This page was replaced by the Answers section for Ubuntu Translations project from Launchpad. To read the FAQ or ask a questions please visit:


  • Q: How do I know if my translations are being reused upstream or not?


  • Q: How do I translate weird strings like 'super user' OR <application>Root Terminal</application> OR _Update Server OR <xref linkend=\"qg-archivemanager\" endterm=\"title-qg-archivemanager\"/>List? Can I have a full list of examples and an explanation of each translation?

  • Q: How do I translate menu entries?

    • A: Just translate it through Rosetta, menu entries should be there. If not, talk to the mantainers of the package and send them a translated .desktop entry directly.

  • Q: How can we coordinate uniform translations of the same terms in a given team?

    • A: In Rosetta you have suggested and accepted translations boxes that can give you an idea of how other translators translated similar strings to the one you are looking at. You can also coordinate using your team mailing lists or putting in the web some translations which you agreed on for common reference to all the translators.
    • A: Check

  • Q: How can I review a translation?

    • A: Reviewing is mostly about exactly that - re-viewing. If you think the translation is good, or you've fixed it, you just remove the check mark. Usually the one who translated a string would ask for reviewing as (s)he might have considered the translation to be only half-good.

Rosetta specific

  • Which packages have translations released via "langpacks"? All of the packages available in Rosetta?

    • No, only packages that belong to "main" have translations periodically released through "langpacks".

  • How do I Download or Upload files into Rosetta. What are these strange formats PO or MO? What Software can be used to work on them? Is it recommended to work on the files in my local computer instead of editing the files online?

    • To Download a PO you use Rosetta interface and after confirming that you want to download the file it will be sent shortly to your email address, defined in the launchpad. To edit PO files locally you can use POEdit or Gtranslator, for example, both available through synaptic (main+universe) repositories or a simple text editor. In the latter case remember not to change the "msgid" strings. The translations in ubuntu are stored locally in /usr/share/locale or /usr/share/locale-langpack. Let us see one example. Portuguese translation for SERPENTINE is stored in the file "" which is in /usr/share/locale-langpack/pt/LC_MESSAGES. Now that you know where the translation files are stored you can change them and test your translations locally. Following the previous example, if you download the SERPENTINE .PO file using Rosetta, you change it through POedit, and then you can compile it using also POedit. If you do this a new file will be created. Copy this new file to /usr/share/locale-langpack/pt/LC_MESSAGES and you will be able to test your new portuguese translation of SERPENTINE. Do a backup of your original /usr/share/locale-langpack/pt/LC_MESSAGES/ file first:-). After testing your translations you can send the file back to Rosetta using the Upload tool being careful to not override someone else work (more info on this needed).
    • Now, generally speaking, it will happen sometimes that you have difficulties putting in context some strings when you are using the web-based Rosetta translation portal. If you can, use the program that you are translating and see where the string appears. Also, if you can, try the example mentioned above or something similar to see your translations in action.

  • In Rosetta, if the option "Someone should review this translation" is on, is the translation accepted? If it is turned off, the translation will be automatically accepted without any reviewing?

    • Setting this option adds your translation as a suggestion just like anybody else's who is not a member of the Translation Team. So the translation is not accepted and needs to be reviewed by a team member; you can even do that yourself if you change your mind. It is accepted immediately without any reviewing if you turn the option off while entering your translation.

  • Is there someone with the responsibility of looking to the translations marked as "Someone should review this translation" and correct them if necessary?

    • This responsibility lies with the Translation Team assigned for the language you are translating to. It is a matter of the team members to organize these reviews among themselves. There is nobody on the Launchpad/Canonical team assigned to do this.

  • When should I turn on the option "Someone should review this translation"?

    • You only have this option if you are a member of the translation team for this language. You should turn this option on if the team's policy requires all translations to be reviewed by a second team member or if you are otherwise unsure about your translation. The option adds your translation as a suggestion.

  • If no one turns off the option "Someone should review this translation" during several weeks what should I do? Will the translation be automatically accepted?

    • Remember that turning this option on simply adds your translation as a suggestion that is then treated like any other suggestion. Suggestions are never accepted automatically but must always be reviewed by somebody on the team. So it is a matter of communicating with your translation team. Some options for communication: send emails to your team mailing list asking to someone look at it; talk to translators in the IRC,, #ubuntu-translators.


Translations/TranslatorsQuestions (last edited 2009-07-20 11:42:27 by p54A13477)