Kamil Prusko edited this page Sep 22, 2017 · 6 revisions
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This is a quick guide on how to get started with translating gnome-pomodoro and how to update existing translations.

You'll need to grab gnome-pomodoro source code. Fork it on github and run in terminal

$ git clone<github-username>/gnome-pomodoro.git

Adding new translation

Generate gnome-pomodoro.pot file (a .po file template) from the current code

$ cd po
$ make gnome-pomodoro.pot-update

Then create a new <locale>.po file where <locale> is one of the locales returned by locale -a or is listed here:

$ msginit --locale=<locale> --input=gnome-pomodoro.pot

If applicable, use the short locale (de, es, fr, ...) to make it available to all sublocales. Use the regular locale (en_GB, en_AU, ..., zh_CN, zh_TW) when this is not applicable.

Add new locale to LINGUAS file.

Modify the heading comment to follow the format

# <language> translations for gnome-pomodoro package.
# Copyright (c) <year> gnome-pomodoro contributors
# This file is distributed under the same license as the gnome-pomodoro package.
# <your-name> <<email-optional>>, <year>.

If you change translator-credits to your name, you will be listed in the about dialog

#: lib/about-dialog.vala:41
msgid "translator-credits"
msgstr "Kamil Prusko"


Open the <locale>.po file with your favorite text editor or with a specialized PO editor, popular are:

Add your translation in the msgstr fields. Do not replace the original text in the msgid fields:

#: hello:5
msgid "Hello, world!"
msgstr "世界你好!"

Take notice of the context in which translation strings are used. For some there are comments but for most just a location in the source code, it should give you a hint.

Do not use non breaking space characters to avoid problematic display issues.

Updating a translation

Update the .pot file:

$ cd po
$ make gnome-pomodoro.pot-update

and merge your .po file with the .pot

$ msgmerge --update <locale>.po gnome-pomodoro.pot

This will update your file. msgmerge tries to reuse old translations for small msgid changes, it sometimes makes wrong guesses. Review translations marked as fuzzy and remove the fuzzy markers.

To check your progress you can run

$ msgfmt --check --verbose <locale>.po

Testing your translation

To test your translation compile your .po file and install it on your system:

$ sudo msgfmt -o /usr/share/locale/<locale>/LC_MESSAGES/ <locale>.po

Then launch gnome-pomodoro with your locale

$ gnome-pomodoro --quit
$ LANG=<language-code>_<country-code> gnome-pomodoro

Sending your translation

Translations can be sent via GitHub pull request to

Thank you for your interest in translating gnome-pomodoro!


This guide was originally written by Remy Marquis and adapted by Bastien Traverse and Kamil Prusko.


  1. GNOME Localisation Guide
  2. gettext Manual