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Revision as of 12:43, 14 September 2009 by Bombe (Talk | contribs) (Editing tools: KBabel is outdated, mention Lokalize.)

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Translating synfig & synfigstudio

Synfig and Synfigstudio are now translatable. We are using the standard gettext system and .po files. The gettext manual has lots of good advice for translators and programmers alike.

When you are building the source, the build system will create a PO Template for both synfig (po/synfig.pot) and synfigstudio (po/synfigstudio.pot). If those files are missing, run "make update-po" in the po/ directories.

New Translations

To start a new translation, you can get into the po directory and run msginit, which will determine the correct language code from your environment, ask for your email address and create <languagecode>.po, which you should edit with one of the tools mentioned below.

Updating Translations

If you update to a new revision of the code, please run "make update-po" in the po/ directories before updating the translation.

We are currently auditing the code for translatable strings, so more strings will appear for translation over time.

Editing tools

Any text editor (notepad/textedit/gedit/vi/emacs) will do (especially those with specific modes for PO files), but there are a few GUI tools that make the process easier for translators by integrating spell checking, dictionaries and so on:

  • KBabel: A KDE/Qt translation tool (now discontinued)
  • Lokalize The successor of KBabel, for KDE 4.x
  • Pootling: A cross-platform tool with some nice features
  • gtranslator: a somewhat older tool for GNOME
  • Poedit: Poedit is cross-platform gettext catalogs (.po files) editor.


To test your translation, save your po file as po/<languagecode>.po, edit and add your language code to the ALL_LINGUAS variable (be sure that you are editing the one that is before AC_OUTPUT rather than adding a new one. Once you have done that, do autoreconf and make install again. Then run synfigstudio or synfig to see how the translations look. If you edit the translation again, you just need to run make install again, no need to autoreconf.

If you are on a 64-bit platform, then please either update to SVN r1273 or run this command before running autoreconf:



When your translation is satisfactory or you have an update to it, open a patch in the bug/patch tracker and we will add it to SVN.

Updating to a new translation

If you're a regular user you simply follow the build instructions and you'll have a updated version of Synfig.

Otherwise if you are a translator and have tested previously your own translation and have crated a patch that has been added to SVN, you should not update your synfig using your current and <languagecode>.po files previously mentioned. If you update with those files currently modified by you you'll obtain a mix of both files (the current one that you have modified/created and the one coming from the last commit). It would produce configuring/building errors. To avoid that simply delete the file (it would be restored correctly when svn up) and move, rename or delete the <languagecode>.po file. You'll obtain your own translated file from the current subversion by svn.