# Internationalization¶

New in version 1.1.

Complementary to translations provided for Sphinx-generated messages such as navigation bars, Sphinx provides mechanisms facilitating document translations in itself. See the Options for internationalization for details on configuration.

Workflow visualization of translations in Sphinx. (The figure is created by plantuml.)

## Sphinx internationalization details¶

gettext 1 is an established standard for internationalization and localization. It naively maps messages in a program to a translated string. Sphinx uses these facilities to translate whole documents.

Initially project maintainers have to collect all translatable strings (also referred to as messages) to make them known to translators. Sphinx extracts these through invocation of sphinx-build -b gettext.

Every single element in the doctree will end up in a single message which results in lists being equally split into different chunks while large paragraphs will remain as coarsely-grained as they were in the original document. This grants seamless document updates while still providing a little bit of context for translators in free-text passages. It is the maintainer’s task to split up paragraphs which are too large as there is no sane automated way to do that.

After Sphinx successfully ran the MessageCatalogBuilder you will find a collection of .pot files in your output directory. These are catalog templates and contain messages in your original language only.

They can be delivered to translators which will transform them to .po files — so called message catalogs — containing a mapping from the original messages to foreign-language strings.

gettext compiles them into a binary format known as binary catalogs through msgfmt for efficiency reasons. If you make these files discoverable with locale_dirs for your language, Sphinx will pick them up automatically.

An example: you have a document usage.rst in your Sphinx project. The gettext builder will put its messages into usage.pot. Imagine you have Spanish translations 2 stored in usage.po — for your builds to be translated you need to follow these instructions:

• Compile your message catalog to a locale directory, say locale, so it ends up in ./locale/es/LC_MESSAGES/usage.mo in your source directory (where es is the language code for Spanish.)

msgfmt "usage.po" -o "locale/es/LC_MESSAGES/usage.mo"

• Set locale_dirs to ["locale/"].

• Set language to es (also possible via -D).

• Run your desired build.

## Translating with sphinx-intl¶

### Quick guide¶

sphinx-intl is a useful tool to work with Sphinx translation flow. This section describe an easy way to translate with sphinx-intl.

1. Install sphinx-intl.

$pip install sphinx-intl  2. Add configurations to conf.py. locale_dirs = ['locale/'] # path is example but recommended. gettext_compact = False # optional.  This case-study assumes that locale_dirs is set to locale/ and gettext_compact is set to False (the Sphinx document is already configured as such). 3. Extract translatable messages into pot files. $ make gettext


The generated pot files will be placed in the _build/gettext directory.

4. Generate po files.

We’ll use the pot files generated in the above step.

$sphinx-intl update -p _build/gettext -l de -l ja  Once completed, the generated po files will be placed in the below directories: • ./locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/ • ./locale/ja/LC_MESSAGES/ 5. Translate po files. AS noted above, these are located in the ./locale/<lang>/LC_MESSAGES directory. An example of one such file, from Sphinx, builders.po, is given below. # a5600c3d2e3d48fc8c261ea0284db79b #: ../../builders.rst:4 msgid "Available builders" msgstr "<FILL HERE BY TARGET LANGUAGE>"  Another case, msgid is multi-line text and contains reStructuredText syntax: # 302558364e1d41c69b3277277e34b184 #: ../../builders.rst:9 msgid "" "These are the built-in Sphinx builders. More builders can be added by " ":ref:extensions <extensions>." msgstr "" "FILL HERE BY TARGET LANGUAGE FILL HERE BY TARGET LANGUAGE FILL HERE " "BY TARGET LANGUAGE :ref:EXTENSIONS <extensions> FILL HERE."  Please be careful not to break reST notation. Most po-editors will help you with that. 6. Build translated document. You need a language parameter in conf.py or you may also specify the parameter on the command line. For for BSD/GNU make, run: $ make -e SPHINXOPTS="-D language='de'" html


For Windows cmd.exe, run:

> set SPHINXOPTS=-D language=de
> .\make.bat html


For PowerShell, run:

> Set-Item env:SPHINXOPTS "-D language=de"
> .\make.bat html


Congratulations! You got the translated documentation in the _build/html directory.

New in version 1.3: sphinx-build that is invoked by make command will build po files into mo files.

If you are using 1.2.x or earlier, please invoke sphinx-intl build command before make command.

### Update your po files by new pot files¶

If a document is updated, it is necessary to generate updated pot files and to apply differences to translated po files. In order to apply the updates from a pot file to the po file, use the sphinx-intl update command.

$sphinx-intl update -p _build/locale  ## Using Transifex service for team translation¶ Transifex is one of several services that allow collaborative translation via a web interface. It has a nifty Python-based command line client that makes it easy to fetch and push translations. 1. Install transifex-client. You need tx command to upload resources (pot files). $ pip install transifex-client

2. Create your transifex account and create new project for your document.

Currently, transifex does not allow for a translation project to have more than one version of the document, so you’d better include a version number in your project name.

For example:

Project ID

sphinx-document-test_1_0

Project URL

https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/sphinx-document-test_1_0/

3. Create config files for tx command.

This process will create .tx/config in the current directory, as well as a ~/.transifexrc file that includes auth information.

$tx init Creating .tx folder... Transifex instance [https://www.transifex.com]: ... Please enter your transifex username: <transifex-username> Password: <transifex-password> ... Done.  4. Upload pot files to transifex service. Register pot files to .tx/config file: $ cd /your/document/root
$sphinx-intl update-txconfig-resources --pot-dir _build/locale \ --transifex-project-name sphinx-document-test_1_0  and upload pot files: $ tx push -s
Pushing translations for resource sphinx-document-test_1_0.builders:
Pushing source file (locale/pot/builders.pot)
Resource does not exist.  Creating...
...
Done.

5. Forward the translation on transifex.

6. Pull translated po files and make translated HTML.

Get translated catalogs and build mo files. For example, to build mo files for German (de):

$cd /your/document/root$ tx pull -l de
Pulling translations for resource sphinx-document-test_1_0.builders (...)
-> de: locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/builders.po
...
Done.


Invoke make html (for BSD/GNU make):

\$ make -e SPHINXOPTS="-D language='de'" html


That’s all!

Tip

Translating locally and on Transifex

If you want to push all language’s po files, you can be done by using tx push -t command. Watch out! This operation overwrites translations in transifex.

In other words, if you have updated each in the service and local po files, it would take much time and effort to integrate them.

## Contributing to Sphinx reference translation¶

The recommended way for new contributors to translate Sphinx reference is to join the translation team on Transifex.

There is sphinx translation page for Sphinx (master) documentation.

1. Login to transifex service.

2. Go to sphinx translation page.

3. Click Request language and fill form.

4. Wait acceptance by transifex sphinx translation maintainers.

5. (After acceptance) Translate on transifex.

Footnotes

1

See the GNU gettext utilities for details on that software suite.

2

Because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!