User:Vtaylor/CE African translations/CatsCradle

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Cats Cradle:

First drafted by Lourdes Sada and Phil Bartle. Edited and updated by several coordinators, including Shilpa Sharma and Silke Reichrath, Edited again here by Phil.

Cat’s Cradle is a program which helps you to translate web pages. It's an editor which extracts all the text in the page (text you can see and more you can't) and gives it to you in different boxes so you can change it to another language. The result is another web page, identical to the original, but in your language. It changes the words, but the htm code stays the same.

How to download Cat’s Cradle:

  1. You can get it here:
  2. You'll be downloading an exe file. Click on it and install the program. It's no big deal, and we never had any problems with that.
  3. If you have Windows 98 or earlier, the software available on this website is too advanced.
    1. You will need an older version of Cat’s Cradle.
    2. Let us know, and we will arrange to send you the older version by email attachment.


Trying out CC (Cat’s Cradle):

Go to the cmp site Find the page you have been assigned, and download it into your computer. Use the option "Save_as", and in the downloading window, in the "save as type" box, make sure you choose the "web page html only" option. (NOT html_complete). Otherwise, the browser will create an images sub folder and the links in the page will be broken (and that will give us a hard time putting everything in its place again).

Please note that we prefer now to send the page for translating to you, rather than you downloading from the site, so as to avoid this trap. Please keep the html-only mode in mind if you do collect a page from the site.

How to save the web page correctly

Right Way:

Wrong Way:

Now open CC, click on "file". At the upper left corner, and choose "open web page". Search for the file you just downloaded.

Different views in CC:

You can choose either the “Standard table editor” or the "real time browser”.

Real time Browser: In this view you are able to see how the changes that you making will appear in a real time browser (that means that you can see a part of the browser page with translated text in your language).

Standard table editor: This will be the default view that you see when you open CC. The bottom part of the screen is the same as the "real time browser" view but the difference is that you don’t see the translated page real time. This view is also more convenient if you find it difficult to copy paste/type text in the small boxes in the bottom half of the screen.

Don't worry if you don't see the images in the page, it's because you didn't allow the browser to make the images sub folder, but they will show as soon as the page is uploaded to the site. (If you want the images on your computer, write and we will tell you how).

Choosing Encoding Options:

In the tools menu pull down, choose tools, then encoding, UTF-8. Every page on the Community Empowerment site has UTF-8 which allows all non standard English characters to be used, and allow transfer of all items between all pages.  

File Naming System:

The file names on the site are ordered. All the English files that are sent to you are names in a specific way.

For example: org-acte
Here org is the module name and acte is the individual file name. The unix system of the web site server can take only files with a maximum of eight letters before the dot, and only in lower case.

Do not worry about the naming convention as of now, because when I massage the document, I can rename it if necessary.  First start practicing with Cat's Cradle.

But if you do want to take up the challenge and want to follow a standard naming convention for the files you translate you can follow the following instructions.

For example the English file org-acte is translated to Hindi, it will be called org-achi

  1. Here org (the first three letters are the module name)
  2. Followed by ‘-“
  3. Followed by ac (first two letters of the individual file name)
  4. Followed by ‘hi’ (first two letters for your language)

Another example: sta-awr (in English) becomes sta-awhi (in hindi)

When there are several translators for one language, please check to see that you have been given a group of files to translate so that no one else will have the same one.

Uploading the files:

After I receive the file I will "massage" the document for uploading to the site (style and format). I will then inform you or your coordinator that it is on the site, and you can look at it there to be sure it came through all that without scars.


Take your time and relax. Spend as much time as you need to learn Cat's Cradle and how it all works. I am very patient.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions about any word in any document. Ask me and I will try to describe what is meant.  Many words have more than a single meaning when translated. Look at the key words. The English notes can help.  The French translations are mainly by a computer translation system, and they are horrible.  Lules and I have nick named the computer translator as Mr Polter or Mr Geist.
It would be useful if you translated the key words for each document you translate, at the same time, send them to me in a separate file, and I will massage and upload them into the key words section.

I and the rest of the collective are also very grateful for your volunteering.

Brother. Phil --Philbartle 12:51, 28 March 2009 (UTC)