Supported file formats

Weblate supports most translation format understood by translate-toolkit, however each format being slightly different, some issues with formats that are not well tested can arise.

Note

When choosing a file format for your application, it’s better to stick some well established format in the toolkit/platform you use. This way your translators can additionally use whatever tools they are used to, and will more likely contribute to your project.

Bilingual and monolingual formats

Both monolingual and bilingual formats are supported. Bilingual formats store two languages in single file—source and translation (typical examples are GNU gettext, XLIFF or Apple iOS strings). On the other side, monolingual formats identify the string by ID, and each language file contains only the mapping of those to any given language (typically Android string resources). Some file formats are used in both variants, see the detailed description below.

For correct use of monolingual files, Weblate requires access to a file containing complete list of strings to translate with their source—this file is called Monolingual base language file within Weblate, though the naming might vary in your paradigm.

Additionally this workflow can be extended by utilizing Intermediate language file to include strings provided by developers, but not to be used as is in the final strings.

Automatic detection

Weblate can automatically detect several widespread file formats, but this detection can harm your performance and will limit features specific to given file format (for example automatic addition of new translations).

Translation types capabilities

Capabilities of all supported formats:

Format

Linguality 1

Plurals 2

Comments 3

Context 4

Location 5

Flags 8

Additional states 6

GNU gettext

bilingual

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes 9

needs editing

Monolingual gettext

mono

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes 9

needs editing

XLIFF

both

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes 10

needs editing, approved

Java properties

both

no

yes

no

no

no

GWT properties

mono

yes

yes

no

no

no

Joomla translations

mono

no

yes

no

yes

no

Qt Linguist .ts

both

yes

yes

no

yes

yes 10

needs editing

Android string resources

mono

yes

yes 7

no

no

yes 10

Apple iOS strings

bilingual

no

yes

no

no

no

PHP strings

mono

no 11

yes

no

no

no

JSON files

mono

no

no

no

no

no

JSON i18next files

mono

yes

no

no

no

no

go-i18n JSON files

mono

yes

no

no

no

no

ARB File

mono

yes

yes

no

no

no

WebExtension JSON

mono

yes

yes

no

no

no

.XML resource files

mono

no

yes

no

no

yes 10

CSV files

mono

no

yes

yes

yes

no

needs editing

YAML files

mono

no

yes

no

no

no

Ruby YAML files

mono

yes

yes

no

no

no

DTD files

mono

no

no

no

no

no

Flat XML

mono

no

no

no

no

yes 10

Windows RC files

mono

no

yes

no

no

no

Excel Open XML

mono

no

yes

yes

yes

no

needs editing

App store metadata files

mono

no

no

no

no

no

Subtitle files

mono

no

no

no

yes

no

HTML files

mono

no

no

no

no

no

OpenDocument Format

mono

no

no

no

no

no

IDML Format

mono

no

no

no

no

no

INI translations

mono

no

no

no

no

no

Inno Setup INI translations

mono

no

no

no

no

no

1

See Bilingual and monolingual formats

2

Plurals are necessary to properly localize strings with variable count.

3

Comments can be used to pass additional info about the string to translate.

4

Context is used to differentiate identical strings used in different scopes (for example Sun can be used as an abbreviated name of the day “Sunday” or as the name of our closest star).

5

Location of a string in source code might help proficient translators figure out how the string is used.

6

Additional states supported by the file format in addition to “Not translated” and “Translated”.

7

XML comment placed before the <string> element, parsed as a developer comment.

8

See Customizing behavior

9(1,2)

The gettext type comments are used as flags.

10(1,2,3,4,5)

The flags are extracted from the non-standard attribute weblate-flags for all XML based formats. Additionally max-length:N is supported through the maxwidth attribute as defined in the XLIFF standard, see Specifying translation flags.

11

The plurals are supported only for Laravel which uses in string syntax to define them, see Localization in Laravel.

GNU gettext

Most widely used format for translating libre software. This was first format supported by Weblate and still has the best support.

Contextual info stored in the file is supported by adjusting its headers or linking to corresponding source files.

The bilingual gettext PO file typically looks like this:

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "Monday"
msgstr "Pondělí"

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "Tuesday"
msgstr "Úterý"

#: weblate/accounts/avatar.py:163
msgctxt "No known user"
msgid "None"
msgstr "Žádný"

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

po/*.po

Monolingual base language file

Empty

Template for new translations

po/messages.pot

File format

Gettext PO file

Monolingual gettext

Some projects decide to use gettext as monolingual formats—they code just the IDs in their source code and the string then needs to be translated to all languages, including English. This is supported, though you have to choose this file format explicitly when importing components into Weblate.

