Translator's Information

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The Release Process

The Claws Team sets a date for release, at least 2 weeks in advance.
Week One: Git feature freeze
No new features are added to Git, the Team try to fix as many outstanding bugs as possible, test new features thoroughly, and improve any translatable strings as is deemed necessary.
A message announcing the forthcoming release is sent to the translators' mailing list. Translators should respond to this message, confirming whether they will or will not be submitting updates.
Week Two: Git string freeze
No new features are added and no translatable strings are changed or added.
During this second week, translators should update their local Git trees and work on updating their translations. For those translators who are unable to build from Git, up to date POT files are made available for download at
If no strings were changed from the previous release the PO file must not be changed and does not need to be submitted.
When a translator has updated his/her translations they should be sent to Paul at at any time before the week is up. They will then be committed to Git and included in the release.
Week Three: The release
The release will be made on Day One of Week Three.
Bug-Fix Releases
The Claws Team occasionally feels the need to make bug-fix releases. These are normally indicated by an increment of the MICRO_VERSION, (e.g. from version 2.7.0 to 2.7.1). The bug-fix releases contain none of the new features that have been added to Git since the last major release, and they also do not contain any new translatable strings that may have been added to Git. Therefore no translation updates are required for these releases and, consequently, the usual process, detailed above, is not initiated.

Information for new translators

Starting fresh

First grab yourself a copy of the Claws Mail sources, preferably from Git, and create a claws-mail.pot file:

cd po
make claws-mail.pot

If you are not able to build from Git, then get a copy of the last released sources from the Claws-Mail releases page, which has the claws-mail.pot file included.

Copy claws-mail.pot to [LANGUAGE ABBREV].po, (replace [LANGUAGE ABBREV] with the correct abbreviation for your language, e.g. 'es' if you are translating into Spanish).

cp claws-mail.pot es.po

Open your new po file with your favourite text editor, (or you may prefer to use a translation catalog editor, such as POEditor, poedit or Lokalize, for example), and first edit the header section of your file. You will need to replace the text in UPPERCASE with the correct values. The easiest way to work out how to do this is to compare it to another po file that already exists:

po file header section
your new po file es.po
# Copyright (C) YEAR The Claws Mail Team
#, fuzzy
msgid ""
msgstr ""
"Project-Id-Version: PACKAGE VERSION\n"
"POT-Creation-Date: 2007-01-30 09:03+0000\n"
"PO-Revision-Date: YEAR-MO-DA HO:MI+ZONE\n"
"Last-Translator: FULL NAME <EMAIL@ADDRESS>\n"
"Language-Team: LANGUAGE <>\n"
"MIME-Version: 1.0\n"
"Content-Type: text/plain; charset=CHARSET\n"
"Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit\n"
"Plural-Forms: nplurals=INTEGER; plural=EXPRESSION;\n"
# Spanish translation of Claws Mail.
# Copyright © 2000-2014 The Claws Mail team.
# This file is distributed under the same license
# as the Claws Mail package, see COPYING file.
# Ricardo Mones <>, 2000-2014.
msgid ""
msgstr ""
"Project-Id-Version: Claws Mail 3.9.3\n"
"POT-Creation-Date: 2013-12-12 21:03+0100\n"
"PO-Revision-Date: 2013-12-13 21:27+0100\n"
"Last-Translator: Ricardo Mones <>\n"
"Language-Team: Ricardo Mones <>\n"
"Language: es\n"
"MIME-Version: 1.0\n"
"Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8\n"
"Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit\n"
"Plural-Forms: nplurals=2; plural=n != 1;\n"

Consult the gettext manual for the correct Plural-Forms entry for your language.

Be sure the top five lines in your submitted file are exactly like the example. Years and your language name may vary, of course.

Next you will add your translated strings in the msgstr sections. Again, an example from es.po:

#: src/account.c:372
msgid ""
"Some composing windows are open.\n"
"Please close all the composing windows before editing the accounts."
msgstr ""
"Hay ventanas de composición abiertas.\n"
"Cierre todas las ventanas de composición antes de editar las cuentas."

There are some variations to the format which you should be aware of:

Default hotkeys are indicated by the '_' character:
#: src/account.c:767
msgid " _Set as default account "
msgstr " _Establecer como primaria "
The presence of dynamically-generated text is indicated by the 'c-format' line. The 'c format', (%s, %d, etc.), in your msgstr must match the one used in the msgid:
#: src/account.c:867
#, c-format
msgid "Copy of %s"
msgstr "Copia de %s"
Some strings have informational data for translators included in the msgid part, delimited by the '|' character. Their purpose is to indicate the context of the string and they should not appear in your msgstr:
#: src/prefs_msg_colors.c:228
msgid "Tooltip|Pick color for 2nd level text"
msgstr "Elejir el color para el texto de segundo nivel"
Other strings have the informational data included in the comment header, indicated by 'TRANSLATORS: …':
#. TRANSLATORS: 'color %d' refers to the filtering/processing
#. rule name and should not be translated
#: src/prefs_msg_colors.c:432 src/prefs_msg_colors.c:464
#, c-format
msgid "Set label for 'color %d'"
msgstr "Establecer la etiqueta para el «color %d»"
Some strings contain markup, which should be left in place:
#: src/wizard.c:892
msgid "<span weight=\"bold\">Your name:</span>"
msgstr "<span weight=\"bold\">Su nombre:</span>"
Here is an example of Plural-Forms usage:
#: src/inc.c:592
#, c-format
msgid "Done (%d message (%s) received)"
msgid_plural "Done (%d messages (%s) received)"
msgstr[0] "Hecho (%d mensaje (%s) recibido)"
msgstr[1] "Hecho (%d mensajes (%s) recibidos)"

Checking your translation for errors (and completeness)

/usr/bin/msgfmt -c --statistics es.po

Building Claws Mail with your new translation included

For this step you will need to be able to build from Git, so a full set of development tools is required.

Open the file in your text editor and locate the line that begins with 'ALL_LINGUAS=', then add your language to the list of languages.

Then run ./ [OPTIONS], make, make install as usual.

Updating your translation

When it is time to update your translation, first update your Git working directory. Then do the following:

cd po
rm claws-mail.pot
make claws-mail.pot

Next issue the following command to update your po file:

/usr/bin/msgmerge --update es.po claws-mail.pot

Then open your file and locate the strings that need updating. These will have an empty msgstr or will be marked 'fuzzy':

#: src/mainwindow.c:838 src/messageview.c:332
#, fuzzy
msgid "/_Tools/List _URLs..."
msgstr "/_Herramientas/Exportar _HTML..."
#: src/action.c:1184
#, fuzzy, c-format
msgid "--- Ended: %s\n"
msgstr "--- Ejecutando: %s\n"

Correct the msgstr and, in the first example, remove the line '#, fuzzy', or, in the second example, remove just the 'fuzzy, ' part of the line, leaving the c-format part intact.