20 February 2017 Last updated on 30 April 2017

Beginning February 20th, 2017 Akeeba Ltd will no longer offer “official” translations to our software. The only language files we will ship are the English (Great Britain) a.k.a. en-GB. The reason is the quality of the volunteer translations and the cost for hosting the language projects. Existing translations can still be downloaded but will no longer be updated. Please keep reading for more details.

The translations to Akeeba Ltd’s software are discontinued since February 20th, 2017. The main reasons are the inconsistency and bad quality of most translations and the prohibitive cost to keep providing them, even at this state.

Why discontinue the translations now?

The volunteer nature of translations means that the translators are free to come and go at any time. As it happens, most of the languages were very partially translated where it matters most: the main component backend and frontend files. With most languages being at less than 60% translated into these key areas it was impossible to use the software without a good understanding of English. In the case of Akeeba Ticket System it also seems that nobody noticed that for the last year the translations had not been updated at all. Overall, very few translations were usable to begin with and very few people were noticing.

Up until now we were using the free tier on Transifex, nominally for Open Source projects, to host our translation projects. However, as we were told in a call last Friday, this actually meant to have been for free of charge software, not Open Source. They did ask us to remove as many unused languages as possible and consider buying a paid tier. After removing all languages that were below 70% translated in the key areas we are still left with a lot of translation content. So much, in fact that it would cost anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000 a year to host on Transifex or CrowdIn. In comparison, we pay $240 a year on GitHub to host five times as many projects and fifty times as much content.

While the quality of the translations made continuing offering them problematic, the cost and uncertainty surrounding it put the final nail in the coffin. The only reasonable decision is to discontinue providing translations.

Why not…?

Discontinuing translations was not an easy decision to make. It was, however, the only logical one. It came after a lot of consideration of alternatives and their impact to our users and our business process. None was found to be viable. In the original version of this announcement we had a long list of what we thought of and why it wouldn't work. We ultimately decided not to bore you with the details and just leave it at that: it wouldn't work.

It's all right if you don't believe us. The language files are themselves Open Source, licensed under the same GPLv3 license as the rest of the software. See further down for the terms of providing translations yourself.

PS: Please, pretty please, don't even bother asking why not have paid translations or [insert another idea here] in a mail / ticket / whatever. Unless you have a 100% free translation management service which supports Joomla language INI files and has an API which allows automation, in which case we're interested, but please DON'T tell us to use Transifex or CrowdIn, thank you very much...

Where do I find the existing translations?

Here’s the list of the existing translations as of February 20th, 2017.

Please note that no further updates will be issued. These files may go away any time after January 1st, 2018.

What should I do if I want to offer translations to my language?

Feel free to create and maintain your own unofficial language packs. You can give them to your clients or make them generally available. However, there are two licensing conditions which must be met.

Use the GPLv3 license. The language files are copyrighted and licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 3 of the license or, at your option, any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. That’s the same license as the rest of our software. You will own the copyright of your translations but they must be made available under the same license, per the terms of license, since they are a derivative work of our original.

Indicate it’s unofficial. You must make it clear that your translation is unofficial. We request that you append “(unofficial)” to the name of your language package. Moreover, we request that the language pack description and all of the material pertaining to the language pack contain the text “These translations are not affiliated with or endorsed by Akeeba Ltd.”. You may translate this text to the language of the language pack.