The monolingual gettext PO file typically looks like this:

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "day-monday"
msgstr "Pondělí"

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "day-tuesday"
msgstr "Úterý"

#: weblate/accounts/avatar.py:163
msgid "none-user"
msgstr "Žádný"

While the base language file will be:

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "day-monday"
msgstr "Monday"

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "day-tuesday"
msgstr "Tuesday"

#: weblate/accounts/avatar.py:163
msgid "none-user"
msgstr "None"

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

po/*.po

Monolingual base language file

po/en.po

Template for new translations

po/messages.pot

File format

Gettext PO file (monolingual)

XLIFF

XML-based format created to standardize translation files, but in the end it is one of many standards, in this area.

XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) is usually used as bilingual, but Weblate supports it as monolingual as well.

See also

XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) specification

Translation states

Changed in version 3.3: Weblate ignored the state attribute prior to the 3.3 release.

The state attribute in the file is partially processed and mapped to the “Needs edit” state in Weblate (the following states are used to flag the string as needing edit if there is a target present: new, needs-translation, needs-adaptation, needs-l10n). Should the state attribute be missing, a string is considered translated as soon as a <target> element exists.

If the translation string has approved="yes", it will also be imported into Weblate as “Approved”, anything else will be imported as “Waiting for review” (which matches the XLIFF specification).

While saving, Weblate doesn’t add those attributes unless necessary:

  • The state attribute is only added in case string is marked as needing edit.

  • The approved attribute is only added in case string has been reviewed.

  • In other cases the attributes are not added, but they are updated in case they are present.

That means that when using the XLIFF format, it is strongly recommended to turn on the Weblate review process, in order to see and change the approved state of strings.

See Dedicated reviewers.

Similarly upon importing such files (in the upload form), you should choose Import as translated under Processing of strings needing review.

Whitespace and newlines in XLIFF

Generally types or amounts of whitespace is not differentiated between in XML formats. If you want to keep it, you have to add the xml:space="preserve" flag to the string.

For example:

    <trans-unit id="10" approved="yes">
        <source xml:space="preserve">hello</source>
        <target xml:space="preserve">Hello, world!
</target>
    </trans-unit>

Specifying translation flags

You can specify additional translation flags (see Customizing behavior) by using the weblate-flags attribute. Weblate also understands maxwidth and font attributes from the XLIFF specification:

<trans-unit id="10" maxwidth="100" size-unit="pixel" font="ubuntu;22;bold">
   <source>Hello %s</source>
</trans-unit>
<trans-unit id="20" maxwidth="100" size-unit="char" weblate-flags="c-format">
   <source>Hello %s</source>
</trans-unit>

The font attribute is parsed for font family, size and weight, the above example shows all of that, though only font family is required. Any whitespace in the font family is converted to underscore, so Source Sans Pro becomes Source_Sans_Pro, please keep that in mind when naming the font group (see Managing fonts).

Typical Weblate Component configuration for bilingual XLIFF

Filemask

localizations/*.xliff

Monolingual base language file

Empty

Template for new translations

localizations/en-US.xliff

File format

XLIFF Translation File

Typical Weblate Component configuration for monolingual XLIFF

File mask

localizations/*.xliff

Monolingual base language file

localizations/en-US.xliff

Template for new translations

localizations/en-US.xliff

File format

XLIFF Translation File

Java properties

Native Java format for translations.

Java properties are usually used as monolingual translations.

Weblate supports ISO-8859-1, UTF-8 and UTF-16 variants of this format. All of them support storing all Unicode characters, it is just differently encoded. In the ISO-8859-1, the Unicode escape sequences are used (for example zkou\u0161ka), all others encode characters directly either in UTF-8 or UTF-16.

Note

Loading escape sequences works in UTF-8 mode as well, so please be careful choosing the correct encoding set to match your application needs.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

src/app/Bundle_*.properties

Monolingual base language file

src/app/Bundle.properties

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

Java Properties (ISO-8859-1)

GWT properties

Native GWT format for translations.

GWT properties are usually used as monolingual translations.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

src/app/Bundle_*.properties

Monolingual base language file

src/app/Bundle.properties

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

GWT Properties

INI translations

New in version 4.1.

INI file format for translations.

