"Instead of using expensive translation firms, we're turning to Linux supporters to help make Linux available to new segments of the population," said Linspire CEO Michael Robertson in a statement Thursday. "Soon, a Linux-based operating system will be available to any user, regardless of [his or her] native language."
Linspire, which provides a Linux-based operating system for desktop and laptop computers, said more than 200 volunteers have already signed on for translation work. Linspire is seeking translators fluent in English and a foreign language. The company said the IRMA project has been created to easily coordinate translation activities in different parts of the world.
The IRMA project is set up so lead translators--called "managers"--review the work of first-line translators. All translation work is carried out over a Web interface and no custom translation software is required. For languages in more widespread use, a double-blind system will be employed, in which translations from two different translators are checked against each other.
When the translations are completed, they will be integrated into popular Linux applications, including KDE, Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, and Lsongs, Linspire said.