Poedit Tips for new Translators

Introduction and tips for new translators working with PoEdit.

poEdit is a simple and easy pot files translation software. It is free, and can be installed on linux, windows or MAC.

Here you can learn the basic of using poEdit and a few tips about some functions that can help a lot on your translations, and you will regret yourself of not knowing them before.

poEdit Basic Operation:

After you have downloaded and installed poEdit on your computer, when you open poEdit for the first time, you will see a window asking your name and your e-mail, fill in the fields and press ok.

Now you can see PoEdit window, something like this one:

Open a file that need to be translated, there you can see that the window is divided in 3 parts, the top part is a listing of all the strings, the second division shows the original string when you click on a line on the top division, the last (bottom) division shows you an empty space that you should use to make the translation. Take a look at the example below:

poEdit sort all the strings by it's status, if the string is original (not translated), it's background color will be blue, if the file is fuzzy (Incomplete, unknown term, need a revision, etc) it's background color will be yellow, and if the string is translated, it's background color will be white.

Catalog information:

You will need to make some configurations in any file you want to start translating, this configurations change to each language and some fields need to be changed for each project you translate, see it below:

This is the basic things you should know to start translating pot files.

Translation Tips:

You should be carefull when there are codes in the midle of the text, you need to mantain all the "", .\ /n %s %d and all look a like caracteres, they all have a meaning, normally they will be overwritten by another word in the translation files.

poEdit Tips:

1. PoEdit has a spell checker, but not always this will be installed. Under my computer that uses Windows, the spell checker is not working, but when i was using Ubuntu 7.04, the spell checker was working fine, and it helps a lot. Under my ArchLinux computer, I just needed to install my language's package for aspell. (Sorry, but I don't know how to activate this spell checker on windows yet, I just know that it works in linux)

2. You can reuse you translations from one file to another. This way you can make a database inside poEdit (Translation memory), the more you translate, the more complete this database will be.

After you have translated a few strings, or complete files, you should open the menu >>File>>Preferences, open the tab "Translation Memory", on the box "My Languages" click on the "Add" button and choose you language (The one that you will make a translation), click "OK".

Then click on "Generate database", in the new window, click on the "Next" button, it can take some time, while poEdit is searching some directories on your computer, in the next windows, click on the "Add files" button, go to the directory where you are storing the files that you are translating and select all of them, click on the "Open" button, then click on the "Finish" button.

This process have build a translation database for you, each time you translate some more strings or files, you can redo this process, but you will not need to rechoose your language.

Now, each file that you open, before starting the real translation, go to the menu >>Catalog>>Translate automatically using TM. All the files exactly or similar to the strings on the translation database will be translated and marked as fuzzy, a lot of them will be perfectly translated and you will just need to read and remove the fuzzy mark, others will be obviously wrong, and you will need to translate them.

Anyway, this process helps a lot, and the more you translate, the more poEdit's translation database will make the translation right.

Boen, Jan
on Mar. 21 2012

How do you convert the .po file into a yacs xxx.mo.php file after translation?