Localizing FareHarbor

Tools and technologies: Git, GNU gettext, Markdown, Confluence

When FareHarbor expanded internationally in 2018, I helped apply translation markup to roughly 10,000 strings of text throughout the core application.

In addition to providing intimate familiarity with every line of copy ever written in the application, this also gave me the opportunity to clean up and standardize copy wherever possible. Translation costs are one thing, but there is also a simple, nerdy joy in fixing capitalization inconsistencies across a dozen different interfaces, making everything feel part of a cohesive whole.

During this project, I also learned the importance of providing in-line context for translators wherever possible, lest phrases like "whole party"—which referred to all individuals in a group—be translated to "toda la fiesta" in Spanish. (Not a great impression for FareHarbor's Spanish-speaking users!)

Over time, I developed and documented a list of best practices that could be used by designers, product managers, and engineers when developing new features or writing new copy, ensuring our copy would be translation-friendly moving forward.

This documentation was published in Confluence and shared across all Tech & Product employees.

Read the documentation