Translation instructions

For ideas on what to translate, take look at the list of Articles, best practices & tutorials, select your language at the top right, and look for links that are still in English after the page has refreshed.

Related links

W3C Specifications

To find out how to translate a W3C specification in the space, see How to Volunteer as a Translator. If you want to translate an article or tutorial in the space, read the rest of this page.

Internationalization pages

To translate a tutorial or article from the site, please follow the instructions on this page, and confirm that you agree:

  1. to the redistribution terms of the W3C document copyright notice. Consequently, your translation may be republished by the W3C or other entities if it is done in compliance with the notice's terms.
  2. that the W3C may rescind your right to publish or distribute the derivative work if the W3C finds that it leads to confusion regarding the original document's status or integrity. (Source.)
  3. that any links you add to the document must follow the rules in the section entitled 'Links' below.

You need to write to (archive) before starting and copy We'll check that the file isn't currently being translated by someone else, and that it isn't about to be updated.

Do not translate the source text of pages displayed on the Web. You will need to be sent the source file, to ensure that you have the latest version. We'll also send additional files, so that you can view the file as it will be publlished. In some cases, we will update the template before sending to you.

How to proceed

To find articles that need translation, go to the list of articles and set the language in the top right of the page to the language you will translate into. Look down the list for titles that are still in English – these have not been translated. (As mentioned above, before you start you need to also check that the document is really appropriate for translation and get the right source code by contacting

Please ensure that your translation is valid HTML5 and uses the UTF-8 character encoding.

Send the completed translation to for hosting on the W3C site (where we will use language negotiation). We will check the file before uploading.

We use boilerplate text that will be incorporated into the displayed page. This approach will speed up your work, improve consistency, and help ensure that non-visible text is translated. If the boilerplate text hasn't yet been translated into your language, you will be asked to also send a translation of that.

If you feel you need to change any markup or style sheet rules, please contact us. We are open to suggestions, but want to check there are no unintentional side effects. Please inform us also you plan to adapt, rather than just translate, the content during translation.

Do not change any of the JavaScript code, other than the variable values. There are comments in the text to help you identify what to change. Please don't translate the comments either.

Sometimes an element will have translate="no" on it. In principle, the content of these elements should not be translated, except for any subelements with translate="yes" on them.

Don't forget to translate hidden text such as the meta description element.

Don't forget to change the value of the lang attribute on the html tag, and as part of the boilerplate-xx.js filename a little lower down.

Links to pages below /International should not start with; nor should they end with .html (this is to facilitate language negotiation). Please check that all links work before sending the file for publication.

Before sending us the translated text, please use the translation checklist to check your text.

Links (Important)

As a courtesy, we allow you to provide a link from your name to a page that gives information about you as an individual. The link may also be about your organization but if, and only if, it specializes in translation services. We added these restrictions because we found that some people were more interested in linking to commercial pages than providing quality translations.

Such links will have a rel attribute set to nofollow.

For an individual, this should be a personal blog, personal home page, or a bio page.

For a translation vendor organization, this could be their home or about page.

We will not accept links to pages that, in our view, are overly heavy with links to, or information about, products that are not related to translation. The purpose of the link should be to provide information to readers of the article about the person or organization doing the translation. Using a link to any other type of page or site is not acceptable.

Updating pages

If the English version of a page is updated, a note will be sent to the list with information about what changed, and a request for the translator to update their translation.

If the changes are only small additions, such as a new paragraph or a new short section, the English may be added to the translation while awaiting an update. The page will have a banner added to it that says it is out of date, and will point to the English original.

If the changes involve substantive or extensive changes, the translation will be removed until an updated version is provided.