Revision 6 as of 2005-08-04 11:52:02

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This page collects and answers some frequent questions about the web translating interface [ Rosetta]. For further information, consult the [ Rosetta mailing list].

attachment:IconsPage/IconNote.png There are some features that have not yet been implemented in Rosetta. To find out what they are, and to make more suggestions, please read and comment on this page: RosettaWishList

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Rosetta Open/Free Software?
    • No, Rosetta is not Open or Free Software at the moment. Rosetta will become open source sometime in the future but we don't have a date, although some parts of the Launchpad have already been released under the GPL by Canonical Ltd.
  2. If Rosetta isn't free, how are the translations submitted to the system licenced?
    • Even if Rosetta isn't Free Software at this time, the translations created in and uploaded into Rosetta will be licenced under the same licence as the software. By using Rosetta, you give permission to Canonical Ltd. to publish those translations under the same licence as the software they belong to.
  3. What happens if Rosetta closes? Will the translations be lost?
    • One of the main features of Rosetta is the ability to handle PO files easily. All the translations in the system can be exported and editted in a PO editor such as PoEdit, KBabel or GTranslator. You will be able to continue your work outside Rosetta.

  4. I want to translate the upstream project Foo. Can I use Rosetta?
    • Yes, if you want to translate and upstream project with Rosetta, go to and look for it. You will be able to translate it from there. If your language is not translated at all, please check in the project's website that there isn't a translation for your language already.

  5. I don't see the upstream project in Rosetta, how can I import it?
    • Make sure the upcoming release is registered in Launchpad (add product, add series, add release).
    • Send by email the URL for the .pot AND ALL PO FILES to This means we can import not just one language, but the complete state of upstream, and it greatly improves the way we can work with upstream.

  6. My project is now imported. How can people join and translate it?
    • Rosetta can assign translators that are members of a given team. If you don't have very specific needs for translation permissions for your projects, we strongly encourage you to assign your project to the Ubuntu Translation Team, which has many translators assigned in many Language subteams, and will take care of translating your application for you.

  7. Rosetta asked me for plural forms information. What info do you need?
    • The plural form information is to handle correctly the plurals in your language. You can read more about it [ here]. As a summary, the rules we need to define are related with the number of objects/things/persons you are talking about, for instance, in English we have:

      • 0 items
      • 1 item
      • 2 items
      • 3 items
      • ...
      • n item(s)
      With that, we get that only when n == 1 is singular and when n != 1, it's plural. In this case, the plural form expression is: "n==1 ? 0 : 1" and the gettext's nplurals value == 2. In a non programming language, "n==1 ? 0 : 1" means: If 'n' is 1, then use the first entry, otherwise, use the second. 'n' is the number of items and usually, in computer programming we start counting with '0' instead of '1'.
  8. How the plural forms affect Rosetta?
    • If you get a message to translate with plural forms, you will get as much entries fields as plural forms defined for your language so you should be aware of your plural form expression and fill the fields as needed.
  9. I am translating an Ubuntu documentation piece in Rosetta (such as aboutubuntu, releasenotes, and quickguide). I come across some strange looking strings such as &convention or <example>. Should I translate them?

    • No, these strings should not be translated but should be left as they are!