited by at least one other fluent speaker.

Which Articles Should I Translate?

Whichever you want! The complete list of articles can be found here.

If we can get only one article translated into a given language, my preference would be to do The Joel Test first, but, hey, you’re volunteering, so it’s really up to you. Volunteer for as little or as much as you have time for.

Is Bork Bork Bork a Language?

Uh, no.

How about Klingon?

Yes, I suppose you could translate Joel on Software to Klingon if you want.

Any Guidelines?

To insure high quality translations here are some guidelines.

  • For each article you translate, please also translate the teaser paragraph which appears in the Joel on Software archive.
  • Joel on Software articles are world-famous for highly idiomatic English, humour, and some pretty specific American cultural references. Make sure you know what you’re doing when you translate these. If you’re not sure what I mean by a particular idiom ask me and I’ll explain it.
  • Preserve all links, pictures, etc. as is.
  • Submit your translations in HTML format without any page formatting. If at all possible, please use UTF-8 encoding. Please don’t use Word since that adds a lot of messy formatting codes that we have to work very hard to remove.
  • Don’t have to resubmit the pictures, unless the picture contains English text which you have translated.
  • When I receive your translation, I will send it to a volunteer copy editor who may make some changes. Every article will be copy edited before it is posted.
  • All articles will be credited as written by Joel Spolsky and will have your name as translator wherever they are published. If you are translating to a Latin-alphabet language, please spell my name the same way as it is spelled in English. In non-Latin alphabets, please transliterate as closely as possible. Some languages have native ways to say “Joel” because it is a biblical name; spell it the way it appears in the old testament, e.g. Joël in French.
  • Please ask me for permission if you want to publish your translation elsewhere. Usually I am happy to grant permission to translators to publish their own translation elsewhere, but please ask first.

How do I submit a translation?

When you have perfected your translation, email it to me. I will usually only accept the first translation submitted for each language.

How can I volunteer to copy edit?

Copy editors review someone else’s translation and improve it. Just email me and let me know that you are available to copy edit. As soon as translations are available for your langauge that need to be edited, I’ll let you know.