Translating with Pootle

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Creative Commons uses the online tool Pootle to manage translations of our tools. The Creative Commons installation of Pootle is maintained at This page describes how to use Pootle to edit translations.

Applications currently managed by are:

First time setup

In order to be properly registered with Pootle, you must follow the next two sections. If you already have an account that lets you translate or make suggestions, skip to the next section, "Daily use."

Creating an account

Before you can translate an application you need to create an account. Go to and click the Log in link in the upper right-hand corner. Enter your desired username and password and click "Register." This will take you to the full registration page, which will ask you for your password again, your full name, and your email address. Click "Register" once more, and Pootle will send an activation code to the email address you specified. Follow the link to the activation page, and copy your activation code into the "Activation Code" box. Click "Activate Account", and your account is now activated.

Now you can log in by clicking the Log in button in the upper-right corner.

Your user page

When you log in for the first time, you will see your user page:

A clean user page in Pootle.

If you would like to translate a particular language or project, you need to let us know by choosing it in your user preferences. You must do this before we can grant you permissions to save and commit your work.

To do that, follow the link to choose your languages and projects. This takes you to the Options page.

A blank user options page in Pootle.

There are three sections to this page, each with their own separate "Save changes" buttons. This is a little counter-intuitive.

The Personal Details section lets you change information related to how you log in to Pootle. If you make any changes, be sure to hit Save changes and ensure they appear again after the page reloads.

The Translation Interface Configuration section is worth a look. We urge you to configure an alternative source language. Pootle generally shows you the English text when doing translations; the language you choose here will appear underneath the English. This can be very useful if you are, for example, localizing Spanish into Colombian Spanish, or if you are fluent in two languages. Again, if you make changes, be sure to Save changes.

The Projects and languages configuration section is crucial.

Select all the projects you are interested in. (You can choose more than one by pressing and holding Ctrl on the keyboard and clicking on many, or by just dragging the mouse over the ones you want to select.) We suggest choosing all of our projects. Do the same to select the languages you wish to translate. Note that we cannot grant you special privileges on a language until you have selected it here.

(Languages currently need to be assigned to projects by server administrators. If you are interested in translating a project into a new language, or adding a completely new language, email the project you're interested in and the language to

Daily use

This section covers the steps needed to make use of the Pootle translation service once you have registered.

Starting from front page: Choosing what to translate

When you load the Pootle front page, you will see a list of available projects and languages.

Project list displayed after logging into Pootle.

You can approach the task of translating either by starting with the languages you want to translate into, or by starting with the project you wish to translate. Note that this front page has another feature: Click on any column, and that table will be sorted by that column. For example, after one click on "Overall completion" in the projects table, we see:

Projects list sorted by overall completion

One more click would make reverse the order of the sort.

Click on the project you're interested in working on and a list of available languages will be displayed.

The project page

This takes you to the project page, in our case, for cc_org. It presents you with a list of available languages for the project.

List of available languages for the selected project.

Click on the language you would like to work on translating; if you do not see the language you want to work on listed, see the instructions below on adding a new language.

The message catalogs page

When you click on the language you'll be shown a list of message catalogs (.po files) for the selected project. Most projects have a single message catalog; ccPublisher has two, so each is listed, along with links for translating them.

Translation details and links for the project language.

The translation screen

If you want to edit or view all strings, you can simply click on the .po file you wish to edit. If you wish to view only the untranslated strings, click the link showing how many words are not yet translated. For this demonstration, we will review only the untranslated strings.

Quick translating untranslated strings.

You can translate the string in the text box next to the English text, and then click Submit to save your translation and move to the next untranslated string. If you do not want to translate that string, just click Skip to move to the next untranslated string. Note that if you do not have the translate privilege for this language in this project, your translations will be stored as a suggestion.

Other editing functions

Getting Help

If you have questions about using Pootle or about the translation process, you can ask in the IRC channel, or on the cctools-i18n mailing list.

Administering translations

Using suggestions

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