Adobe Type Community Translation

Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of a new pilot program – Adobe Type Community Translation. This program is aimed at getting translations for Adobe’s typeface notes and will offer handsome rewards for contributors. We will be leveraging Adobe’s own community translation tool, the Adobe Translator application, to get translations for our 400+ typeface notes (also referred to as typeface histories). These typeface notes provide users additional information about the typeface and often include information about the history of the typeface. On average, these typeface notes are about 100 words in length.

Our ultimate goal is to be able to provide our typeface notes in multiple languages, many of which are otherwise under-served. However, for this pilot program, we’ll be focusing on getting translations for four different languages: German, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese. If these translation efforts are successful, we’ll happily make other languages available for translation.

Based on the recent success Adobe has seen with community translation, we’re excited about launching a community translation program for Adobe Type. We believe the type community, although comparatively small, consists of enough individuals passionate about type to make this program a success.  To reward our contributors, we’ll be offering free copies of fonts for which Adobe owns the rights. For every ten translations which are accepted by the moderator for that language, contributors can request five free fonts from the list of Adobe owned fonts (currently totals more than 800 fonts).  Moderators will be looking for translations that use the appropriate type vernacular and capture the essence of what’s being communicated. Requests for fonts and any questions/comments about the Adobe Type Community Translation pilot program should be sent to

The remainder of this blog post focuses on the Adobe Translator application and how to contribute to this translation project.

The Dashboard

To access the application go to After successfully logging into the application with your Adobe ID (you may have to create one first), you will see the Adobe Translator Dashboard. This Dashboard shows a menu at the top and a list of projects available for translation.  If needed, help can be accessed from the About menu at the top.

Adobe Translator Dashboard

Adobe Translator Dashboard

Selecting projects

The project list is sorted alphabetically by product name. Within each product box, you can find the languages that are available for community translation for that product.

To see the Typeface Notes projects you can either scroll down until you see “Adobe Typeface Notes” or you can use the search box on the right side of the Dashboard. Simply enter “Type” into the search box and hit enter.

Once you see the Adobe Typeface Notes project, you can click on it and start translating right away. After clicking on a project, you will see it appear in the “Browse Project” list on the left side of the dashboard. If the project is not yet one of your favorites, the button “Add” provides the option to add that project permanently to your list of favorites, indicated by a blue star.

Adding projects to your “Favorite Projects” list

If you plan to contribute to the Adobe Typeface Notes project repeatedly or over a longer period of time, you can add the project to a list of favorites. This can be achieved by clicking on the gray star appearing in a project box when you hover over it with the cursor. When clicking the grey star, the star will turn blue, the project will be added to your favorites list, and you will receive an additional notification confirming your action at the lower right of your screen.

Translating projects

To perform translation tasks, you can click on the project name in the favorites list on the left side of the dashboard. When you click, the project box will expand and you have the option to see

  • the strings available for translation, when clicking on “Translate”,
  • the strings that have suggested translations available for review, when clicking on “Review”,
  • or the strings with approved translations, when clicking on “Approved.

Translation Screen

On the translation screen, translators can start contributing right away. Just select a source string and enter a translation in the text field. There may or may not be a translation proposal that Adobe Translator is providing with the help of machine translation or translation memory (“in the past, this string has been translated as …”). Submit your suggestion and move on to the next string.


We are excited to launch this new program and engage with the Type Community to enhance Adobe’s typeface notes. As stated earlier, the success of this program depends on the willingness of individuals who are passionate about type and willing to contribute to a collaborative translation effort. For those of you interested in learning more about the Adobe Translator you can access the application. To learn more about Adobe’s other Community Translation projects visit Adobe Community Translation page on Facebook. And again, for any comments/questions about the Adobe Type Community Translation program, feel free to email us at

4 Responses

  1. Derek Watson says:

    Hope no-one tries to be clever and use Google Translate, that could get messy!

    1. Nicole Minoza says:

      Hi Derek,

      If they do use Google Translate it’s doubtful their submission would be accepted by the moderator. The moderator for each language is a native speaker for that language and is knowledgeable about Type. Each submission is first reviewed by the moderator and then accepted.


  2. Ying Ning says:

    It seems the submitted version cannot be modified by the submitter him/herself? We can only submit the revised one as a new version, right?

    1. Miguel Sousa says:

      That’s right. Once you submit a translation you can’t modify it. You have to submit a new one.

Comments are closed.

Nicole Miñoza

I've been with the Adobe Type team since 2002, and am currently the Marketing Manager for Adobe Type and Typekit. I am also the mom of two adorable little girls and a big San Jose Sharks fan.

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