NDS Localisations

First we will look at typical maintenance tasks, and more detailed tasks will follow.

Typical i18n process - making changes to strings, deploying them on the server

Here is how you can expect to work:

  1. locally: make revisions to text
  2. locally: extract all strings (fab extract_strings)
  3. locally: check in in SVN
  4. on the server: svn up
  5. on the server: compile strings for the project (fab PROJNAME compile_strings)

Typical i18n management tasks

The fab script contains shortcuts for running all the following processes.

Recompiling changes to the localization

First ensure you are logged in as the user neahtta and are in the project directory.

	cd ~/neahtta/

Then, update the new translations you already checked in locally:

	svn up translations

Then, run the compile command for the specific project you are working on.

	fab PROJNAME compile_strings

Where PROJNAME is a variable for the dictionary project, ex. sanit, baakoeh, etc.

This will compile only the languages in this project, and avoids errors for languages that are not available in the system.

Recompiling changes to all localizations

The following command will compile everything, and may result in some errors if a locale is not installed on the system. If you do not need these locales, this is not a problem, and you should use the project-specific command above. If you need these locales, this is a problem, and see below on the section on Adding new locales.

	fab compile_strings

Extracting strings due to code changes.

Sometimes you (or other maintainers) want to revise or enlarge the dictionary interface. This should be done in the underlying html files, e.g. here:

  • $GTHOME/main/apps/dicts/nds/src/neahtta/templates
  • $GTHOME/main/apps/dicts/nds/src/neahtta/configs/language_specific_rules/templates/

If in doubt, be careful, read documentation on a relevant django page.

If the source code has changed, this has likely resulted in line numbers being out of date. Thus, you will need to re-extract the strings. Babel is pretty smart about doing this.

First ensure you are in the project directory.

	cd ~/neahtta/

Then, extract strings´, either for one specific dictionary project, or for all:

	fab PROJNAME extract_strings
	fab extract_strings

Recompiling translations for production server

  1. log in to the server as the neahtta user
  2. switch to the project directory: cd ~/neahtta/
  3. write the command (again, exchange PROJNAME with your own dictionary):
    fab PROJNAME compile_strings

If everything went good and there were no errors, continue, otherwise if you need help troubleshooting see the section below ( Common error messages and troubleshooting).

Then, you need to restart the relevant services.

	fab PROJNAME restart_service

(Where PROJNAME is a standin for the project name, e.g., baakoeh, valks, sanit, etc.)

Writing localisation

Translating the string to the localisation language

To write localisation (translate the interface to different languages) you have to find the place of the specific file to localise

neahtta>find . -name "templates" -type d

then you go to the specific directory, for instance, here:


There you find your directory (follow your ISO code). Edit the lines labeled msgstr in the file LC_MESSAGES/messages.po. Note from the examples the way the quotation marks are put, with errors here the file will not work. Do not change the text on the lines marked #: or msgid.

Then check in your changes, and then to update the server, follow the procedure in the section Recompiling translations for production server. below.

What if you are not satisfied with the content of the msgid (the original)?

The form of the msgid is not important (it is translated), but an msgid with wrong or irrelevant content may lead the translators astray.

Over each msgid there is a file reference, go there and correct the original text. It is always found with a tag

{% trans %}

before and a tag

{% endtrans %}

after the string to be translated. You thus change what you find between those two tags.

Then, you should compile new translations.po files. This is done on the NDS server. Go there, and do

fab PROJNAME compile_strings

Afterwards, check in the new .po files in translations/*/LC_MESSAGES/messages.po

Also read the Oahpa documentation on localisation in order to see how this works for Oahpa.

To set up and maintain the localisation infrastructure

Internationalization (i18n) in Neahttadigisánit uses Flask-Babel which is an interface for flask to the Python Babel extension

  1. Flask and Babel documentation
  2. Babel documentation

Translation strings are marked as they were in the Oahpa programs, but NDS uses a slightly different template engine, there are however no major differences.

