Community post from the Chinese Cloud Native Glossary team: Chester Cheung, Brian Yan (Rocksnake), Jacob953 Yu, Wen Zhou

The Cloud Native Glossary is a project led by the CNCF Business Value Subcommittee. Its goal is to explain cloud native concepts in clear and simple language without requiring any previous technical knowledge. We are in the process of translating the English version of the Glossary into as many languages as possible. This week we focus on Chinese and the team that localized the Glossary for Chinese speakers! 

About the Chinese glossary 

According to statistics from Statista, in 2022, around 1.1 billion people worldwide spoke Chinese either natively or as a second language. Chinese is the most commonly spoken language in the world! Chinese, also known as Mandarin, is spoken in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore. While there are about 297 different languages in China, Putonghua, or Mandarin, is the most common language, used by the modern Han people in Mainland China.

Translating the Glossary didn’t take long. The original English definitions are written in simple language, making it easy to come up with a corresponding translation. Organizing a team of technical people and setting up a staged task process in the GitHub-project module according to each team member’s schedule was what took the longest — the rest was easy.

Why do you think localizing the Glossary in your language is important?

Our team members come from various Chinese companies and industries. We all closely follow the dynamics of the cloud native ecosystem — CNCF projects in particular — and contribute to a variety of cloud native open source projects.

While Chinese software developers are well-versed in reading and writing about technology in English, we felt it’d be important to explain cloud native concepts in a way that refleccts Chinese social culture, delivering on a long-cherished wish of Chinese developers.

Meet the team

Chester Cheung — A developer at Tencent, Chester founded the Chinese Glossary Community. He’s also a member and approver of OpenTelemetry and a Prometheus and Thanos contributor. Chester is particularly passionate about cloud native observability and open source.

Brian Yan (Rocksnake) — Brian is a developer at Alibaba, where he focuses on cross-platform framework, observability, and open source. An active team member of the Chinese Glossary Community, Brian contributes to multiple open source projects, including OpenTelemetry, JetBrains, and other CNCF projects.

Jacob953 Yu — A developer at Central South University, Jacob953 focuses on distributed systems, observability, and open source. In addition to the Chinese Glossary, Jacob953 contributes to ShardingSphere, Kitex, OpenTelemetry, SEEDLab, and other projects.

Wen Zhou — When is a developer at Wuhan University, where she also focuses on distributed systems and observability. When contributes to the Chinese Glossary, as well as to OpenTelemetry, FuchsiaOS Chinese, among other projects. 

Why did you decide to localize the glossary? Why is it important to you?

The world is moving towards cloud native. Whether you are a rookie or a pro taking the next step in your journey, the Glossary is undoubtedly one of the best ways to understand the basic concepts of cloud native.

China is home to the world’s second-largest number of developers —  many still new to cloud native. We strongly believe that easier access to cloud native concepts will help boost cloud native interest and adoption. The Glossary undoubtly represents one of the easiest ways to understand these complex concepts. The fact that Chinese is the most commonly spoken language in the world was exciting but, as early adopters of cloud native technologies in Chinese speaking countries, we also felt a sense of responsiblity to help make these technologies more accessible to Chinese speakers.

How has the experience been?

The overall experience has been excellent and super interesting! When we attend the monthly Cloud Native Working Group meetings, we get the chance to meet contributors from all over the world which is awesome! And during our meentings, we review the previous month’s work, plan the next one, and discuss potential issues. There is no pressure, it’s like talking to long-term friends. We definitely have a professional and approachable team and really enjoy collaborating with each other. 

Any lessons learned you’d like to share with the community?

Be brave and take your first bold step! Only then can you discover how big the world is. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Any issues or concerns can be solved with our professional help. In fact, making mistakes is the fastest way to progress. After all, a few tries are better than a hundred looks! 

How and why should others contribute

Why? Because it’s fun and you learn a lot. Hop with us on the high-speed train towards cloud native and let’s learn together. While one person may go fast, together we will go further. If you are a navite Chinese speaker and interested in contributing, join our Slack channel (#glossary-localization-chinese) on the CNCF Slack . We are looking forward to meeting you. Let the best people infect each other!

Anything else you’d like us to call out?

What can cloud native bring to you? Sharing knowledge and making progress together. This is what we are doing and will continue to do.

Join the localization effort 

Wanna help localize the Glossary into your native language? You can either join an existing team or start a new one. Either way, join the #glossary-localizations channel on the CNCF Slack and say hi. There you’ll meet lots of friendly Glossary contributors happy to help and point you into the right direction.