OWASP Internationalization

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7th April 2008: The OWASP Internationalization project starts Juan Carlos Calderon starts the effort as part of the SoC 2008.
5th May 2008: First Draft of General Translation Guidelines are published RC1 of general recommendations to start a translation of an OWASP document in a foreign language is released.
5th May 2008: Translating an OWASP document section is added Guidelines on how to do a document translation is released.

Why this project?

The main goal of OWASP is to spread the word about security (“Our mission is to make application security "visible," so that people and organizations can make informed decisions about application security risks.”) and OWASP has done great work so far. The number of native and secondary speakers in the world for Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Indi languages are estimated in similar number to English speaking or even more (Some References at Ethnologue, Encarta, Wikipedia). It is a good time for OWASP to reach those that do not speak English to have full access to all the OWASP materials, not just a couple of documents.


This project is the pioneer of an effort to define basic guidelines for the localization of OWASP site and OWASP projects (both documentation and software). Also define a way to do a continuous effort to keep information across the different languages in synchrony.
The main objective is to provide a framework for new translation efforts, those effort will have 2 main objectives:

  1. Make OWASP information currently available, reach the people speaking of a specific language
  2. Allow non-English speaking people to contribute to OWASP and have internationalization projects transfer that knowledge to English and other languages. So as you can imagine the replication effect will have great benefits to the OWASP community and the world of application security.

Road map

ObjectiveStatus(Expected) Competition DateNotes
1. Team up with Larry Casey to implement Multi language support in OWASP.org Mediawiki.In ProgressJune 20, 2008First Contact with Larry Casey Done. We will test in a test instance and send required settings for portal to him.
2. General Guidelines on minimum/recommended requirements to start a new language translation for OWASP Document and Site Pages.DoneMay 2nd, 2008First Draft Created and released. Waiting for changes in OWASP site to release page translation guidelines
3. General Guidelines on minimum/recommended requirements to implement internationalization and localization (i18n) on OWASP Software.Not StartedTBDNone
4. Create a Communication strategy to help and keep track on new pages or changes in significant pages so all the translations are in sync.Not StartedTBDNone

General Translation Guidelines

Usually a document translation involves several people in order to facilitate the translation it is necessary to provide general guidelines for the translation. First of all, we strongly support language neutrality, this is especially important when the language is spoken in many different countries or regions.

Translation guidelines should include the following information:

  • Glossaries for the target language,
  • Basic orthography rules
  • Basic grammar rules
  • English-Target Language dictionary.
  • Enumeration and examples of special cases, for example use of dashes, quotes, etc.
  • False cognates
  • Remind the translation must remain loyal to the original text, do not add content to the document (at least on this stage)+
  • Recommendation to avoid slang language
  • Policy for using automated tools
  • Rules to handle terms that cannot be translated.
  • Recommend to run Spell and Grammar check
  • Examples to the rules described
  • Include a peer review strategy
  • Supportive readings and links

+ Although the objective of the project is to enable people speaking foreign languages to learn from OWASP and enrich OWASP documentation. This process must be done in separated stages, initially it is desirable to have a loyal version of the official release.

We strongly suggest you ask for help of an experienced person to give the document a final look before it is published to OWASP site.

Translating a Document

The first thing is to have a good communication and coordination strategy, we propose the following organization for a translation effort:


Although OWASP is an open project, minimum skills should be procured to ensure the translation has good quality and takes just the needed amount of time. Believe me, you won’t like to fix dozens of small mistakes for common computer world terms just because the translator is a totally outside the computer world with null knowledge on what is a hard disk :).

The proposed skills are:

  • Translator(s)
    • Basic computer related knowledge.
    • Good English skills
    • Fluent in foreign language
    • Working knowledge in application security skills
  • Editor(s)
    • Strong computer related knowledge
    • Strong English skills
    • Strong skills in foreign language, participation in translation project of other open source projects is a plus.
    • Strong knowledge in application security skills
  • Translation leader. Person in charge of coordinate the translation effort. There are no special requirements, just the ability to manage a team of people and deliver on proposed time.

Translating a Document

This is the first release of the section, expect changed during the following weeks as we are requesting feedback from people involved in previous translations of OWASP documents, if you know one of these people please ask them to contact [| me]


Translation Project leader and/or translation leader should create set of basic guidelines for translation as defined in #General Translation Guidelines section If the translation is going to be on a MS Word document is highly recommended to create a document template with web established styles for headers, so consolidating the document is easier The translation leader will distribute the work and set up tentative due dates for the sections based on the translators workload.

While Translating

It is suggested that once the distributed sections are ready, they are sent to the distribution list and the editor is notified

Before Delivering

In parallel to translation or after everyone has finished, the editor (or the person designated by the editor) will do the following actions

  • Consolidate the whole document
  • Do spelling and grammar check
  • Ensure document "harmony". This is:
    • make sure the same terms are using across the document
    • topics sequence is natural.
    • Font type, size and style are the same for the same types of text.
  • Add the official cover page translated to the foreign language (OWASP logo, title and trademark information)
  • Add GNU license (all the OWASP work is done under this license so translation work should also be GNU)
  • Add OWASP internationalization project and the specific translation project explanation and references to let readers know where they go in case of interest in the translation project. Add this page after cover page.
  • Add translation credit for project leader, editor and translators just after the author name.
  • Convert the document to PDF format for portability, but also let the editable version available to the public.

Finally If there is a translation project, you can send the document to the project leader for its publication in the translation project and in the original project page.

Translating OWASP page

This section is in progress and waiting for changes in OWASP site as per notes in #Road map Section

Translating OWASP Software

This section is not started yet.

Active Translation Projects