Translation Style Guide
WordPress.com is being translated into over 80 languages. Most of the translation is being done by our rockstar volunteers (thank you!).
This style guide is a resource for translators, to make the localized WordPress.com experience just as great as the English one. See also the Translation Resources for language-specific style guides, glossaries, and other aids. We also strive to make our style consistent with that of WordPress.
WordPress.com Writing Style
We aspire to the following writing and translation principles:
Easy to understand. WordPress.com translations should be easy to read and understand, even for non-technical users. Strive for friendliness, clarity, brevity, and active voice.
Make it your own. The tone should reflect that of the original English writing. Focus on conveying the meaning and sentiment of the English, rather than providing a word-for-word translation. Some jokes and references might not work for all countries — in this case, you might want to omit or replace them with what will make sense for your locale. For example, we frequently use informal language like “Howdy,” a southern American English colloquial greeting. We use “Thanks for Flying with Us” in a few places, a casual and welcoming reference to how airlines often thank their passengers. The default WordPress install includes lyrics from “Hello Dolly,” a classic of American musical theater.
Keep it modern. Ensure that you are up to date with the latest online and linguistic developments. Use modern terms and phrases and avoid anything that could be seen as old-fashioned.
Brand, Upgrade, and Feature Names
WordPress: WordPress is always written as “WordPress” and should not be translated or transliterated. WordPress.com also remains WordPress.com (do not translate). WordPress and WordPress.com have different meanings.
WordPress.com theme names (e.g. Twenty Fourteen) are not to be translated.
WordPress makes date display translatable using PHP date formats. You may come across date references when translating user interface strings. See below for examples of converted dates:
Y/m/d g:i:s A is converted to
2014/01/15 6:20:40 PM
j F, Y @ G:i:s is converted to
15 January, 2014 @ 18:20:40
When translating for your locale, move the parameters and add text as needed to confirm with the date format for your target language. Occasionally, replacing parameters (e.g. to 24-hour format with 12-hour format) will be appropriate for the locale.
WordPress.com .po files use UTF-8 encoding. Using Unicode characters is acceptable, if the character is part of the target language (for example, “é” in “Sécurité”). For symbols (arrows, quotes, dashes), both are acceptable: either HTML symbol entities (such as
”) or direct input of arrows, quotation marks etc from the locale-specific keyboard.
Translated .po files need to be in Unicode/UTF-8 format without BOM (need to be checked before importing back into WordPress).
HTML and Variables
HTML code/entities and variables (placeholders such as
%d, etc.) can be moved around within a string but should not be translated or modified. Some placeholders include English words, such as
%(days)d, and the entire placeholder (including the English word) should be kept intact and not translated. Rare exceptions are noted in locale-specific translation guides as applicable.