Translating documentation using Sphinx#
Sphinx is a tool for creating beautiful documentation. It uses simple reStructuredText syntax and can generate output in many formats. If you’re looking for an example, this documentation is also built using it. The very useful companion for using Sphinx is the Read the Docs service, which will build and publish your documentation for free.
I will not focus on writing documentation itself, if you need guidance with
that, just follow instructions on the Sphinx website. Once you have
documentation ready, translating it is quite easy as Sphinx comes with support
for this and it is quite nicely covered in their Internationalization. It’s
matter of few configuration directives and invoking of the
If you are using Read the Docs service, you can start building translated documentation on the Read the Docs. Their Localization of documentation covers pretty much everything you need - creating another project, set its language and link it from main project as a translation.
Now all you need is translating the documentation content. Sphinx generates PO
file for each directory or top level file, what can lead to quite a lot of
files to translate (depending on
You can import the
index.po into Weblate as an initial component and
then configure Component discovery add-on to automatically
discover all others.
gettext PO file
Regular expression to match translation files against
Customize the component name
Define the base file for new translations
Would you prefer Sphinx to generate just single PO file? Since Sphinx 3.3.0 you can achieve this using:
gettext_compact = "docs"
You can find several documentation projects being translated using this approach: