Hearts & Minds - Information for Change

Translation Guidelines
Building a Hearts & Minds website in another language

Our goal: To help everyone everywhere in our all-too-small world. (We're not unrealistic; we only save one planet at a time. :)

We have translated parts of our website into 11 languages. Due to limited staff and funds, we are not actively maintaining other languages for now, unless a donor offers to support this activity. The languages we used were Chinese (simplified characters), Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. When we resume this project we'll again seek translators for those languages and for Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (traditional characters), Farsi, Hindi/Urdu (both writing systems), Indonesian, Korean, Polish, Punjabi and other widely spoken languages.

Please let us know if you're interested in any language (including English).

Thanks for your interest in translating portions of our website into your native language. This could help us get very helpful information to millions of people in your country and worldwide. It will also help us make contacts to open Hearts & Minds offices in other nations.

Please let us know any suggestions to improve these instructions. Our goal is to provide simple guidelines to help people do translations more efficiently.

If you're not sure you'll have time to do everything we describe here, your efforts are still valuable and much appreciated. And please let us know if you have any suggestions for recruiting other participants.

Please check with the project manager before you start doing translations, so we can coordinate your work with others.

If you're working with a language we already have, your next step may be suggesting improvements and correcting mistakes in our current translation. The links are on the right hand side of our Home Page.

If you're creating our website's first translation into your language, you'll start by translating our home page - www.change.net.

Please keep me posted when you start this project and let's look at your first few translated web pages, to see if we at Hearts & Minds can suggest any better ways to do anything.

If there's already been translations into your language, one of your first steps will be to make sure all the pages already translated are listed and have links in the Table of Contents for your website. If you find some web pages that were not fully translated, check with the project manager whether they're the priority before translating some of our newer and now more important web pages.

The Table of Contents for your language should  link to every one of our web pages in your language. All links in web pages in your language should link to other web pages in your language, or make clear that clicking on them will link to an English language web page. Ask the project manager to suggest the best way to show this.

The big lightbulb logo in your language's home page should link to the Table of Contents. The lightbulb logos on the top left and lower right of all other web pages in your language should link to your language's home page. Ask the project manager to show you how. Once you do it for one web page, you can just copy and paste it into all the others, even on different folder levels if you're using MicroSoft FrontPage. It automatically corrects the links (but not when you save a file into a different level).

VERY IMPORTANT: Never translate the existing English language web page file into your language. We need to create a new file in the folder for your language web pages.

Also, you cannot just save the English language web page into a different folder. If you do, many links won't work. Instead, there's a special procedure. Please ask the project manager to show you how before translating any new web pages. It involves copying (not cutting) tables from the English version.

In other words, when you save a file onto a different level, the links will not work, photos will not show and the green speckled background on the right will not show, either. If you copy and paste (not cut and paste!!) from one file to another, Front Page corrects the links automatically and they will work.

In general, web pages will be in similar folders so that the structure of the website is similar to the English language version. For example:

If the English version is at www.change.net/poverty/platform.htm the Japanese version would be at www.change.net/jp/poverty/platform.htm. For languages that use roman letters, the folder and file names can be translated too. This might be an example for the same web page in Spanish: www.change.net/pobreza/plataforma.htm

You'll also change the file address at the bottom of the web page accordingly:

This web page and entire website  Copyright: 1997 - 2015  by Hearts and Minds Network, Inc.  http://www.heartsandminds.org/howto/translate.htm - English language webpage online June 5, 2002, latest English changes June 1, 2007, Japanese translation online June 9, 2007

Note that this is one continuous set of text. There are no line breaks.

You never want to have file names with spaces in them, or capital letters. You can rename folders and files with a similar name in your language, but never rename the index file. That name stays the same: index.htm. It's OK - in fact very good - for there to be an index file in many different folders, for example change.net/poverty Browsers automatically look for that file when you don't specify a specific file, so change.net is really change.net/index.htm. This is good because it makes it easier to tell people how to find your language's home page or the main page for a section in your language's web pages.

The English language W:\contact.htm file is not translated in FrontPage. It includes some programming and has to be created by a specialist. You'll add your translation to the file: contact us for translation spreadsheet.xls. Please ask the project manager for more info on this.

Speak to project manager about this: For the links that appear on the right side and on the very bottom of most web pages, you can cut and paste the latest version from this web page into one of your language's web pages. then translate them one time and always cut and paste that into any additional web pages in your language. One exception: the home page does not have these links in that format and has to be done separately.

Translation Tips
We haven't found online, automatic translators useful.

