The Tails website, which includes the Tails documentation, can be translated using the Tails translation platform. Using this platform is easy: you are not required to set up complicated tools to start translating.

The Tails translation platform is an instance of Weblate, and the full documentation for translators is available on the Weblate translators guide.

Below you will find instructions on how to get started translating the Tails website.

Create and configure an account

You don't need an account on the translation platform to suggest translations. On the other hand, if you want to vote for suggestions, use a dashboard for a better translation workflow, and eventually request to become a reviewer, then you do need to create an account.

Steps to create and configure an account:

  1. Access the registration page, fill the form with an E-mail address, a Username, a Full name and the answer to the mathematical question to prove you're not a spammer robot. There's no need to use your real name here, you can even repeat the username in the full name field. Then, click the Register button.

  2. Check your e-mail inbox, you should receive a message by with a verification link to activate your account. Access that link and choose a new passphrase for your account. You should leave the Current password field empty if you have just activated the account and it's the first time you set up a password for this account.

  3. Configure the languages you want to work with in the translation platform. The languages you select in Translated languages will appear on your dashboard so it's easier for you to access them. Secondary languages will be shown as references during translation to try and make your work easier. Then, click Save.

  4. Configure your subscriptions. Subscribe to Tails and you can also subscribe to receive notifications if there are new strings to translate.

Explore the translation platform

On the Tails translation platform, a translation component corresponds to one page of the Tails website. For example, the page contribute can be translated here.

The Dashboard

The Dashboard is the first page that appears when you log in to the Tails translation platform. It offers different views of translation components for the languages you have configured. It contains a series of useful tabs, in the following order:

  • Watched translations : lists the projects you have selected to watch. As this instance has only one project, Tails, this view is not very useful for now.

  • Your languages: lists all components registered in the platform for your configured languages.

  • Suggested translations: lists a bunch of untranslated components suggested to you by the Weblate platform.

  • Core pages: lists the most important components to be translated, as selected by the Tails team.

  • Persistence: lists components of the Persistent Storage section of the Tails documentation.

  • Install & upgrade: lists components of the Download and install Tails section of the Tails website.

  • First steps: lists components of the First steps with Tails section of the Tails documentation.

  • Anonymous internet: lists components of the Connect to the Internet anonymously section of the Tails documentation.

  • Insights: gives you access to the history, activity and statistics of the translation platform.

  • Tools: gives you access to search, checks for strings and other information about the contents of the Tails translation platform.

In all tabs that list translation components, you will see the same columns with information about each of the listed components:

  • Project: lists the full name of the component, which should match its place in the Tails repository.

  • Translated: shows the percentage of strings in the component that are already translated.

  • Words: shows the percentage of words in the component that are already translated.

  • Needs Review: shows the percentage of strings in the component that are waiting for review.

  • Checks: shows the number of strings in the component that the system identified as needing to be verified. The list of things to check will appear in the component view on top of the right column.

  • Suggestions: shows the number of strings in the component that have suggestions that need to be evaluated.

As you move around and start translating, each of the above will become more clear.

Translation components

As stated above, a translation component in the Tails translation platform corresponds to the translation of one page of the Tails website to a specific language. A component overview gives access to the translation status of that component and the strings that need to be checked.

To access a component overview, start from the Dashboard, select one of the tabs (as explained in the previous section), and click the name of the component in the left column of the components table. From the component overview page, you can go to the different translation pages for untranslated strings, strings marked as needing editing, strings with suggestions, etc. You can also go directly from the Dashboard to the different translation pages of a component by clicking on the links on the other columns of the component table.

Find your way around. The translation platform might look a bit full of corners at first, but once you get used to the different ways through which you can reach the translation workflow you'll start getting translation work done.

Translation workflow

Suggest translations and approve suggestions

On the Tails translation platform, you can always suggest a new translation, and if you are reviewer you can also accept an already suggested translation. There is no way to directly save your translation. This is intentional, to make sure that mandatory peer review happens before new translations get accepted. Suggestions have to be accepted by reviewers to go live onto the main Tails website.

In order to suggest a new translation, access a component translation page as described in the last section, fill or modify the Translation field in the Translate box, and then click Suggest. You will be automatically taken to the next string in the list that you are currently accessing.

