A new project by open source developer Andrew Smith might be just the thing you’re looking for if you want to share your own open source project code with other developers around the world. The Open Source Translation Database is a free service that seeks to take some of the difficulty out of finding translators. And if you are yourself a translator, you can search the database of uploaded files to find projects you’re interested in translating.

Smith said that he came up with the idea for the database after having struggled to find various translators for his own projects, which often meant a lot of time-consuming browsing of various international forums and trying to communicate clearly with people in unfamiliar languages. Here is how the database is meant to work:

As a maintainer of an open source project you can upload a .pot file and get back a set of partially translated .po files. If you don’t know what that means – we will help you get started with i18n (internationalization), have a look at the Help section or contact us if you need help.

If you maintain an already-translated piece of software or you are a translator: please consider uploading your .po files to this website so that others can use them, or browse through the calls for translators to see if you’d like to translate a particular piece of software.

For more detail on Smith and his project’s background, see this interview by Tom Nardi on The Powerbase.com. Smith discusses how his project is — and isn’t — like Canonical’s Launchpad Translations and offers some examples of how he hopes his database can be used:

Everyone can think of the simple example of “File” or “Properties”, but even more unusual strings such as “File size: ” have surely been used by someone else. And likely someone already translated it, probably several people for different software. Why not pool the efforts, and make those translations available easily for everyone?