Geek2Geek Answers: Website Translation with Custom Labels & .po Files

June 6, 2012 by Jon Ritzdorf
Category: Website Translation Services, Q&A

Here are two questions that I answered recently via our Acclaro Twitter account:

Q: I am currently working on a site that I need to translate with my own custom labels. How do I do this with .po files? #geek2geek

A: To externalize web content to the .po file format, I recommend Okapi Rainbow’s Translation Kit PO packaging function. You can learn more about the specific function by reading up on the Rainbow TKit - PO Package wiki page.

Okapi "Rainbow" is one of localization engineers’ magic wands. It can do nearly everything from preparing resource files, to encoding conversions, to localization QA tasks.

Another tool you might find useful for externalizing web content to the .po format is the Translate Toolkit filters, specifically php2po and html2po. See the converters section on the Translate Toolkit page for details.

I’d be interested in hearing from others about other tools they find useful. Feel free to add your comments below.

Q: We use abbreviations to save space on our English UI. Can these be adapted for other languages when we localize? #geek2geek

A: At times, invented abbreviations do work, but it's rare. I would encourage you to be cautious when using them in text for translation, or to steer clear entirely. What would you think if you saw [Cnt]—is this meant to represent Continue or Center? Abbreviations are not universal and they often lack equivalents in other languages. An example is Hbf for Hauptbahnhof (central train station) in German, which is not translatable into English. 

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