Tips to translate

  • While translating is useful to look in the Machine translation tab, which shows suggestions from Weblate's internal "translation memory". Using the same expressions helps to have consistency through the whole website.

  • If you are not sure about how to translate a string, you can look into the Other languages tab to see how translators for other languages have translated it.

  • Open the different versions of the page you are translating (the staging website version, and if the language is already enabled, the main website) so you can see the actual result of the translations and spot errors more easily.

  • If the page mentions applications and menus, open them while translating and make sure you use the same words.

  • Use the glossary while translating: words in the glossary will appear beside the string window while you translate. To use the translation of the glossary you can click on it, and the word will be copied to the translation window. Add new words and their translation to the glossary when you think they are useful.

Preview translations using the staging website

A preview or staging website that builds daily is available and includes:

  • The most recent version of the main Tails website.

  • A larger number of languages than the ones active on the main website,

  • All most voted suggestions made through the translation platform, choosing the most recent one when there are many suggestions with the same number of votes.

With this, everyone can see how the most recent suggestions look like before they go live on the Tails website.

Beware, the staging website is visually indifferent from the Tails main website.


Reviewers are users that can accept suggestions. A request to become a reviewer can be sent to the mailing list for translators. An administrator will verify that a reasonable amount of work was done by the requesting translator before the request is accepted.

To be a good reviewer it is necessary to fulfill these conditions:

  • Ability to communicate with others, solve conflicts.

  • A desire to help potentially inexpert translators to improve without losing your patience, as many of our translators have no previous translation experience.

  • Be confident navigating our website, its contents, know how to compile a local version on your computer.

  • Have some knowledge of HTML because it is used in some strings.

  • Have some knowledge of Ikiwiki and its functions like inline pages, to be able to find the pages where translations will appear.

  • Understand what is Tails, use it, being able to test the documentation you are reviewing.

Reviewers are asked to not bypass the review process for their own work, except perhaps to fix obvious and important problems. This means that as a reviewer, for your own translations you should also use the suggestion feature.

Accept suggestions

In order to accept suggestions, find a component with suggestions in the Dashboard and either click directly in the number of suggestions in the component list or access the component overview page and then click Strings with suggestions. You will be taken to the respective component translation page. In the tabs below the Translate box, click Suggestions, and you'll be presented with a list of suggestions for that string. Evaluate the suggestion carefully, and then choose to either Accept , Accept and edit, or Delete.

Tips to review suggestions

  • Open the different versions of the page you are reviewing (the staging website version, and if the language is already enabled, the main website) so you can see the actual result of the translations and spot errors more easily.

  • If the page mentions applications and menus open them while reviewing to make sure that the translations use the same words.

  • If a suggestion has a small error, click on 'Accept and edit', correcting the suggestion instead of deleting it. This way, the work of the first translator will be recorded.

  • If you notice that a new translator is making the same errors consistently, contact him or her in private and explain nicely the error and how it can be prevented.

Review translation checks

The translation platform performs many checks on the strings. These checks are available from the Tools tab in the Dashboard. The most important checks are:

  • Trailing newline: When the source and translated strings differ on the number of new lines at their end, the website breaks.

  • Inconsistent: This check indicates when a string has more than one translation in the project. Having the same translations along the website is important for the consistency of the documentation. This check also helps to reuse translations of strings that appear in different pages.

Request the activation of a new language

The activation of a new language on the translation platform has to be requested through the mailing list for translators. Have in mind that it is suggested to have a team of translators to translate the Tails website into a new language, as the website is updated very often and it is not feasible to keep it up to date if you are only one person.

Maintaining a glossary within the team is also advisable: this will help giving consistency to the translations, making them easier to understand.

A language enabled in our translation platform will not automatically show up on the main Tails website, only on the staging website.

A new language can only be activated on the main Tails website when at least 25% of the core pages have been translated. And by translated we mean: translated and accepted by a reviewer. Once that is the case, the activation of a new language on the main Tails website has to be requested through the mailing list for translators.

Getting help

If you have questions about translating for Tails, please contact the mailing list for translators.

If you experience a technical problem, please send a message to the mailing list of the translation platform administrators.

You can see the open tickets in our bugtracker

If you want to know more about the technical side of the translation platform, read the design documentation.