Checking in Extracted UI Strings and Their Translations

These instructions describe how to extract UI strings, upload strings and translations, and finally commit them to a repository. The sections about uploading and committing are no longer valid since we have switched from Launchpad to Transifex.

Before executing these steps, follow the instructions in Installing and Configuring Bazaar.

Markup for internationalized strings in the code

In the code, whenever developers write strings that will have to be translated, they use a special function whose name consists of a double underscore. A script (CakePHP's "i18n extract" script) can later be run to scan the code and extract the strings that are passed to this function.

Examples, with the equivalent actions:

  • __(‘some text’) => echo ‘some text’;
  • __(‘some text’, true) => return ‘some text’;

The language used in the code will be English.

Running cake i18n

  • Open a console on a Linux machine or Linux virtual machine.
  • Type : /var/http/tatoeba/cake/console/cake i18n
  • Choose : E (Extract POT file from source)
  • When asked if you want to merge all translations into a single file, say yes
  • Type in the path to app: /home/tatoeba/tatoeba-www/app
  • Type in the path to locale: /home/tatoeba/tatoeba-www/app/locale
  • Choose a name for the file that will be generated (in this example, default.pot): default.pot
  • Choose: Q (quit)

Modifying the header

Before you upload the POT file, you may need to open it and change the header into this:

msgid ""

msgstr ""

"Project-Id-Version: \n"

"POT-Creation-Date: \n"

"PO-Revision-Date: \n"

"Last-Translator: \n"

"Language-Team: \n"

"MIME-Version: 1.0\n"

"Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8\n"

"Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit\n"

Otherwise, Launchpad may reject the file.

Uploading default.pot

Uploading default.pot to Launchpad via Bazaar

  • Commit the file using the Bazaar Explorer GUI.

When it comes time to push your changes, go to a Windows command prompt, issue a launchpad-login command, and issue a push command.

This is the equivalent of doing the following from the Windows command prompt (for user abc):

cd bzr\trunk\trunk\default
bzr launchpad-login abc
bzr push lp:tatoeba

Presumably, this should work from Linux as well (with adjustments to the paths).

Editing .po files

You may need to edit the .po files manually at this stage if you want to restore translations for UI strings that have changed. A merge tool such as WinMerge or KDiff3 may be useful here. Skip this step if you don't know what is entailed.

Check .po files

Use this command on each .po file to ensure that it has the correct syntax:

msgfmt -c filename.po

The Launchpad site executes this step after the .po files are uploaded and approved, but checking the files first will save you more work in the long run.

Upload .po files

Put all the .po files that have changed into a "tarball", which is a file with the extension .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 . You can use a zipfile utility such as 7Zip command on Windows or tar on Linux to produce the tarball. Then upload them at the same URL that you used to upload the default.pot file.


If you do not already have bzr installed on your Linux virtual machine, install it with this command: "apt-get install bzr" . You may need to issue a "su -" (superuser) command to perform the installation.

Run this script:


It will do the following:

  • check out the files from the Launchpad repository (using Bazaar)
  • place them in a temporary directory
  • check them into the final Tatoeba2 repository

You must include the "-c" switch on the command line if you want the changes to be committed.

Historical information only

The original source of these instructions, stored on Assembla, is here: 1

Uploading default.pot to Launchpad via import queue (deprecated)

Go to this URL:

Set the following: * file type: template * path: default.pot * template: default

You can leave name and translation domain empty.

Upload the file.

You may need to wait a day or so for the translation files to be updated.


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