Here are some answers to frequently-asked questions about Ackuna.

Don't see your question answered here? Just email us and let us know. We'll try to help as best we can!


  1. What is Ackuna?

    Ackuna is a platform to crowd source text between different translators. For a full overview of how Ackuna works and what it can do for you, visit the about page.

  2. What is reputation?

    Reputation is a gauge of how trusted someone is on Ackuna. The higher a translator's reputation, the more trustworthy they are (and the more likely their translations are accurate). The number is affected by a number of factors, as detailed in the next question.

  3. How do I gain reputation?

    There are a number of ways to gain reputation:

    1. Segment voted up: +5 to the project creator
    2. Segment voted down: -2 to the project creator
    3. Translation voted up: +10 to the translator
    4. Translation voted down: -2 to the translator and -1 to the voter
    5. Translation accepted: +15 to the translator and +2 to the project creator
  4. What are badges?

    Badges are a marks of distinction that are awarded to translators for completing various tasks on Ackuna. The more active a translator is on Ackuna, the more badges he earns and unlocks.

  5. How do I unlock badges?

    Badges can be unlocked by performing specific actions on Ackuna. You can earn the Translator badge, for instance, by submitting a translation for any project and having another translator confirm its accuracy by voting it up.

    To see a full list of badges you can earn and how to earn them, visit the badges page.


  1. How do I create a project?

    To create a project, you need to be a registered user. Once you have an account, visit the create a project page by clicking the "Get a Translation" link at the top of the page and fill out the information on that form.

    Choose your source language (the language your text is already in), target languages (what you want it translated into), and attach your file with the text you want translated. (Please see the Supported Formats section below for more information on accepted file formats.) If you have special requirements, add them too.

    Press the Preview button to view an outline of your project before it's created. If everything looks accurate, click Create Project. If you need to make changes, click Edit Project Details.

    You can view all of the projects you've submitted by clicking on the "My Projects" link under your username in the header.

  2. What file formats do you accept?

    For your convenience, Ackuna accepts a number of text formats when creating a new project.

    Depending on your needs, you can choose whichever of the following methods is easiest for you to work with.


    You can create a simple, specially-formatted strings file, such as the following example. This system is most useful for translating websites, software, and other applications.

    /* Comments will not be translated. */
    "VARIABLE_NAME" = "Hello";
    "VARIABLE_NAME_2" = "When using \"quotes\" in strings they should be escaped.";
    "VARIABLE_NAME_3" = "Multi-line strings 
    are okay, too.";

    Note: The first value between the quotation marks is treated as a variable and is not translated. The second value between the quotation marks is treated as the text to translate.

    Download demo.strings example file


    Android XML format.

    A simple XML structure like the example below can easily be stripped down, translated, and rebuilt.

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    	<string name="string_1">Hello</string>
    	<string name="string_2">Goodbye</string>
    	<string name="string_3">A full sentence with punctuation is okay, too.</string>
    	<string name="string_4">Special characters %s permissible.</string>

    Download demo.xml example file


    Blackberry resource file format

    LABEL_THREE#0="A full sentence with punctuation is okay, too.";
    LABEL_FOUR#0="Special characters %s and \"markup\" permissible.";

    Download demo.rrc example file


    Java configuration file format.

    # Comments are not transkated.
    ! The exclamation mark can also mark text as comments.
    my.first_string		= Hello
    my.second_string	= Be sure to include whitespace before your string.
    # The key and element characters #, !, =, and : are written with a preceding backslash to ensure that they are properly loaded.
    string_with_special_characters = Visit http\://ackuna.com today\!
    # Spaces are allowed in keys if they are escaped properly.
    key\ with\ spaces = This is the value that could be looked up with the key "key with spaces".

    Download demo.properties example file


    YAML (Ruby).

    label_1: "Hello"
        label_2: "Goodbye"
        label_3: "A full sentence with punctuation is okay, too."
    label_4: "Special characters %s and <b>markup</b> permissible."

