Lictionary: a localisation catalogue

I was thinking about different ways to aggregate all the GPL’d localisation data available online just last week when an email landed in my box via the Django localisation email list informing that Lictionary was now live.

For today, contains ~160.000 unique strings and ~2.4 million translations in dozens of different languages and grows day by day.

The front page has the now ubiquitous search box, in which you enter a string, choose the language you wish it translated to in the drop down box next to the search bar, and hit go. I started with the simple “Enter” into Indonesian, and soon noted a couple of errors – large chunks of CDATA and a line noting that “201 result(s) found for “Enter” in Bengali“.

Is it perfect? No. Has it shipped? Yes – and that’s the most important thing, presuming they can keep it up. I’d be very interested to see if it would be possible to integrate with Tatoeba since they are delivering a similar product. Lictionary has the advantage of the thousands of translation files available with FLOSS software, but Tatoeba has a nicer interface.

Another concern is that Lictionary depends upon the correctness of the underlying files – any mistakes now need to go through Lictionary, then onto the software project from which they came. The FAQ briefly touches on this, but not enough to fill me with confidence just yet:

– Some translations seems wrong, what can i do?

You can give negative vote for this translation. We inform translators or translation teams periodically about negative voted translations. If you want to inform translator immediately, you can contact the translator or translation team directly or may be file a bug in bufg tracker of related project.

Also, the next most useful thing would certainly be to submit a selection of strings and have the best translations returned – localising software one string at a time would be tiresome for the monolingual software engineer. This is also addressed in the FAQ:

– Is there any other way except webpage to use Lictionary?

Unfortunately, no. You can only use our website to search in our database. We are developing web service interfaces for developers. Soon, we will publish technical details and documentation about these.

I look forward to seeing how this project develops and will be sure to report in as it improves.