Former ByWater employee and former Koha Translation ManagerRuth Bavousett presented on improving the state of multiple language support in Koha at KohaCon13 today.
Ruth, though mono-lingual, is very passionate about this, having traveled overseas and found it very enlightening.
One of Ruth’s focuses were Right-to-left languages, such as Arabic. This change in layout is controlled via CSS, and Ruth believes this project to be in large part completed.
Another area where Koha needs translation but is lacking, is in strings embedded in the Perl code. These strings can be automatically translated using existing Perl tools and libraries. Luckily, patches have also been submitted to accomplished this.
Yet another area that needs improvement would be the translation of system preference values. For example, some system preferences contain strings for display, but when a catalog supports multiple languages, there is no mechanism to support multiple translations of the content of those system preferences. At the time of this writing, there has been no work in this area.
Another area that needs work for right-to-left languages is the MARC record preview, which simply does to lay out the MARC data correctly for display. This can be solved simply, as the MARC record standard is left-to-right, and the special right-to-left CSS should simply be ignored in this case.
There are currently 39 bugs currently file relating to Koha internationalization.
Ruth concluded with the following. 17.5% of the world’s population lives in India, which has 24 official languages. Don’t we want the people, 1/5 of the world’s population, to be able to use Koha?