Adding a Language#


If the language you want to translate has not been started by someone else already and you wish to create a set of new files for the desired language, say ‘fr’ (French), then you must first use the environment you have created, as guided in Getting Started, in particular Installing Dependencies and Building the Manual sections.

This will give you a foundation environment for:

  • Creating a new set of translation language from English source.

  • Perform make command to turn translated texts in po files into html files for testing locally.

  • Update changes in English texts which have been added by other contributors.

Below examples show the process to create a new set of files for French, language code fr, on Linux platform. Other platforms might vary slightly but should be mainly the same.

  1. Create a Blender ID if you have not done so already

  2. Log into and Create an Issue requesting for commit access in order to transfer changes to the central repository of the translation team.

  3. Open an instance of a console application.

  4. Change the current working directory to the directory of blender-manual, where the instance of Makefile resides.

Trying the Make Process to Create HTML Files in English#

  1. Ensure the previous instance of build directory is removed, if any exists:

    make clean
  2. Convert all the rst files into pot translation files:

    make gettext
  3. Create html files:

    make html
  4. After this, you can actually view the created html files locally by opening the blender-manual/build/html/index.html file.

Creating the Language Entry in the HTML Menu#

  1. Create an entry for the language in the html menu by opening file ./build_files/theme/js/version_switch.js (assuming you are at the blender-manual subdirectory).

  2. Find the table for the languages in var all_langs = {..};.

  3. Enter the entry: "fr": "Français",, ("fr": "Français"). (Notice the Unicode characters.)

  4. Commit the updated file:

    git add ./build_files/theme/js/version_switch.js
    git commit -m "HTML: Add French to language menu"
  5. Push your changes to the upstream repository:

    git push

Generating the Set of Files for the Target Language#

  1. Check out the current translation repository using the command:

    git clone locale

    This will download all language sets available in the repository into the locale directory of your drive. You can go to the locale directory to see the hidden subdirectory .git within it, together with directories of languages. You’ll need to add your own set of files for the language you are trying to translating to.

  2. From the blender-manual directory to generate a set of files for fr language:

    make update_po

    These files are still in English only, with all msgstr entries blank.

  3. Submit new set of files to the central repository:

    cd locale
    git add fr
    git commit -m "Initial commit language set of files for French"


  • It is recommended you make two environment variables for these directories, in the .bashrc to make it more convenient for changing or scripting batch/shell commands for the process of translation and reviewing results:

    export BLENDER_MAN_EN=$HOME/<directory to make file directory above>/blender-manual
    export BLENDER_MAN_FR=$BLENDER_MAN_EN/locale
  • Newly generated files will contain some placeholders for authors and revision dates etc. If you find the job of replacing them repetitive, make use of the script in the subdirectory ~/blender-manual/tools/util_maintenance, make a copy of that to your local bin directory and replace all values that were mentioned in the file with your specific details, then after each change to a file, you would do following commands to update the file with your personal details, revision date and time, plus generating the html files for your language, which you can view using your Internet browser:

    make -d --trace -w -B -e SPHINXOPTS="-D language='fr'" 2>&1