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Translation Guidelines and Legal Verbiage

What's going on?

LibraryThing can be used into an ever-growing number of languages. All translations are written, edited and approved by LibraryThing members, using a simple "wiki-like" system.

How to help

Find your language-site here and sign in. In the upper-right of your window you will now see the phrase "Translate this!" Click this to translate text on the page that hasn't been translated, or to edit others' translations. Untranslated text looks like this.

If your language isn't listed, let us know and we'll look into adding it.

Guidelines for translation

In addition to the guidelines below, you can read and post to the general translation group forum. Every language also has its own forum, available from the translation homepage. You can also email Tim (timAT SIGNlibrarything.com) or Abby (abbyAT SIGNlibrarything.com) with questions, concerns or ideas.

  • Find the right tone. Aim for an informal but not juvenile tone.
  • Standardize terms. Circle around terms others are using, or help find the right ones by posting about it.
  • Don't reinvent the wheel. Sites like Wikipedia and RemembertheMilk can be a valuable resource for difficult questions. "Tags" in particular seem to present issues. Where possible, figure out what other sites do and follow them.
  • Keep Proper Nouns. Do not translate proper names, such as LibraryThing.
  • Respect placeholders You will encounter placeholders for dynamic data. They will look like <SUB1>. Do not remove them, but figure out how to preserve their relationship with the surrounding text.
  • Keep markup You will encounter some simple HTML markup (eg., <b>, <u>, <i>) in the text to be translated. Please retain these tags in the translation, and make sure to preserve their relationship with the text.

Legal Language

By reading, submitting, editing or cheering any translation you agree to the following terms:

  • You will translate faithfully and to the best of your ability, with no malicious intent, commercial benefit to you or personal agenda.
  • You will respect the translation feature, and not attempt to undermine or defeat it.
  • You understand that helping LibraryThing does not give you any legal rights, such as exists between an employer and an employee. If you sprain your wrist coming up with translations, we're not paying the doctor bill.
  • You warrant that your translation is your own, and not subject to any license or restriction of any kind.
  • You understand that LibraryThing makes no actionable claims as to the accuracy or appropriateness of users' translations, or as to their fitness for any purpose whatsoever.
  • You agree to hold LibraryThing immune from any suit arising from the translation feature.


LibraryThing's translation feature was inspired by similar programs at BookMooch, Remember The Milk and Google in your Language.

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