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Translating Audacity

Translating Audacity is the best way to get involved right in Audacity's UI without having to code.
Audacity is translated into multiple languages by volunteers across the world. If you want to contribute to translation please join the audacity-translation mailing list and read the instructions below.

Using Transifex to translate Audacity

Before joining the Audacity project in Transifex please subscribe to the audacity-translation mailing list and check the status of the translation you would like to contribute to with others members of the list.
You can find and join the Audacity project at https://explore.transifex.com/klyok/audacity/
  • Click the JOIN THIS PROJECT button on the right side.
  • Select the language you would like to contribute to from the dropdown.
  • Click Join Project (if the language is Available to join) or Request Language if the language you want to contribute to is not available yet.
Select the language you want to translate Audacity to and click Join Project or Request Language
Once you have been approved as a translator you will receive a notification by email. After that you will see the project in your Dashboard and you can start to contribute.
Audacity Project Dashboard in Transifex
  • Click Translate at the top right side
  • Select Audacity from the Resource Overview panel to start editing
  • Select the string to translate and type the corresponding translation
  • Click Save Translation and select the next string to translate.
Use the Transifex Editor to translate strings

Translate Audacity using a standalone application

Audacity uses GitHub and you can explore the available translations at https://github.com/audacity/audacity/tree/master/locale
Each language translation is stored in a PO file. For example it.po is the Italian translation and ko.po is the Korean translation.
To download a PO file from GitHub click on the link for the .po file for your language. On the page you come to, right-click the Raw button and then select then Save target or Save link as. Select the location to place the PO file.
Use the wxWidgets languageinfo.cpp file as a reference to the list of translated languages.
These are some programs you can use to edit PO files:
The following instructions use poEdit 3.1.1 to illustrate the process of translation
If there is no translation PO file for your language create a new one using the following steps:
  • Download the audacity.pot file from Audacity GitHub
  • Open poEdit and select Create new... (Create new translation from POT Template)
  • Select the audacity.pot file and click on Open
  • poEdit will ask you about the Translation Language. Select the language from the dropdown and click OK.
  • Select Translation > Properties... and verify that the Character option is set to UTF-8 otherwise poEdit will not save any translations with non-English characters.
  • Translate each one of the entries using the Translation textbox
  • Select File > Save to save as a PO file. Select a destination folder and type a name for the file. Click on Save. poEdit will save a .po file plus a .mo file for use in Audacity.

Update an existing translation of Audacity

The following instructions use poEdit 3.1.1 to illustrate the process of translation
If you want to update an existing translation
  • Download the PO file for your language, for example it.po or open a previously translated PO file from your computer.
  • Download the audacity.pot file from Audacity GitHub
  • Open poEdit and select Browse files (Open and edit translation files)
  • Select the existing PO file for your language and click on Open
  • Select Translation > Update from POT file... and look for the audacity.pot file you downloaded previously. This will update your PO file with the latest strings from the downloaded POT file.
  • Translate each one of the entries using the Translation textbox
  • Select File > Save to save as a PO file. Select a destination folder and type a name for the file. Click on Save. poEdit will save a .po file plus a .mo file for use in Audacity.

Submitting a translation

  • To submit a translation, please send the completed .po file to the audacity-translation mailing list. A member of Audacity Team will commit the file and send a message to the list confirming this.

Test a translation in Audacity

  1. 1.
    You can get an up-to-date alpha version of Audacity, NOT suitable for production use, but good for checking translations on, in the nightly version: https://audacityteam.org/nightly. From there, you’ll find there are choices of builds for different platforms. Download the right one for your platform.
  2. 2.
    On Windows, open the “Languages” directory inside the unzipped Audacity folder, then open the directory with the same name as your .po file. On Mac OS X, right-click or control-click over Audacity.app > Show Package Contents then open the relevant LPROJ directory inside the “Resources” directory. On GNU/Linux, open the relevant “locale” directory in usr/share/ or usr/local/share.
  3. 3.
    If creating a new translation, create a new directory for your language using the correct language code from the wxWidgets languageinfo.cpp file. For example, the code for Punjabi is “pa”, so on Windows, create “Audacity\Languages\pa”.
  4. 4.
    Rename the saved .mo file to “Audacity.mo”, and paste it into the directory you opened or created.
  5. 5.
    Open Audacity and in Preferences > Interface, choose your language and click OK. You should now see your translations.

Further information