INI translations are usually used as monolingual translations.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

language/*.ini

Monolingual base language file

language/en.ini

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

INI File

Inno Setup INI translations

New in version 4.1.

Inno Setup INI file format for translations.

Inno Setup INI translations are usually used as monolingual translations.

Note

The only notable difference to INI translations is in supporting %n and %t placeholders for line break and tab.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

language/*.islu

Monolingual base language file

language/en.islu

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

Inno Setup INI File

Note

Only Unicode files (.islu) are currently supported, ANSI variant (.isl) is currently not supported.

Joomla translations

New in version 2.12.

Native Joomla format for translations.

Joomla translations are usually used as monolingual translations.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

language/*/com_foobar.ini

Monolingual base language file

language/en-GB/com_foobar.ini

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

Joomla Language File

Qt Linguist .ts

Translation format used in Qt based applications.

Qt Linguist files are used as both bilingual and monolingual translations.

Typical Weblate Component configuration when using as bilingual

Filemask

i18n/app.*.ts

Monolingual base language file

Empty

Template for new translations

i18n/app.de.ts

File format

Qt Linguist Translation File

Typical Weblate Component configuration when using as monolingual

Filemask

i18n/app.*.ts

Monolingual base language file

i18n/app.en.ts

Template for new translations

i18n/app.en.ts

File format

Qt Linguist Translation File

Android string resources

Android specific file format for translating applications.

Android string resources are monolingual, the Monolingual base language file file is stored in a different location from the others res/values/strings.xml.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

res/values-*/strings.xml

Monolingual base language file

res/values/strings.xml

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

Android String Resource

Note

Android string-array structures are not currently supported. To work around this, you can break your string arrays apart:

<string-array name="several_strings">
    <item>First string</item>
    <item>Second string</item>
</string-array>

become:

<string-array name="several_strings">
    <item>@string/several_strings_0</item>
    <item>@string/several_strings_1</item>
</string-array>
<string name="several_strings_0">First string</string>
<string name="several_strings_1">Second string</string>

The string-array that points to the string elements should be stored in a different file, and not be made available for translation.

This script may help pre-process your existing strings.xml files and translations: https://gist.github.com/paour/11291062

Apple iOS strings

Apple specific file format for translating applications, used for both iOS and iPhone/iPad application translations.

Apple iOS strings are usually used as bilingual translations.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

Resources/*.lproj/Localizable.strings

Monolingual base language file

Resources/en.lproj/Localizable.strings

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

iOS Strings (UTF-8)

PHP strings

PHP translations are usually monolingual, so it is recommended to specify a base file with (what is most often the) English strings.

Example file:

<?php
$LANG['foo'] = 'bar';
$LANG['foo1'] = 'foo bar';
$LANG['foo2'] = 'foo bar baz';
$LANG['foo3'] = 'foo bar baz bag';

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

lang/*/texts.php

Monolingual base language file

lang/en/texts.php

Template for new translations

lang/en/texts.php

File format

PHP strings

Laravel PHP strings

Changed in version 4.1.

The Laravel PHP localization files are supported as well with plurals:

<?php
return [
    'apples' => 'There is one apple|There are many apples',
];

JSON files

New in version 2.0.

Changed in version 2.16: Since Weblate 2.16 and with translate-toolkit at-least 2.2.4, nested structure JSON files are supported as well.

JSON format is used mostly for translating applications implemented in JavaScript.

Weblate currently supports several variants of JSON translations:

JSON translations are usually monolingual, so it is recommended to specify a base file with (what is most often the) English strings.

Example file:

{
  "Hello, world!\n": "Ahoj světe!\n",
  "Orangutan has %d banana.\n": "",
  "Try Weblate at https://demo.weblate.org/!\n": "",
  "Thank you for using Weblate.": ""
}

Nested files are supported as well (see above for requirements), such a file can look like:

{
  "weblate": {
    "hello": "Ahoj světe!\n",
    "orangutan": "",
    "try": "",
    "thanks": ""
  }
}

Warning

Weblate currently handles nested JSON by flattening the keys. This leads to serializing issues when special chars such as . or [] are used in the actual keys, because Weblate thinks it is indication of nesting.

See <https://github.com/WeblateOrg/weblate/issues/2149>

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

langs/translation-*.json

Monolingual base language file

langs/translation-en.json

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

JSON nested structure file

JSON i18next files

Changed in version 2.17: Since Weblate 2.17 and with translate-toolkit at-least 2.2.5, i18next JSON files with plurals are supported as well.

i18next is an internationalization framework written in and for JavaScript. Weblate supports its localization files with features such as plurals.

i18next translations are monolingual, so it is recommended to specify a base file with (what is most often the) English strings.

