Little Translation HOWTO (was: Translators wanted)
- From: Roland Illig <roland illig gmx de>
- Cc: MC <mc gnome org>, MC Devel <mc-devel gnome org>
- Subject: Little Translation HOWTO (was: Translators wanted)
- Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 01:32:07 +0200
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
- 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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