Introducing R lessons in Japanese

We share a complete bilingual R lesson in English and Japanese

Software Carpentry lessons in Japanese

As previously discussed we have a Japanese language team aiming to maintain a community-led translation of the core Software Carpentry lesson. See our previous posts on how we got started and how we manage collaborative translations via GitHub. Our team has grown internationally in the age of online meetings with contributions from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and the USA. We hope this will support growing the Carpentries community in Japan and Carpentries lessons for Japanese learners overseas.

We are pleased to announce the complete lesson materials have been translated to Japanese for the “R for Reproducible Scientific Analysis” course (extras and other content is in progress). See the links below for a web version hosted on our GitHub organisation. This uses the “carpentries-i18n” theme for multilingual lessons. Shell and Git lessons are in progress towards our goal of a complete Software Carpentry core lessons in Japanese. We believe the R lessons are ready to share with the wider community and welcome feedback.

English: https://swcarpentry-ja.github.io/r-novice-gapminder/
Japanese (日本語): https://swcarpentry-ja.github.io/r-novice-gapminder/ja/

The R lesson that we translated is archived so the English and Japanese content matches. We are grateful to David Pérez-Suárez and the Spanish translation team for building the tools for this. We plan to use GitHub to merge updates to the lessons in English so that only new sections need to be translated and hope that this system overcomes previous issues with maintaining translated lessons. We have expanded on this and provided further user guides (in English and Japanese) on GitHub if anyone wishes to use them. Inspired by the Spanish lessons, we wish to include these lessons on the Software Carpentry website once they are finished.

Motivations for translation

We focused on the R lesson first because of growing demand to learn the R language in life sciences and data science. The Japanese translation team grew initially out of the #TokyoR community. The #TokyoR meetings and their Slack workspace (both mainly in Japanese) share updates in the R community and aid new R users. These activities are hugely beneficial for the community in Japan to learn about R and new packages that are typically announced in English. Similarly, thanks to efforts of the Tokyo R community, resources are catching up in Japanese (such as translation of books) and they share their expertise with new users.

Expected benefits to the community

We make these lessons available freely online for the benefit of the Japanese community, including Japanese diaspora, around the world. They are now able to learn Software Carpentry materials in their native language. We believe this has immense benefits to the local community in Japan and represents a step towards making the Carpentries a truly global community inclusive of non-native English speakers.

This will aid in running workshops in Japan and getting support from organisations within Japan. Members of the Japanese team have made presentations on Software Carpentry in both English and Japanese as the community continues to grow. Being able to run Japanese language or bilingual workshops will be beneficial to the community in Japan. It is also important for those involved in organisations to understand the course materials and goals of The Carpentries.

We hope that this effort also inspires translations into other languages. We are indebted to the wider Carpentries community for developing the lesson materials in English and the Spanish Carpentries community for developing technical tools we use. We have developed and documented these tools to encourage new translators to join us. By making lesson materials available to non-English majority speaking countries and international students, we believe The Carpentries can have a far wider benefit to communities around the world. Establishing a local community in Japan and considering equity with respect to language is in line with The Carpentries Strategic Plan for 2020-2025.

Getting Involved in the Japanese Community

We welcome any support to grow The Carpentries community in Japan and abroad in the Japanese language. While we have held meetings several times, we try to keep everyone updated online if they cannot attend due to their schedule.

Any support for our efforts to translate the lessons into Japanese, maintain the translated lessons to keep them up-to-date, and to train instructors in Japan (or with Japanese language skills) will be appreciated. We hope to keep up our momentum to soon have an active community maintaining the lessons and using them with Japanese learners.

What You Can Do To Help

See our posts on how we got started and how we manage collaborative translations. In summary, you can contribute to Japanese lessons by submitting pull requests to the PO files in this github repository1 :

https://github.com/swcarpentry_ja/i18n

Merging a change to the PO file automatically triggers GitHub Actions and generates the translated lesson content. We may share how this works at a later date.

We are also interested in training instructors in Japan and holding workshops. Please contact us if you are able to support this in any way.

We also actively contribute Japanese terms to the Glosario project and encourage pull requests to the GitHub repository.

Find Out More

If you wish to get involved in the translations, please find us on Twitter, join us on Slack, or send pull requests to our lessons on GitHub. Please note that some translations are ongoing already (check the issues tab for which are assigned). If you are fluent in Japanese, please give us feedback on our translations. We are also happy to share how we manage translations with PO files on GitHub, please ask us if you have any questions about doing it in another language.

Follow us on Twitter @swcarpentry_ja

Find us on FaceBook: carpentries.ja

Find us on GitHub at swcarpentry_ja

Chat with the core team on the our slack channel (日本語でも大丈夫). Join in English or Japanese.

Find out more about Tokyo.R on Twitter @TokyoRCommunity or #TokyoR.

Anyone is welcome to contribute to Japanese lessons or join the core team. You do not need to be located in Japan but strong English and Japanese language skills will be helpful. See our Github repository1 for more details on how to contribute to translated lessons.


1: Repository for translations: <https://github.com/swcarpentry_ja/i18n>
2: Web pages for Bilingual R lesson in English: <https://swcarpentry-ja.github.io/r-novice-gapminder/>
3: Web pages for Bilingual R lesson in Japanese: <https://swcarpentry-ja.github.io/r-novice-gapminder/ja/>
4: GitHub repo for Bilingual R lesson in English: <https://github.com/swcarpentry-ja/r-novice-gapminder>
5: GitHub repo for Bilingual R lesson in Japanese: <https://github.com/swcarpentry-ja/r-novice-gapminder-ja>

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