Note

Weblate supports the i18next JSON v3 format. The v2 and v1 variants are mostly compatible, with exception of how plurals are handled.

Example file:

{
  "hello": "Hello",
  "apple": "I have an apple",
  "apple_plural": "I have {{count}} apples",
  "apple_negative": "I have no apples"
}

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

langs/*.json

Monolingual base language file

langs/en.json

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

i18next JSON file

go-i18n JSON files

New in version 4.1.

go-i18n translations are monolingual, so it is recommended to specify a base file with (what is most often the) English strings.

Note

Weblate supports the go-i18n JSON v2 format, it does not support flat JSON files supported in v1.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

langs/*.json

Monolingual base language file

langs/en.json

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

go-i18n JSON file

ARB File

New in version 4.1.

ARB translations are monolingual, so it is recommended to specify a base file with (what is most often the) English strings.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

lib/l10n/intl_*.arb

Monolingual base language file

lib/l10n/intl_en.arb

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

ARB file

WebExtension JSON

New in version 2.16: This is supported since Weblate 2.16 and with translate-toolkit at-least 2.2.4.

File format used when translating extensions for Mozilla Firefox or Google Chromium.

Note

While this format is called JSON, its specification allows to include comments, which are not part of JSON specification. Weblate currently does not support file with comments.

Example file:

{
  "hello": {
    "message": "Ahoj světe!\n",
    "description": "Description",
    "placeholders": {
      "url": {
        "content": "$1",
        "example": "https://developer.mozilla.org"
      }
    }
  },
  "orangutan": {
    "message": "",
    "description": "Description"
  },
  "try": {
    "message": "",
    "description": "Description"
  },
  "thanks": {
    "message": "",
    "description": "Description"
  }
}

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

_locales/*/messages.json

Monolingual base language file

_locales/en/messages.json

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

WebExtension JSON file

.XML resource files

New in version 2.3.

A .XML resource (.resx) file employs a monolingual XML file format used in Microsoft .NET applications. It is [interchangeable with .resw, when using identical syntax to .resx](https://lingohub.com/developers/resource-files/resw-resx-localization).

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

Resources/Language.*.resx

Monolingual base language file

Resources/Language.resx

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

.XML resource file

CSV files

New in version 2.4.

CSV files can contain a simple list of source and translation. Weblate supports the following files:

  • Files with header defining fields (source, translation, location, …). This is the recommended approach, as it is the least error prone.

  • Files with two fields—source and translation (in this order), choose Simple CSV file as file format

  • Files with fields as defined by translate-toolkit: location, source, target, ID, fuzzy, context, translator_comments, developer_comments

Warning

The CSV format currently automatically detects the dialect of the CSV file. In some cases the automatic detection might fail and you will get mixed results. This is especially true for CSV files with newlines in the values. As a workaround it is recommended to omit quoting characters.

Example file:

Thank you for using Weblate.,Děkujeme za použití Weblate.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

locale/*.csv

Monolingual base language file

Empty

Template for new translations

locale/en.csv

File format

CSV file

See also

CSV

YAML files

New in version 2.9.

The plain YAML files with string keys and values. Weblate also extract strings from lists or dictionaries.

Example of a YAML file:

weblate:
  hello: ""
  orangutan": ""
  try": ""
  thanks": ""

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

translations/messages.*.yml

Monolingual base language file

translations/messages.en.yml

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

YAML file

See also

YAML, Ruby YAML files

Ruby YAML files

New in version 2.9.

Ruby i18n YAML files with language as root node.

Example Ruby i18n YAML file:

cs:
  weblate:
    hello: ""
    orangutan: ""
    try: ""
    thanks: ""

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

translations/messages.*.yml

Monolingual base language file

translations/messages.en.yml

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

Ruby YAML file

See also

YAML, YAML files

DTD files

New in version 2.18.

Example DTD file:

<!ENTITY hello "">
<!ENTITY orangutan "">
<!ENTITY try "">
<!ENTITY thanks "">

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

locale/*.dtd

Monolingual base language file

locale/en.dtd

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

DTD file

Flat XML files

New in version 3.9.

Example of a flat XML file:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<root>
  <str key="hello_world">Hello World!</str>
  <str key="resource_key">Translated value.</str>
</root>

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

locale/*.xml

Monolingual base language file

locale/en.xml

Template for new translations

Empty

File format

Flat XML file

See also

Flat XML

Windows RC files

Changed in version 4.1: Support for Windows RC files has been rewritten.

