Little Translation HOWTO (was: Translators wanted)

Dear translators,

I got some mails that we got some translators who haven't done any translation before. This mail contains some basic instructions that may help you translating.

First, you need to download your translation file from <>.

Open it with a text editor of your choice or a specialized translation editor (For example, I am using poedit for it.)

Each translation item consists of:

 - a "msgid", which is the English string that is to be translated.

 - a "msgstr", which is the translated string.

 - a list of locations in the source code, where the translation
   is used. This can help you if you don't understand the "msgid"
   from simply reading it.

 - There is a special msgid "" at the top of each file, which contains
   information about the translation file. You should add your name and
   mail address in the Last-Translator field. The PO-Revision-Date
   field should contain the date when you finished the translation.
   You can ignore the Language-Team field, as that is not used by
   the Midnight Commander project.

In most cases you fill in the translated "msgstr" any you're done. There are, however, some caveats that you should know.

 - Space characters are important. Many dialog texts or titles
   contain a leading and a trailing space. Generally you should
   leave them how they are, except if the version without spaces
   "looks better".

 - Some strings contain "magic" sequences like "%s", "%d" or even
   more complex ones like "%-02d". These sequences are replaced later
   with other strings (%s) or numbers (%d). Please try to keep them
   ordered, that is: don't translate "error in file %s, line %d" with
   "line %d of file %s contains an error".

 - Some strings start with "ButtonBar:". These are the labels of the
   keybar that is shown at the bottom of the screen. The translated
   strings should not be longer than six characters, as only the first
   six characters are actually displayed.

 - Lines starting with "#" are comments.
   Lines starting with "#~" are old translations which you can use
   as a guideline, but which are not needed anymore.

When you think you're done with the translation, run the msgfmt(1) program like this:

    msgfmt -cv foo.po

The -c option enables some warnings and the -v option prints out the statistics about the translation status. When there are no error messages or warnings left, you are finished. Now you can send your .po file to the mc-devel mailing list and wait for it to be committed to the mc source code.

If there are any questions left, please ask. :)


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