  • If you are working in a web page program such as MS FrontPage or Dreamweaver, start by saving the English language version. This way, you'll keep all the formatting of our English version.
  • If you don't have such programs, no problem. We can use MS Word, Word Pad, Note Pad,  and Corel WordPerfect for Windows, among other programs.
  • For your translation, choose language that is concise, accurate, easy to understand, and inspiring.  The translation can be informal, but without too much "street slang". Words and expressions different from the English version are OK, as long as the overall message is the same. If you want to suggest improvements to the basic message, that's great, but please let us know what you're doing.
  • For the name of the organization at the top of each web page, make it as in this Italian example: Hearts & Minds (Cuori e Menti) with  translation into your language in parentheses
  • Anything you’re not sure of, you can ask us and a native English speaker will help you translate it. (If you're visiting our office, you can circle in pencil on a printout of the English version.)
  • To make accent marks and other foreign language characters, enable your computer to use the keyboard in your language. You may need to install your language's non-Roman characters. There's also an easier, but slower way.
  • For more info on how to work with the links between web pages, see our translation template. You will use that page as the format for most pages in our website. Use our English language home page as the template for the translated home page. There is no need to translate this instructional page you are reading now.
  • Based on the number of pages you are committing to translate, a project manager will work with you to decide which web pages we'll have in your language and which will temporarily remain links to our English version.
  • When you are done, others may work with you to further improve the translation.
  • Translate meta tags (hidden keywords etc. that help search engines list our site)
  • In most cases the file structure will be the same in your translation section as it is in the English language website, just one level deeper. If you don't know what we mean by this, please ask your project manager. You'll also need to change the link on the very bottom of the page, for example: http://www.change.net/global/actnow.htm becomes: http://www.change.net/jp/global/actnow.htm
  • The following must appear both on the home page and the table of contents page, in English and then in your language:

    PLEASE NOTE: This translated website is under construction. Not responsible for any discrepancies from the English language version. Hearts & Minds does not endorse any of the organizations we list.
    We may not have native speakers available to handle e-mail, letters or phone calls. Additional bi-lingual (English- and your language, e.g. Japanese-speaking) volunteers sought.
         All the following links are to English language versions, for now:

    .and make sure the links work :) by viewing in your browser.

After we see how your first one or two web page translations go, you can translate additional web pages. Please start by doing the web pages shown at our translation template.

NOTE: The website addresses (URL’s) www.change.net and www.heartsandminds.org are usable interchangeably - both go to the same website.

Revising a foreign language section of our site
Check with the project director whether your language's web pages have been updated recently. If they haven't, please check all the following in every web page:

  • the home page matches fairly closely the one in English
  • all web pages are in the Table of Contents web page with titles that match the ones of the actual web pages
  • Any major errors corrected in all the other web pages
  • At the bottom, the website address is correct and latest update matches today if you're making additional changes in any web page:

This web page and entire website  Copyright: 1997 - 2015  by Hearts and Minds Network, Inc. 
http://www.heartsandminds.org/howto/translate.htm - online June 5, 2002, latest text changes December 13, 2007

Listing helpful organizations
We want to create listings of the best NGOs (non-governmental organizations) from your country (and other places that speak your language). How-to information

Publicity Campaign
Then we're ready to "go public." You could help publicize the new site in the foreign language press here in the USA and in your country.

You can start by adapting this press release: http://www.heartsandminds.org/ital/stampa/info.htm
The part about Bill Blackman speaking your language may not apply. Ask him. We’ll brainstorm to come up with an alternative way to tie Bill and/or Hearts & Minds in with your country and language. If Bill doesn’t speak your language, we may not have a dependable ongoing volunteer to handle incoming inquiries and may need to add  the following to the "PLEASE NOTE" given above:

Hearts & Minds may not have speakers of your language available at this time. Please add "Your ___-Language Website" to e-mail subject, so we can distinguish it from spam (junk e-mails) in your language.

[If you are at Hearts and Minds...                                     

  1. Open MS Front Page It's an icon of a blue arrow pointing at the 10 o'clock (northwest) direction right beside the start button.
  2. File → Open...→ In the file name space type w:
  3. Search for the folder you are going to translate and start your work :)

Note: If you are going to start to translate a page that has not been translated before, you will have to create a new file. In order to do that you may copy the English version and use it as a template. While creating the new file you may only use lower case letters for the name of the folder.

If you're not at Hearts & Minds...
Once you're done, you can e-mail your work to us as an attached file.

Next: Uploading the site, adding a link to it from our home page, site guide, site map and URL list.

Other projects are also available at www.change.net/howto and www.change.net/workgroups.htm

Before starting any projects with us, please let us know. We can give you further help and coordinate your work with others.

Again, thanks very much for your interest in helping!

More Helpful Info in this How-to Section

Hearts & Minds End Poverty Campaign logo links to more on how you can help END extreme hunger and poverty worldwideFree Newsletter  |  Blog
Global Survival  |  End Poverty CampaignSM

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Contact Us  |  Join/Donate

This web page and entire website  Copyright: 1997 - 2015  by Hearts and Minds Network, Inc.  http://www.heartsandminds.org/howto/translate.htm - online June 5, 2002, latest text changes March 25, 2011

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