Marking translation strings in templates: Jinja documentation

Running the commands

In order to run these commands locally on your own machine, you will need to have a virtualenv installed. This is because there are a few packages required to extract strings, and it's easier to just use the automatic install script.

See: Developing NDS

Adding new locales

This comes in three main steps:

  1. Make sure .dat files exist
  2. Generate a .po file for the locale
  3. Check in the .po files

The easiest place to do this will be on the {gtdict} server, because the environment is already configured with the required tools. Otherwise, if you wish to do this on your local machine, you will need to set up your environment before this works.

See: Developing NDS

All further steps assume that you are doing this on gtdict, if you are developing, you will know what paths you need to update.

Dat files

Unknown locales such as crk and sma need to be defined somewhere. North Saami is in existence in se.dat, se_NO.dat and se_FI.dat, but this does not help with languages without two-letter codes.

Thus, for those we need to copy some files.

(1) Find out where they are with the following command, which will output something similar to the below:

    $ fab find_babel
    <module 'babel' from 'path/to/.../site-packages/babel'>

(2) Change directories to the path printed in the above step:

    $ cd path/to/.../site-packages/babel

(3) Change directories once more

    $ cd localedata/

(4) Then, copy one dat file to the locale you wish to create (make a rational choice):

    cp se.dat \

Thus the new locale will be able to be initialized with the init command below.

NB: If we were feeling more specific in this step, we could create a new locale specifically for the language, but since specifics aren't required here it is fine to do it this way.

.po files:generate a message template for a new language.

First make sure that all the message files have been updated to the most recent version of the code, by extracting all strings (above).

Now you can initialize a translation.

    pybabel init -i translations/messages.pot -d translations -l LANG

Where LANG is the ISO code for the language project.

Additional notes...

Activating the virtual environment

If you do not see the environment enabled in the command prompt when you log in as the Neahttadigisánit user, run the following from this user's home directory:

    source neahtta_env/bin/activate

If you do not see changes to the command prompt name, check which python to make sure it is active if you do not see it in the bash prompt. If it still doesn't work, there are probably problems with virtualenv.

Typically you should see something like:

    (neahtta_env)[neahtta@gtdict ~]$

ISO notes and internationalization language code vs. lexicon/FST language code

Because most browsers report what language they use using the 2-character ISO 639-1 code, any localization that has a 2-character code, (north sámi has se, so lucky!), we must use this code. If it doesn't, then creating new localizations with the 3-character code (ISO 639-2) will be necessary. Also, neahtta.py may not actually handle some of these 3-character localizations as well, so this will need to be fixed.

Currently supported localizations:

May be found in translations/, but for ease of finding out:

  1. fi Finnish
  2. kv (kpv) Komi (TODO: is this actually what komi users' browsers report?)
  3. lv (lav) Latvian
  4. mdf Moksha
  5. mhr Eastern Mari
  6. mrj Western Mari
  7. myv Erzya
  8. no (nob) Norwegian Bokmål
  9. ru Russian
  10. se (sme) North Saami
  11. sma South Saami
  12. sv Swedish
  13. yrk Nenets

Common error messages and troubleshooting

babel.core.UnknownLocaleError:unknown locale sms

This means that the locale directory is missing a .dat file for the locale. Follow the procedure in the 'Adding new locales' section **or** ensure that you are running the fab process only for the project you are working on.

catalog translations/sma/LC_MESSAGES/messages.po is marked as fuzzy, skipping

Babel marks things with #, fuzzy when it can't find the line in the source code that the string belongs on, however it's not a big problem if line numbers are missing. As such, to compile, delete lines containing #, fuzzy, and alternatively determine why there are no line numbers.

Sometimes the first translation string in the catalogue will be marked fuzzy, but this is because it is blank. The first message must be blank for the meta-data, so delete the fuzzy comment if it appears, but leave the string.