Recently I was looking for an open source engine to create a stackoverflow-like website in Italian about mortgages. The best alternative I found is Shapado, which is also rails-based, always a plus for me.
Anyway, on their website I found out that they’re going to release a new version soon, and that it still missed an Italian translation. After a little investigation, I also found out that everybody can contribute to that translation on translatewiki.net
I had never heard of that website, which is part of MediaWiki. I decided to give it a try, and after subscribing and waiting a little for approvation, I started translating the latest version of Shapado into Italian.
I would never have believed it, but it was kind of fun! The web translation interface is really very well-thought, the google and bing suggestions are quite helpful (and sometimes funny), and it only took me a couple of hours to translate all the parts that weren’t already translated from the previous release.
The best part is that this is something that you can do whenever you have some free time and a web connection; you are immediately productive, and seeing the list of missing translations becoming shorter by the minute really gives you a good feeling of accomplishment.
So, if you know one language different from English and have a little time to spare, what are waiting for? There are already 20 open source projects on translatewiki waiting for your help. Give them a hand!