I am looking for a versioning/tracking system (commercial or free it doesn't matter) to handle the translations of a large number of documents that are constantly under development.

The text can change in any of the languages so there should be an "author" commit and "translator" commit. When an "author" commit happens in a document, the documents in other languages should be marked as "not translated".

Helping with the translation itself is not that important for my case (e.g. translation memory etc), I am more concerned with the project management/tracking aspect of the issue.

I have tried Transifex which seems very nice but it does not fit my workflow because I do not have a single "source" language. Changes can happen in any translation and if the commit is an "author" commit then all other translations have to be updated.

Regarding an operating system, if there is a server side it should be possible to install it on any mainstream Windows/Unix/Linux server with the client PCs on Windows, or it could also be Web/Cloud based solution.


1 Answer 1


Drupal (which is a free/libre CMS) can do this, without needing any contributed modules or custom code.

I’m not saying that this is the best solution for the job (in fact, I’m sure this lacks many features specialized solutions would offer), but it can get the job done with default/built-in features; and if needed, it can be extended and customized easily, even without programming skills (thanks to Drupal’s great modules like Views, Rules, and Flag).

(FWIW, there is also the Translation Management Tool module, but I have no experience with it.)

Possible caveats (in the default implementation):

  • It doesn’t differentiate between "author" and "translator" commit; instead, a translator can check "Flag other translations as outdated" and uncheck "This translation needs to be updated".

    With the Views module, you can create a list showing which translations are outdated (Filter Criteria: "Translation outdated").

  • When adding a new translation, it prefills the textarea with the content of the document in the original (i.e., first) language. But when editing translations because a translation was updated, it no longer shows what was added/changed. So the translator would have to open the other translation in a tab (a diff of the changes per translation can be shown, e.g., with the Diff module).

    But with some effort, this can be changed, of course (e.g., you could create a View which displays all translations and lets you edit them directly).


(Interface text based on Drupal 8; but it should also work with Drupal 7 in a very similar way.)

  1. Enable the modules "Content Translation" and "Language" under Extend.

  2. Add all languages you need under Configuration → Languages.

  3. Create a content type (e.g., "Document") under Structure → Content types.

    Under Language settings, check "Enable translation". For "Default language", you probably want to select "- Not specififed -".

  4. (You could now add fields to the content type. This would allow you edit the title and other metadata separately from the body.)

  5. Create a node (of your content type) under Content. If you have created it, click at Translate to add a translation.

  • Thank you for the answer, I did not know about translation in Drupal. I will wait one more day in case someone comes up with an answer with a tool more focused on translations and then award you the points.
    – yiannis
    Dec 22, 2015 at 7:20
  • @yiannis: I’d suggest to wait at least until your bounty expires -- hopefully more users will find your question and recommend a solution.
    – unor
    Dec 22, 2015 at 13:34

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