How Our Community Is Making Discogs Accessible For Everyone

Discogs was started as a side-project by DJ, programmer, and music-lover Kevin Lewandowski in Portland, Oregon, USA nearly two decades ago.  Over the last 19 years, the website has grown and spread across the world.  Discogs now connects music lovers around the world, and is the third most popular destination for music on Earth!

Today, over 15 million music-lovers use Discogs every month. Our community has added over 10 million releases to the Discogs Database and over 300 million items to their Collections! Discogs connects buyers and sellers around the world, and buyers can dig through over 46 million items in the Discogs Marketplace! 

As we build the biggest and most comprehensive music database and marketplace in the world, we need to better meet the needs of our non-English speaking community. This year, we plan to make many improvements to Discogs that focus on internationalization and localization.

Part of this goal will be adding and improving translations on Discogs.  And we couldn’t do that without the help of our community translation team. Discogs translations are contributed by our community members, just like database releases.  With community help, we not only receive better translations from people who know and use Discogs, but we can use our translation budget to support more languages.

Although Discogs is most popular within North America and Europe, we have community members that reside in every country in the world! Did you know we have received community requests to translate Discogs into almost 100 different languages and language locales?  Discogs members have asked for Acoli, Azerbaijani, Vlaams, eight different Spanish locales, and the requests keep coming! We can’t add them all, but we certainly hope to continue to add support for languages based on site usage and community interest.

So here’s a shout out to our amazing community translators! Thank you! Danke! Grazie! Merci! ¡Gracias! Спасибо! ありがとうございます。

Here’s the current leaderboard of our all-time most active community translators:

Rushing Russian

We recently added Russian as a supported language in Transifex (the web-based translation platform we utilize for crowdsourcing translations).  Once we make it to 100% translated in Russian on Transifex, we can sync those translations with and start to support Russian.  We’ve made great progress over the last few weeks: we’ve gone from about 30% translated to 60% translated!  This is all thanks to the efforts of the Discogs Russian translation team. Here is a leaderboard of the most active Russian community translators:

Lost in Translation?

You will notice some areas of the site have not yet been translated, including Database Guidelines and some help documents. We will be regularly updating the Discogs codebase to add areas of the website that aren’t currently included in our translation files.

In fact, we are starting our very first effort to translate the Database Guidelines! This is an exciting way to encourage more international database contributions – and lead us closer to our ultimate goal of making Discogs a truly complete international discography. Translating the Database Guidelines will certainly be a challenge since the interpretation of certain guidelines is debated even in English, and adding more languages will likely complicate that debate further.  However, the effort will be worth it if we can encourage more international submissions to the database, and better support our global community of music lovers!

Join the Discogs Community Translation Team!

Discogs uses Transifex to translate website text and system messages. Transifex is a web-based translation platform, making it easier for multiple users to collaborate on one translation project. Content is broken into small chunks called “strings” that need translation.

Are you interested in helping the translation effort?  Before you can translate, you need to join the Discogs Translation Team.  Anyone who is familiar with Discogs and is fluent in English and one of our currently supported languages (Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, German, Russian, Portuguese) can join.  Just follow these steps:

  1. Create a Transifex Account.  Select “translator” as your role, and “I want to join an existing project”.
  2. Visit the Discogs project on Transifex and click “Join team”.
  3. Post an introduction in this Discogs-i18n thread.

Then you can start adding translations!  Do you have more questions?  You can learn more about the Discogs Translation Team here!

What’s next?

That’s partially up to you!  What language are you eager to see us support? What portion of the website isn’t translated yet that is driving you crazy? What localization improvements would make your life easier?  Let us know by adding a comment to this post.

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  • Apr 8,2019 at 08:23

    What are you going to do to help the blind access this site? Someone should help add audio descriptions to the artwork if not a large group of people.

    • Apr 10,2019 at 19:33

      Hi, great question! We recently added alt text, which can be used by screen readers to describe images, to all album and artist pictures.

  • Feb 16,2019 at 11:03

    I really appreciate your work good luck for your future projects.

  • Feb 11,2019 at 21:53

    So proud…😢🎉

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