    Download demo.yml example file


    Windows 8 Localization File

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    	<!-- Comments and resheader data are not translated. -->
    	<resheader name="resmimetype">
    	<data name="yourLabelHere" xml:space="preserve">
    		<value>Your text string values will be translated.</value>

    Download demo.resw example file


    ASP.NET Resource File

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    	<!-- Comments and meta data will not be translated. -->
    	<xsd:schema id="root" xmlns="" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:msdata="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xml-msdata">
    		<xsd:import namespace="http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace" />
    		<xsd:element name="root" msdata:IsDataSet="true">
    				<xsd:choice maxOccurs="unbounded">
    					<xsd:element name="metadata">
    								<xsd:element name="value" type="xsd:string" minOccurs="0" />
    							<xsd:attribute name="name" use="required" type="xsd:string" />
    							<xsd:attribute ref="xml:space" />
    	<resheader name="foo">
    		<value>Header data will not be translated either.</value>
    	<data name="FirstString" xml:space="preserve">
    		<value>Only these two "data" strings will be translated.</value>
    	<data name="SecondString" xml:space="preserve">
    		<value>So this string will be translated, too!</value>

    Download demo.resx example file

    .xls and .xlsx

    Ackuna can accept specially-formatted spreadsheets in both .xls and .xlsx formats.

    Because Ackuna needs spreadsheets to be in a specific structure in order to properly parse the text, we have created a detailed spreadsheet help page to assist users in creating a properly-formatted spreadsheet file.


    Portable Object (GNU gettext file).

    Projects uploaded in .po format no longer include header data as translated text.

    Additionally, if you already have translations submitted within "msgstr" tags in the document, they will be automatically submitted for prooreading to your project on Ackuna.

    When downloading your completed project, the target language header data will be updated with the correct language code automatically.

    # Comments and header data will not be translated.
    msgid ""
    msgstr ""
    "POT-Creation-Date: 2014-12-31 12:00-0400\n"
    "PO-Revision-Date: 2015-01-01 12:00-0400\n"
    "Language: xx\n"
    "Last-Translator: Jane Doe <jane.doe@eample.com>\n"
    "MIME-Version: 1.0\n"
    "Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8\n"
    msgid "Hello"
    msgstr ""
    msgid ""
    "A segment spanning multiple lines "
    "can be translated as well."
    msgstr ""
    msgid "Translations from pre-translated segments will be submitted, based on the language data set in the header."
    msgstr "Anslationstray omfray e-translatedpray egmentsay illway ebay ubmittedsay, asedbay onay ethay anguagelay ataday etsay inay ethay eaderhay."
    msgid "Special characters %s and \"other\" <b>markup</b> permissible."
    msgstr ""

    Download demo.po example file

    .xlf and .xliff

    XLIFF XML Localization Interchange File Format

    Projects uploaded in XLIFF format no longer include header data as translated text.

    Additionally, if you already have translations submitted within <target> tags in the document, they will be automatically submitted for prooreading to your project on Ackuna. To automatically mark any of your original translations as "accepted" on Ackuna, simply set the "approved" attribute to yes in your open <target> translation tag.

    When downloading your completed project, the target language header data will be updated with the correct language code automatically.

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <xliff version="1.2" xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:xliff:document:1.2" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="urn:oasis:names:tc:xliff:document:1.2 xliff-core-1.2-transitional.xsd">
    	<file datatype="html" original="demo.ssi" source-language="en" target-language="es">
    			<trans-unit id="label_1" approved="no">
    			<trans-unit id="label_2" approved="no">
    				<source>Translations from pre-translated segments will be submitted.</source>
    				<target>Anslationstray omfray e-translatedpray egmentsay illway ebay ubmittedsay.</target>
    			<trans-unit id="label_3" approved="yes">
    				<source>Translations marked as "approved" will be automatically marked as "accepted" on Ackuna.</source>
    				<target>Anslationstray arkedmay asway "approvedway" illway ebay automaticallyway arkedmay asway "acceptedway" ybay Ackunaway.</target>
    			<trans-unit id="label_4" approved="no">
    				<source>Some "special" &lt;b&gt;characters&lt;/b&gt; are permitted.</source>

    Download demo.xlf example file

  3. How do I add context images to my project?

    Context Images

    You can add example photos to your project to help translators get a better idea of how text strings are to be used in your finished project.

    This is especially helpful for short or partial text strings that only make sense as part of a larger whole.

    To add context images, you must be logged in and viewing your project. Select the text string you want to add the photo to (in any language). Click the "Add a photo" button, then click "Upload a file" and select the photo you want to submit. Click "OK" and the photo will be displayed to the right of your text string (the photo will be available on the translation page for that text in any language).

    Once you've uploaded a photo, you can re-use it again on another text string, too. Just click the "Add a photo" button on another string and select the photo from the pop-up, then click "OK".

    Photos can be removed from text strings from the same pop-up menu as well by clicking the "X" in the upper right-hand corner of the image thumbnail.

  4. How do I accept a translation (and know it's correct)?

    Marking translations as correct locks the translated text in so that when you download the completed project, you can guarantee that all of the text in the completed translation is what you wanted. If you don't mark a translation as correct for a segment of your project, we will assume that the currently highest-ranked translation is correct and use it.

