Transifex is a popular, well-established online translation platform, allowing a global group of volunteers, paid interpreters, or machine translators to collaborate on new “localizations” into any desired languages. While built for translating software, it can be used for other purposes as well. Publicly shared free, open source code can use Transifex without cost.
For organizations developing software, particularly those building open source tools for a social good purpose aimed at an international audience, Transifex is a fantastic system to make it easy for an array of people to easily pitch in and contribute their knowledge to help reach people in additional languages.
Transifex is a platform designed for the “localization” or translation of text, particularly for software, into any desired language. Initially designed for open source software translation, Transifex is particularly useful for a community to collaborate on a range of translations of a particular piece of software. Systems are often set up with a wide array of volunteer translators providing new updates which then are reviewed by moderators before being published in updated software.
Transifex can be used for translation of web site text or longer pieces of content, but is less well designed for those needs than for software development and will rapidly use up the quota of words permitted at a particular price level.
Transifex has a wide array of automated integrations to connect with other software development tools.
Transifex has connections to a range of machine translation tools that can provide automated translation into many common languages for a very low cost. While such translations can be inaccurate, they do provide a quick way to get a rough interpretation which could in turn be improved by human reviewers.
For eligible open source software projects, Transifex is free. For other projects, a basic plan of $70 per month will support up to 50,000 source words (those to be translated) across a range of projects.
The Transifex console is quite intuitive and easy to use for those doing the translations or approving translations. However, creating the source files for translation, particularly from software, is a technically challenging task, as is taking the outputs from Transifex and putting it back in software.
Full technical support is available.
As a hosted platform, the Transifex system does not require any maintenance. However, one would need to be careful of the software with which it integrates; updates on either side could have the potential to disrupt the connections.
Security considerations with Transifex should be minimal, though one should always be cautious about uploading any content if it is not designed to be public.