Community post from the Hindi Cloud Native Glossary team

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 Hindi and the team that localized the Glossary for Hindi speakers! 

About the Hindi Glossary

With 615 million speakers, Hindi is among the top 10 spoken languages globally. It is primarily spoken in India, but you can also find large communities of Hindi speakers in countries such as Nepal, the United States, Fiji, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, among many others. With such a big community, localizing the Cloud Native Glossary in Hindi is an important mission!

The first version of the Hindi Glossary went live with 11 terms — only four months after creating the first issue. The team is working on more terms, so expect to see more popping up soon. 

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

Localizing the Glossary in any language is essential. Cloud native content is still very English-centric and having a trusted source in your native language makes learning these complex concepts easier. As Hindi speakers, we wanted to do our part.  

We hope the Hindi Glossary will make cloud native terms more accessible for Hindi speakers around the globe. It describes many important concepts in an easy-to-understand way, which is especially important when dealing with complex technical terms such as cluster, load balancer, scalability, etc. Even if many Hindi speakers speak English, the familiar sentence formation, unique grammar, and transliteration in their native language make it easier for readers to grasp. 

One interesting fact is that we came across multiple Hindi synonyms while working on some of the terms. This led to various discussions until we were able to agree on the best choice to convey information as intended.  

Meet the Hindi team

Given that so many people speak Hindi, it may not be a surprise that we have a big team. Our approvers are Anubhav Vardhan, Garima Negi, Jayesh Srivastava, and Sayantani Saha, and our main contributors are  Kunal Verma, Aayush Sharma, Anurag Kumar, Shivam Tyagi, and Shubham Chaudhari

Why did you decide to localize the Glossary?  

Localizing the Glossary is our way of giving back to the CNCF and Hindi communities. Languages are not just a medium of communication but also representative of our culture. There are specific nuances and usages of words in Hindi that tools like Google Translate cannot capture. To help the Hindi speakers learn something new without the language barrier has been our primary motivation. 

How has the experience been?

Our team is pretty diverse. We have a mix of first-time contributors and seasoned approvers/maintainers. We were very excited to see how actively everyone participated and volunteered to localize each term — it really is a great team, and we have a lot of fun! 

Most of us are based in the Indian subcontinent, with only a few scattered in North America. Slack is our primary medium of communication and collaboration across multiple time zones. Some of us already knew each other from the Kubernetes sig-docs-localization effort and had experience localizing cloud native content — that was really helpful to kickstart the effort! 

One challenge we faced was the different possible spellings for a particular term in Hindi. While they may all be acceptable, we wanted to ensure the Glossary is consistent. We created a centralized sheet with all terms and agreed-upon spellings to address this. We also created a list of trademark words and company names that don’t need localization, such as CNCF. This paved the way for seamless contributions with less confusion for us and the readers.

Of course, there are still many more terms that remain to be localized. Our next challenges include establishing a system for reviewing and merging contributions at a regular cadence and providing support and guidance to new team members so they can contribute effectively.

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

Yes! We’ve learned a lot during the last few months. The three most important things in our view are:

  1. Open source is powerful and brings people together from all over the world! 
  2. Ask questions fearlessly— it’s the best way to get directions
  3. Everyone wants you to learn and grow 

How and why should others contribute

First of all, contributing to open source is awesome! It’s a great way to learn and meet new people. Think about this, every PR you don’t create is one less PR merged! So, don’t be afraid and give it a try. It’s a community effort, and you will get help. You can ask fellow team members for support, and approvers/maintainers will also provide guidance. Open source is a very collaborative effort!

If simplifying technical terms for the masses is your superpower, or if you’ve mastered the art of localization from English to other wonderful languages, then the Glossary awaits you! The Glossary community is very welcoming, and we still need help with many new terms. If you are a Hindi speaker, join the Hindi localization team on #glossary-localization-hindi channel on the CNCF Slack. For more information on how to contribute, check out the guide and our Github repository.

Join the localization effort 

Want to 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.