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Internationalization and localization
This page is intended for site developers. For coding help, please see this page.
We are currently hosting all translations of Open edX framework on www.transifex.com. Please feel free to make translation contributions there.
You should also join the openedx-translation Google Group.
In order to run your Open edX instance under a different spoken language, for instance for Spanish (Latin American):
Switch to edxapp environment:
sudo -H -u edxapp bash source /edx/app/edxapp/edxapp_env cd /edx/app/edxapp/edx-platform
[https://www.transifex.com] hostname = https://www.transifex.com username = user password = pass token =
Token is left blank. You have to have permissions for the project (edx-platform) AFAIK - https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/edx-platform/ (it is free to sign up and join this project as a translator).
For help with Transifex configuration, see the Transifex documentation: http://docs.transifex.com/developer/client/setup#configuration
Make sure all languages you wish to download are present and uncommented in
conf/locale/config.yaml. For example, if you wish to download Arabic and Chinese (China), make sure your config.yaml file looks like this:
locales: - ar # Arabic - zh_CN # Chinese (China)
lms/envs/common.py. Or, for development purposes, create a dev file called
dev_es.py- in the
lms/envsdirectory, with the following:
from .dev import * USE_I18N = True LANGUAGES = ( ('es-419', 'Spanish'), ) TIME_ZONE = 'America/Guayaquil' LANGUAGE_CODE = 'es-419'
Languages need to be specified with codes Django likes, so a code that is specific on Transifex such as
"de_DE" must be specified as
"de-de" in these configuration files. See https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/openedx-translation/vrOpMKzA0kU
EDXAPP_LANGUAGE_CODEin your configuration files: https://github.com/edx/configuration/blob/master/playbooks/roles/edxapp/defaults/main.yml#L282
Execute the following command in your edx-platform directory with your edx-platform virtualenv (Normally
cd /edx/app/edxapp && source edxapp_env && cd edx-platform). Make sure that at this point your git repository is set up, because the script will attempt to auto-commit the changes.
$ paver i18n_robot_pull
Note that this command will pull reviewed translations for all languages that are listed in
conf/locale/config.yaml. To only pull down some languages, edit
To pull unreviewed translations along with reviewed translations, edit
/edx/app/edxapp/venvs/edxapp/src/i18n-tools/i18n/transifex.py. Particularly, the line
execute('tx pull --mode=reviewed -l ' + lang) should be changed to
execute('tx pull -l' + lang)
When you launch your LMS instance you can launch it normally and things should display properly. However, if in Step 3 you created a special "dev_LANGUAGECODE" file, you'll need to launch the LMS with the environment file explicitly stated:
$ paver lms -s dev_es -p 8000
If you experience issues:
- Be sure your browser is set to prefer the language set in
- Note that in some cases, a language change may not be apparent because the there are no translations available. You can check that the language has been applied by checking the
langattribute of the
common/djangoapps/student/views.py, the user's language code is tried to be obtained from a saved preferences file. So if you are having issues seeing your language served up, it may be because your User object has a different language saved as a preference. Try creating a new user in your environment, this should clear up the issue.
- Be sure your browser is set to prefer the language set in
Releasing A Language
LANGUAGE_CODE sets one language to be your installation's default language. What if you want to support more than one language?
To "release" a second (or third, or hundredth) language, you have to configure the languages on the admin panel:
LANGUAGE_CODE variable is for your server's default language. And then to "release" a language, you have to turn them on in the dark lang config on the admin panel - do that by going to the admin url above, then adding language codes for all additional languages you wish to release in a comma separated list. For example, to release French and Chinese (China), you'd add:
to the dark lang config list. You don't need to add the language code for your server's default language, but it's no problem if you do.
Confusing, I know. The benefit of this is that you can preview languages before you release them by appending:
to the end of the root LMS or Studio URL, and then using the form to set or reset the preview language, Example:
127.0.0.1:8000/update_lang/ # Shows the Preview Language form with a set and reset option
Remember that language codes with underscores and capital letters need to be converted to using dashes and lower case letters on the edX platform. For example the language code of Chinese (Taiwan) is "zh_TW" on Transifex, but "zh-tw" on the edX system.
Localization Process For A Local Full Stack Installation
If you have installed the Full Stack (rather than the Developer Stack) to provide online courses to your institution, its usually not necessary to pull the translations of all languages from Transifex (in many cases translations of only one language is needed), while the pulled translation may need to be modified to meet your specific requirements. You can follow the steps here to do so:
Follow the steps 1 & 2 listed on top of this document to create a
~/.transifexrcand switch to edxapp environment.
If you only need to pull translations of one language, just execute the following command in your edx-platform directory with your edx-platform virtualenv:
$ tx pull -l <lang_code>
<lang_code>here should be replaced by the language code on Transifex of the language you want to pull (for example,
Note that this step will overwrite the .po files located in
conf/locale/<lang_code>/LC_MESSAGESwith the contents retrieved from Transifex, so please only do this step when you just have a new installation, or when you really want a new version of translation from Transifex.
If you've your own changes of edx-platform's source code in your local installation, or the source files on Transifex is not up-to-date, you may need to extract strings manually. Just execute the following command in your edx-platform directory with your edx-platform virtualenv:
$ paver i18n_extract
This command will extract translatable strings into several .po files located in the
conf/locale/en/LC_MESSAGES. After the extraction process, you can merge the newly extracted strings into the corresponding .po files (except
djangojs.po, which are generated by i18n tools automatically from other .po files) located in
conf/locale/<lang_code>/LC_MESSAGES. For example:
$ msgmerge conf/locale/zh_CN/LC_MESSAGES/djangojs-partial.po conf/locale/en/LC_MESSAGES/djangojs-partial.po --update
Edit the contents of .po files located in
conf/locale/<lang_code>/LC_MESSAGESas you wish. When you finished your modification process, re-compile the translation messages manually by executing the following command in your edx-platform directory with your edx-platform virtualenv:
$ paver i18n_fastgenerate
Note that there is another command called
paver i18n_generate. The difference of
paver i18n_generateis that
paver i18n_generatewill extract strings first by using
paver i18n_extractand then compile them, while
paver i18n_fastgeneratejust compiles them without extracting.
Restart your Full Stack installation according to the commands listed in the page edX Managing the Full Stack. Note that if you want to change the default language code of a Full Stack, you can modify the value of
/edx/app/edxappbefore starting your Full Stack.
You will see updated translations after the above steps. If not, you can also try to restart the nginx server and/or clear your browser's cache.