Note

Support for this format is currently in beta, feedback from testing is welcome.

Example Windows RC file:

LANGUAGE LANG_CZECH, SUBLANG_DEFAULT

STRINGTABLE
BEGIN
    IDS_MSG1                "Hello, world!\n"
    IDS_MSG2                "Orangutan has %d banana.\n"
    IDS_MSG3                "Try Weblate at http://demo.weblate.org/!\n"
    IDS_MSG4                "Thank you for using Weblate."
END

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

lang/*.rc

Monolingual base language file

lang/en-US.rc

Template for new translations

lang/en-US.rc

File format

RC file

See also

Windows RC files

App store metadata files

New in version 3.5.

Metadata used for publishing apps in various app stores can be translated. Currently the following tools are compatible:

The metadata consists of several textfiles, which Weblate will present as separate strings to translate.

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

fastlane/android/metadata/*

Monolingual base language file

fastlane/android/metadata/en-US

Template for new translations

fastlane/android/metadata/en-US

File format

App store metadata files

Subtitle files

New in version 3.7.

Weblate can translate various subtitle files:

  • SubRip subtitle file (*.srt)

  • MicroDVD subtitle file (*.sub)

  • Advanced Substation Alpha subtitles file (*.ass)

  • Substation Alpha subtitle file (*.ssa)

Typical Weblate Component configuration

Filemask

path/*.srt

Monolingual base language file

path/en.srt

Template for new translations

path/en.srt

File format

SubRip subtitle file

See also

Subtitles

Excel Open XML

New in version 3.2.

Excel Open XML (.xlsx) files can be imported and exported.

When uploading XLSX files for translation, be aware that only the active worksheet is considered, and there must be at least a column called source (which contains the source string) and a column called target (which contains the translation). Additionally there should be the column called context (which contains the context path of the translation string). If you use the XLSX download for exporting the translations into an Excel workbook, you already get a file with the correct file format.

HTML files

New in version 4.1.

Note

Support for this format is currently in beta, feedback from testing is welcome.

The translatable content is extracted from the HTML files and offered for the translation.

See also

HTML

OpenDocument Format

New in version 4.1.

Note

Support for this format is currently in beta, feedback from testing is welcome.

The translatable content is extracted from the OpenDocument files and offered for the translation.

IDML Format

New in version 4.1.

Note

Support for this format is currently in beta, feedback from testing is welcome.

The translatable content is extracted from the Adobe InDesign Markup Language files and offered for the translation.

Others

Most formats supported by translate-toolkit which support serializing can be easily supported, but they did not (yet) receive any testing. In most cases some thin layer is needed in Weblate to hide differences in behavior of different translate-toolkit storages.

Adding new translations

Changed in version 2.18: In versions prior to 2.18 the behaviour of adding new translations was file format specific.

Weblate can automatically start new translation for all of the file formats.

Some formats expect to start with an empty file and only translated strings to be included (for example Android string resources), while others expect to have all keys present (for example GNU gettext). In some situations this really doesn’t depend on the format, but rather on the framework you use to handle the translation (for example with JSON files).

When you specify Template for new translations in Component configuration, Weblate will use this file to start new translations. Any exiting translations will be removed from the file when doing so.

When Template for new translations is empty and the file format supports it, an empty file is created where new strings will be added once they are translated.

The Language code style allows you to customize language code used in generated filenames:

Default based on the file format

Dependent on file format, for most of them POSIX is used.

POSIX style using underscore as a separator

Typically used by gettext and related tools, produces language codes like pt_BR.

POSIX style using underscore as a separator, including country code

POSIX style language code including the country code even when not necessary (for example ‘cs_CZ’).

BCP style using hyphen as a separator

Typically used on web platforms, produces language codes like pt-BR.

BCP style using hyphen as a separator, including country code

BCP style language code including the country code even when not necessary (for example ‘cs-CZ’).

Android style

Only used in Android apps, produces language codes like pt-rBR.

Java style

Used by Java—mostly BCP with legacy codes for Chinese.

Note

Weblate recognizes any of these when parsing translation files, the above settings only influences how new files are created.

Read only strings

New in version 3.10.

Read-only strings from translation files will be included, but can not be edited in Weblate. This feature is natively supported by few formats (XLIFF and Android string resources), but can be emulated in others by adding a read-only flag, see Customizing behavior.