Home > Application / Software, Computer n Technology > HOW TO TRANSLATE APPLICATION USER INTERFACE USING POEDIT



For weeks, I did a voluntary translation in my spare time for AVI ReComp, an application that its main function is “to merge” subtitle file into AVI video. I translated the interface of AVI ReComp into my mother tongue, Bahasa Indonesia, using POedit. POedit is a 5.35 MB CAT tools you can get from http://www.poedit.net/ that is used to translate the PO file. PO file is usually included in a freeware or open source application that the author/developer let the users to take a part in developing that application such as in localizing the software (interface, help file, and even the installation language). The PO file of AVI ReComp is (usually) located in C:\Program Files\AVI ReComp\Locale\template.po. Through POedit, those PO file then will be saved as MO file, which later should be returned to the installation directory so that the application then have a new language (the newly translated one).

Later, I will show you the steps to translate any PO file using POedit. Here I use the steps that I got from AVI ReComp help menu (here I made a small changes too, especially made the steps shorter). The steps must be the same if you wish to translate PO files of other applications (or translate AVI ReComp user interface into your own preferred language).


AVI ReComp Translation Guide

If you want to create or update translations you can use files existing in AVI ReComp installation directories but it’s much better to download a special Translation Package from our server.

Every time I’m going to release a new version there is also a special Translation Package for the forthcoming version of AVI ReComp. Translation Packages contain all textual references used in a given version of AVI ReComp – all interface strings, all documents and guides and help files.

  • Download POedit – open-source PO files editor. If you would like to work under Linux system you can use a great tool Lokalize. This guide is based on POedit usage.
  • Look for the “template.po” file. You should find it in the “\Locale” subdirectory of the Translation Package. You can also find the latest template in the “\Locale” subdirectory of the main AVI ReComp installation folder. Copy the file anywhere you want and rename it to “default.po”.
  • Open your “default.po” file with POedit (FileOpen). Go to CatalogSettings. You will see the following window:

POedit CAT Tools

  • You have to fill all the fields correctly otherwise your translation will not work correctly! Please enter a project name and version, your nick and any e-mail address, the language of your translation. Set both encoding types to utf-8. After you are done, click OK to save all required settings. For Plural Forms field, please refer to this article.
  • Activate all available windows in the View menu: Show comment window and Show automatic comments window.
  • Now you can start translating all items included in the translation file.
  • The main window is divided into 5 panels. The upper and the biggest panel contains all strings (translated and un-translated). All un-translated sentences are marked as blue. Every translated item becomes white. There are also four smaller windows. The first (upper left) window contains an original item that has to be translated. The lower left window is for you to enter your translation. The upper right panel contains special comments written by a programmer. Most often it is empty but sometimes you can find some important instructions here. For example: maximal allowed length, exact meaning of a given word or sentence.
  • The lower right window is for you to write your own comments. They can be very useful for you later or for another translator that will want to continue your work.
  • When you are done or just want to save your work, click the save button and your translation will be saved.

Testing The Translation

As I have mentioned above POedit always generates a special MO file during saving your job. This is a target file used by AVI ReComp to process the translation. Now go to AVI ReComp installation directory and find a directory named “Locale“. There you have to create a new subdirectory. The name of this directory has to refer to the language code you are going to test. You can use the following link to check what is the code for your language: http://dybdahl.dk/dxgettext/docs/beta/online/standards.html. For example, if you are going to check your British translation you will have to give the name “en_GB” for your folder. If it is a French translation then choose “fr” name for the folder.

Now let’s create one more sub-directory in your new folder. Its name has to be “LC_MESSAGES“. And this is the final place for your compiled default.mo file. So for the French translation the whole path will be as follow: AVI ReComp install dir\locale\fr\LC_MESSAGES\default.mo

Now you can run AVI ReComp and you should see your new language available on the list of all available languages. You can now check how it works.


If you have already installed AVI ReComp 1.5.5 in your computer and you are not quite patient to wait for the next release of AVI ReComp with Indonesian language included, then you can download the MO file manually from http://www.avirecomp.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?5914 then copy the MO file into language directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\AVI ReComp\Locale\id\LC_MESSAGES\) or see the Testing The Translation section above.

  1. July 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    If you’re interested to collaboratively translate web software, PC software, mobile software or any other type of software, I warmly recommend POEditor, a localization platform that my team developed not long ago, which will probably help you get your translation projects done a lot faster and easier.
    POEditor has an intuitive work interface, which makes it easy to use for technically inexperienced translators. It is perfect for crowdsourcing and it has a lot of management-oriented features, that give full control over the translation workflow, which you can find enlisted on our website here:
    You can import from multiple language file formats (like pot, po, xls, xlsx, strings, xml, resx, properties) or just use our REST API.
    Feel free to try it out and recommend it to developers and everyone who might find it useful.

  2. July 19, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Hi, thanks for visiting my little blog. I have visited your site and found something great so I love it! Soon, I will make a review and publish it here too. Many translators should know it 🙂

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