Team coordinators and the TP
Coordinator or leader
Creating a new team
The team's email address
A team in operation
Keeping an eye on things
In the Translation Project we use the expressions "team coordinator" and "team leader" interchangeably. The latter is shorter to write and pronounce, but the former more adequately describes the job. The team coordinator is usually a soft person, who gets along well with people.
Usually the main task of a team coordinator is to provide new members with information, explaining the team's habits and conventions. Only seldomly does a team coordinator need to arbitrate the assignment of a particular domain or package, when more than one translator wants to handle it. Ultimately the responsibilities of a team coordinator are negotiated between all team members: teams are free to organize themselves as they see fit.
When at the TP there is no team yet for your language (see translationproject.org/team/index.html for a list of existing teams), it is easy to create one. First find out the team's code, which usually is taken directly from ISO 639-1. A list of major languages and their codes can be found in appendix A of the gettext manual -- see `info gettext Language Usual`.
Then decide what email address the team will use. Maybe there is already somewhere a mailing list concerned with translations of free software to your language that you can join. Otherwise, try to set one up at some free site. Important is that an archive gets created.
Finally write an email to <firstname.lastname@example.org> to ask for the creation of a new team.
The email address of a translation team is used for several purposes. Its main purpose is to allow team members to communicate: to present newly translated files for inspection and comments, to discuss translation difficulties, to decide on priorities, to organize the team. In general, translators and other people are free to subscribe to and unsubscribe from that mailing list.
The team's address is also used by the TP robot: for announcing new POT files and reporting the upload of updated PO files (for the team's language). The latter shows the team members who is doing what, and what the status of the translation is. It is also useful as a check against forged submissions.
The team's address is further meant as the public address where users of translated software can report translation errors. So usually the team's address should be open to non-subscribers, although probably moderated to shield the team members from being spammed.
Usually translators directly ask <email@example.com> for assignment of a package, CC'ing their team coordinator. If you stay silent, this is taken as agreement. Package assignments are checked by the TP robot when a PO file is uploaded, to prevent the possibility of some team members fighthing over the translation of certain messages.
Some teams wish to check a translation before it is uploaded, most however allow the translator to upload the file directly and do quality assurance only after the fact, so everything runs faster. Corrections can always be made by uploading an amended file.
All team members together bear the responsibility for doing the work and ensuring the quality of translations -- this is not the task of just the team coordinator nor of any sole translator.
Your main task as a team coordinator is to welcome new team members and, where needed, explain how things work. The TP coordinators or a package maintainer will sometimes forward to you an email of someone who has volunteered to do translation work or even has already done so and is sending in the PO file. It is then your task to guide the new volunteer. Most things that a translator needs to know are explained on translationproject.org/html/translators.html . If anything is missing on that page, or could be explained better, don't hesitate to comment.
To extend or strengthen your team, you may actively look around on mailing lists and try to recruit new members. But if you are not comfortable with recruiting, you certainly do not need to do so.
As a team coordinator you are permitted to upload PO files for your language for any domain, whether it is unassigned or already assigned to someone else. This allows you to quickly fix a translation error when the assigned translator is away on holidays, or to upload a PO file under your name (without first asking for assignment) for a translator who does not want to go through the hassle of a disclaimer or deal with the pickiness of the robot.
The status of your team and of the translations it has made is listed on your team page, reachable via translationproject.org/team/index.html and following the relevant link. If any information on your team's page is inaccurate or missing, please write to a TP coordinator to get it fixed, <firstname.lastname@example.org>.