Translating non-PO files using Pootle

We all have our favourite format, and you can certainly translate it on Pootle! Pootle is your own personal translation environment: we want you to be able to set it up to suit your own workflow and needs.

We also want to simplify the file-format issue for you. Whether you’re translating application files, documentation, manpages or working with glossaries and translation memory, you can convert the file to your favourite format.

This will be a feature of the Pootle interface: simply choose your format and convert the file! The file converters are those in the Translate Toolkit, plus those in the po4a package, and any others our users find useful.

So, until you can use the Pootle interface to convert your files, simply email the Pootle mailing list, attach your file and ask for it to be converted to the chosen format and loaded onto Pootle! Then you translate it, and request conversion back to the original format.

I tested this out with my first manpage translation, where the Pootle admins converted my (n)roff file to PO format, I translated it on Pootle, then they converted it back to (n)roff, and the process worked very well. It was quick and accurate. There were no conversion problems or artefacts, and the resulting file works well.

So, what formats can we handle? Below is our list, but note that not all formats can be converted in both directions yet. If you want to add other formats to it, please edit this page or write to our mailing list. If you know of another filter which would be useful, please tell us.

After all, Pootle is what we make of it. :)

File format filetype Translate Toolkit po4a
Comma-separated values CSV  
Dia diagrams (uncompressed)    
Docbook xml  
Document Type Definition dtd  
Guide xml  
Hypertext Markup Language html  
Kernel configuration help files    
LaTeX files    
Mozilla translation project    
Nannoblogger files nb  
Open Office translation project    
POD data pod  
Portable Object Template pot  
Standard Generalized Markup Language sgml  
TeX documents and derivates    
Translation Memory eXchange tmx  
Qt Linguist ts Writer sxw  
Text file txt
XML Localization Interchange File Format xliff  
eXtensible Markup Language xml  

Information on how to handle specific non-po files can be entered below.

If you’re starting a translation of OpenOffice in your language, you can take the .po files from If you have already started translation of OpenOffice with strings extracted from the source, you have to do the following:

  • convert the OO format to PO format (see above)
  • ... more to come

(see oo2po if you want to convert them using the translate toolkit)