Translating Example Paths and URLs

A path shows you where a file is located on your computer


A URL is similar but relates to files located on the Internet

In translatable messages you will find real paths and URLs but you will also find instances where the author is giving the user an example.

Simple Policy

Want a simple policy on what to do with URLs (example or real)?

Do not translate ANY paths, URLs or URIs

System directories

Many operating systems contain system directories, these are directories used by the operating system itself. System direcotories will not change even when your langauge changes. The following are system directories on Linux and should not be translated:


The following are system directories on Windows and should also not be translated:


Home directories

On Linux systems each user has a home directory which corresponds to their username and is usually located under /home eg. /home/fred. The word home should not be translated because it is a sytem directory. But the username should be translated. You should probably keep the username to ASCII characters (some operating systems cannot use Unicode in filename) and thus romanise the name if you needed.


A file is made up of the:

fullname /the/path/to/file.doc
path /the/path/to/
filename file.doc
basename file
extension doc

The file extension is thus the characters that appear after the last fullstop in a filename. You do not translate the file extension but you do translate the basename. Eg. budget.doc – Translate budget but do not translate .doc.


Often examples can be identified because they involve saving a file from within an application. Eg, “Save the picture to /home/dwayne/picture/snapshot.png” You will want to translate dwayne, picture and snapshot. You would not translate home because that is a system directory nor png because it is an extension.


A URL is made up of these components

protocal :// server : port / directorie(s) / filename . extension

Here is a real URL, i.e. one that you would actually use:

you should not translate it unless you needed to point to a version of the URL that is in your language.

This is an example URL, i.e. one used as an example to a user:

you would translate: example, directory and filename.

You would not translate:

http the protocols are not translatable
.com top level doamns are also not translatable
.html is a file extension and therefore not translated