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Alexander Watzinger, 2023-01-23 17:34


The user interface was designed with internationalization and localization in mind. Labels and texts are stored in language specific gettext files located in openatlas/translations.
These files can be created or edited with e.g. Poedit even by "non programmers".
Because we, the OpenAtlas team, can only provide English and German translations, offers to add other translations are always welcome.


  • Because of possible merge conflicts, translations should only be done in the develop branch and not in feature branches.
  • For adding new languages the workflow is slightly different and will be done with new branches.

Update translations

pybabel extract -F openatlas/translations/babel.cfg -k lazy_gettext -o openatlas/translations/messages.pot .
pybabel update -i openatlas/translations/messages.pot -d openatlas/translations

Additional information

  • Most source texts in the translations files are already 1:1 strings in English but sometimes, e.g. for a longer text it may differ, like for "warning no js".
  • In doubt you can always compare it to existing translations, e.g. for English in the translation folder or at GitHub

Translating the first time

WARNING existing translations will be deleted! In this example with the de parameter for German at the end of the second command:

pybabel extract -F openatlas/translations/babel.cfg -k lazy_gettext -o openatlas/translations/messages.pot .
pybabel init -i openatlas/translations/messages.pot -d openatlas/translations -l de

Location of strings to be translated

Most of the strings to be translated are in the Python and HTML source code marked with an underline function, like e.g.


The Python/JavaScript "switch" for translation needed for JavaScript components are located at openatlas/templates/util/translations.html.

Only exception being (non English) jQuery validation messages which are located at openatlas/static/js/ and named e.g. messages_de.js.
More of these can be found at jquery-validation at GitHub.

Updated by Alexander Watzinger 5 days ago · 6 revisions

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