The KDE Translation HOWTO

Thomas Diehl

Nicolas Goutte

Rewrite of the doc-translation part: Frank Schütte
Update of the GUI-translation part: Arash Zeini

Yuri Chornoivan

Revision Plasma 5.6 / Applications 16.04 (2016-06-02)

This translators' HOWTO is meant for translation team coordinators, new translators, and everybody else interested in the subject of translating KDE. It gives a first overview of how new languages are introduced to KDE, and how the translations of the graphic user interface, the on-line help, and other KDE-related things are actually done. It also takes a closer look at resources available to assist translators in the process. Other important areas (e.g. how to compile KDE sources or how to find one's way around SVN) are referenced throughout.

A current HTML version of this document can be found at To contribute, comment, or correct, please send email to kde-i18n-doc mailing list.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Bringing a New Language to KDE
First Things First...
Taking a Look at Available Resources and SVN
Translation sources of GUI strings
Starting the Actual Translation
Where to Go From Here: Some Practical Hints
Getting Credit for Your Work
3. GUI Translation
POT and PO Files
To-do Lists for GUI Translation
Step by Step: The Translation of POTs and POs
Peculiarities and Difficulties
Using Specialized Programs for GUI Translation
(X)Emacs in PO Mode
Checking and Committing Your Work
Syntax Check: msgfmt --statistics --check-header
Checking for Missing Variables and Other Problems
XMLSyntax Check
Compilation, Context and Accelerator Checks
Committing Your Work to SVN
SVN Conflicts
4. Doc Translation
General Requirements for Doc Translation
POT and PO Files Used for Documentation
To-do Lists for Doc Translation
Step by Step: The Translation of Documentation Files
Peculiarities and Difficulties
Checking and Committing Your Work
Checking the Markup and the Spelling
What to Do with Translated and Corrected Documentation?
5. Handling Bug Reports
6. Web Sites for KDE Users and Developers
A. Mailing Lists
Mailing List Overview
Mailing List kde-i18n-doc
Mailing List kde-doc-english
Mailing List kde-commits
Mailing List kde-bugs-dist
B. The l10n-kf5 Modules
Directories of the l10n-kf5 Module
How To Translate?
C. Tools and Resources for KDE Translators
The i18n Server
Mailing Lists, IRC, and On-line Fora
Web and FTP Sites
HOWTOs and Info Sites
Specialized Programs and Modules
...for GUI Translation
...for Doc Translation
Dictionaries and Tools for Consistency Checking
D. Where to find the answers on maintenance questions?
E. Thomas Diehl's Acknowledgements