LXDE:Pootle crash course

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Pootle, the basics

Pootle (PO-based Online Translation / Localization Engine) is an easy to use and fast way to get translations done. LXDE uses these PO files for localization of the user interface. The official web page is http://pootle.translatehouse.org, it holds all kind of documentation about the projects involved.


  • Provide an interface for translators to submit translations to multiple projects, regardless of the type of the underlying version control system (VCS)
  • Reduce the overhead a project maintainer usually undertakes to administrate accounts for translators
  • Help translators do more by eliminating the need to subscribe to each VCS and learn its commands and tricks
  • Encourage collaboration between developers and maintainers and thus, increase the language coverage of the participant projects

Bridge between your source code and translators

Pootle acts like a bridge between source code and translators. It doesn’t really matter what type of version control system is used to store the source code. All this tool needs to know is: where does the code live, who is entitled to work on translations, and if translations that are uploaded can be automatically committed upstream.


The Pootle server is hosted by Blekinge student union (https://www.bthstudent.se) in south east Sweden. Big thanks to all involved!

Crash course

This guide is not intended to be a complete lesson in all parts and features of Pootle. It is here to get you started with the interface and the translation effort.


  1. Point a web browser to http://pootle.lxde.org
  2. Check that your language exists, otherwise contact lxde-i18n@lists.sourceforge.net to get it sorted.
  3. Create an account and make sure it is activated and you can login.
  4. Get proper priviliges to "your" language. Ideal situation would be to talk to someone already dpoing the translation to help out, otherwise the mailing list as above will do.

The workflow

This is the some what illustrated guide to get started doing translations via http://pootle.lxde.org.

Get an account

At the top right corner, click "Register" and fill the form out. Wait for the activation e-mail and click the link to activate your account. Get privliges (as stated above), then continue on in this guide.

LXDE project

At the main page you could either choose the component of interest in the projects section or the language in the language section to start.


This will be updated ASAP. The Pootle setup doesn't look like this these days, similar but not all parts.


The project overview, choose your language:


An example of a started but not completed translation effort (this is for Finnish).


  • Name - The name of the file
  • Progress - Graphic representation of the progress. Green for done, purple for strings needing review and red for empty strings (gpicview.po is a good example in the picture above).
  • Summary - Number of words that needs to be checked to complete the translation.
  • Total Words - A sum of the number of words in the file.

Edit mode

Click the filename to start edit the translation of the file.

006 edit link.png

Click the number next to a string to start translate it.

Editing a string marked as Fuzzy:

005 fuzzy.png

Editing a string marked as Translated:


Editing a string marked as Untranslated:

007 empty.png

  • To save the translation click the button marked Submit (it only shows if you have privileges in the current language).
  • The back and skip buttons will jump to the previous/next translatable string.
  • Mark the checkbox next to Fuzzy to make the translation appear as "half done", these strings will NOT be used when the program runs at the users' environment. This is a major issue, a translation effort is not complete if any fuzzy strings are not cleared.
  • When done with the translation click the review tab (tab three from the left) and then "Commit to VCS" to push all changes to the code repository.

Shortcuts and useful side features

If you just want to grab the latest PO files go to the tab "Review", you could either get the individual files or a complete archive file with all files.

Who to contact

  • Martin Bagge (brother@bsnet.se) is the main administrator of the Pootle server.
    • Issues with the activation of accounts, and all other stuff is his first attention.
    • brother- in #lxde @ irc.oftc.org
    • Martin is based in Varberg, Sweden and thus follows Central European Time (UTC+1/+2).
  • The translation mailing list (lxde-i18n@lists.sourceforge.net), https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/lxde-i18n.
    • The mailing list can be used for all issues with the Pootle, if you have generic question on "how do I do this or that" it is always a good idea to post it to the mailing list for others to see. Special cases of issues listed above are welcome at the list too but could be directed to the appropriate person directly.
  • The IRC channel #lxde at irc.oftc.net
    • As always IRC is a good source for help. Be patient, the correct people is not always at hand to answer your question.