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  Translating GNUpdate

One of the goals of the GNUpdate project is to be usable by anyone on any distribution in any language. To do that, we are looking for translators. If you are fluent in multiple languages, and you have the time and desire to translate for GNUpdate, please continue reading.


The requirements are pretty basic.

  • You must be fluent in at least one language besides English (obviously).
  • You must have sufficient time to translate. We probably won't need updated translations more than once a month per component (if that). This probably won't be a problem for most people.
  • You must subscribe to the gnupdate-i18n listserv. Traffic is minimal, and will consist mostly of gettext .pot files that need to be translated, but may also contain discussions on translations in progress.
  • You must have a text editor and an Internet connection. I doubt this is a problem.


  1. E-mail me at chipx86 at gnupdate dot org and let me know what language you wish to translate for. If there is already a translator, I will inform you of that, and you can decide if you want to work together with the existing translator(s) for that language.
  2. Subscribe to the gnupdate-i18n listserv.
  3. Introduce yourself and announce the language(s) you will translate to.
  4. Wait for the next batch of .pot files. I may send you (either publically or privately) the .pot files that need to be translated immediately, if I feel the time is right.
  5. After you finish your translation, post your resulting .po files as a reply to the thread containing the .pot files.

  Multiple Translators Per Language

Sometimes, multiple people will want to translate for a single language. If you sign up for a language, and somebody is already translating for that language, please contact the person and ask if they would be willing to split up the work. If not, you can always critique their translations on the listserv.

Multiple translators for one language is a good thing, as we then have backups in case somebody is busy or no longer has the time to translate.

  gettext .pot Files

If you are already familiar with the process of translating gettext .pot files, you can skip this section. However, please read the next section Error Checking.

The strings to be translated reside in gettext .pot files. The format is very simple. It consists of msgid/msgstr pairs. The msgids contain the original English text, and should not be modified. The msgstrs contain the translation, and must be filled out.

Make sure to give yourself credit in the top-most comment and msgstr. This one looks something like this:

msgid ""
msgstr ""
"Project-Id-Version: PACKAGE VERSION\n"
"POT-Creation-Date: 2002-05-30 12:58-0700\n"
"PO-Revision-Date: YEAR-MO-DA HO:MI+ZONE\n"
"Last-Translator: FULL NAME <EMAIL@ADDRESS>\n"
"Language-Team: LANGUAGE <>\n"
"MIME-Version: 1.0\n"
"Content-Type: text/plain; charset=CHARSET\n"
"Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit\n"

You don't have to fill in everything, but we do ask that you update PO-Revision-Date and Last-Translator.

The translated .pot file should be named LL.po, where LL is the language code. For example, "fr" for French, "it" for Italian, etc.

  Error Checking

Please verify your .po file by executing the following in the po/ directory:

./ LL.po

This will display any errors that may be in your file, or nothing if your file is fine. Please fix any errors before sending to the list. If you are unable to fix an error, or cannot understand the error message, feel free to e-mail the listserv and post the problem.

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