    You can only mark translations correct for projects you submitted.

    You can mark a translation as correct by clicking the "Mark this translation as the accepted translation" link beneath the text. This action cannot be undone. If you don't believe the text is accurate, do nothing; uou can wait for a better translation to be submitted.

    Because you most likely don't know the language you're seeking a translation in, it can be difficult to determine if a translation is accurate or not before accepting it as correct. Use a translator's reputation and badges as an indicator of their credibility, and take into account the comments and feedback left on each translation by other translators. Use these factors and your best judgment before accepting the translation of your text.

  5. Can I update a revised version of my source file? New!

    If the text strings for your app have changed since you first created your project on Ackuna, you can upload a revised version of the file from the Edit Project page. You can access this page by clicking the "Edit" button from your My Projects page, linked from the dropdown menu at the upper right when logged in.

    Your revised file must be the same format and extension as your original file. Once your file is uploaded, you can review the strings once more and make changeds necessary and deselect any strings that do not require translation*, if necessary, before submitting the project.

    Once you submit the changes, your original project will be temporarily disabled an inaccesible while the new strings are uploaded and merged into your project. If any translations, comments, context photos, or othre data are found in the original text that matches the new text, they will be linked up to your new strings.

    When the revisions are finished being submitted, your project will be reopened and you will receive an email letting you know the change is complete.

    * All segments submitted in XLS and XLSX projects must be included.

  6. How do I download my completed translation?

    Once you've created a new project, you can view it (along with all of your past projects) by clicking your username in the header and selecting "My Projects" from the drop-down menu.

    From your projects page, you can click the Download button next to any project to view the completed project.

    From the completed-project overview page you can view the completed translation for each language you selected. If you created a project by uploading a .xls or .strings file, you can click the Download the file button beneath each translation to get the text back in whichever format you submitted it.

    You will not be able to view a completed translation until every segment in your project has at least one translation submitted (UPDATE: This feature is now deprecated. You can download your project without waiting till the last segment is translated.)


  1. How do I submit a translation?

    If you want to add a translation for another user's text, go to the project overview, find the segment you want to translate, and click the button for whichever language you want to translate. (Languages that already have an accepted translation for any given segment will have a symbol next to them.)

    On the segment page, view the other translations. If another translator has submitted an accurate translation, simply vote it up. Your work is done! If another translator has submitted an almost-accurate translation, add a comment and tell him how he can improve his answer. If no accurate translations have been submitted, scroll to the bottom of the page and find the "Submit a Translation" section (you must be logged in). Enter your translation and click the Translate button.

  2. How do I add a comment?

    If a translator has added an almost-accurate translation and you'd like to give him feedback, or if you need a clarification on a project's requirements, you can add a comment to project segments and translations.

    In the appropriate section, click "Add a comment" and fill out the drop-down form to post your comment.

  3. Can I receive notifications when new projects are added?

    If you want to receive an email alert every time a new project is added that you can help translate, the first thing you need to do is select which languages you know.

    Go to the account settings page and scroll to the bottom. Scroll through the list of checkboxes and select each language you speak fluently.

    Next, beneath the language options, there is a checkbox labeled "Receive email notifications about new projects." Check this box and press the Edit my account button to save your changes.

    Now, whenver a project is created that matches at least two of the languages you speak, you will receive a notice by email inviting you to help translate it.

  4. How can I stop receiving new project emails?

    If you no longer wish to receive new project email alerts, go to the account settings page and scroll to the bottom. Find the checkbox labeled "Receive email notifications about new projects" and uncheck it. Press the Edit my account button to save your changes.

    You should now no longer receive alerts when new projects are added that match your language settings.

  5. How do you pay for translation?

    Translators who have a reputation of 1,000 or higher will earn the professional badge, which entitles them to work private projects and be paid for their work!

    If you meet the qualifications and have received a notice that you are eligible to work on private projects, in order to work on these projects and earn money we will need to have some additional information on file. On the settings page, you must check the "I want to translate paid projects" box at the bottom of the page. Once selected, a Payment Settings form should appear below. Select your preferred payment method* and enter additional information in the field below.

    Once we have this information on file, you will receive notices of new, private projects when they are available, and each time a developer submits a payment we will be able to transfer it to whatever billing account we have on file for you!

    * Ackuna currently only accepts PayPal as a payment option for translators.

  6. How can I track my progress as a translator? New!

    In addition to keeping track of your reputation on the site, you can view feedback (in the form of up- and downvotes on your translations) from the My Feed page when logged in.