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.po as a source file? (gettext)
Thread poster: Laurens Landkroon

Laurens Landkroon  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:15
English to Dutch
+ ...
Feb 6, 2008

Dear colleagues,

I have read numerous entries about this issue, but still can't find a suitable solution.

Has anyone got a (relatively simple) solution for working with this file?
- for instance, convert to .ttx and convert back? (if this is at all possible).



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Subhan Fakhrizada  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:15
English to Pashto (Pushto)
+ ...
It is a linux format Feb 6, 2008

Hi Laurens,

in order to open the .po file, you need to download the open source software from
and work with your translation.

This software is very easy to learn and straight forward.

hope that helps.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
PO format is complex for CAT users Feb 7, 2008

Laurens Landkroon wrote:
Has anyone got a (relatively simple) solution for working with this file? - for instance, convert to .ttx and convert back? (if this is at all possible).

You have the weirdest, most weirdest idea of "simple solution" if what you want is to convert it to TTX. Of all the formats I've dealt with, TTX ranks among the most complex in my collection. But, I digress...

PO format is simple to translate for folks who don't use CAT tools. If you're on a Windows box, you can use PoEdit. If you want to use a CAT tool, you'll have to do some work on the PO file first.

Also check out the responses here (posted not two days ago):

The PO file may contain translated segments, half-translated segments (called "fuzzy") and untranslated segments.

The idea is that the half-translated segments save you time by being half-translated (although IMO only a non-CAT programmer could have come up with such a silly idea). The problem with the half-translated segments is that you can't see the original sources, and there is no indication of fuzzy percentage in the PO file (so a 99% match and a 40% match will both the marked "fuzzy" and that's that).

So, first open the PO file in PoEdit, and see how many of the fuzzy segments you can fix so that they are "translated" and no longer fuzzy. Don't waste too much time on this -- do only the ones that are easy to do quickly. Sometimes a segment is fuzzy because a comma was added to the source text or something, so don't always expect to make big changes. When you're done, save the PO file.

Next, you have to split the PO file into two files containing these three types. One tool to do this with, is msgattrib.exe from the Gnu Gettext Tools suite. So, if your file is named foo.po, you might end up with:

foo_translated.po (with segments that are translated)
foo_untranslated.po (with segments that are untranslated and fuzzy)

Now take foo_translated.po and turn it into a TM, using a tool of your choice (but po2csv or po2tmx might help (see the other post referenced above)). Next, use msgen.exe from Gnu Gettext to convert foo_untranslated into a file that contains both source text and target text duplicated. Use the "--no-wrap" option if possible.

(Note that if your PO file is a non-standard PO file with duplicates in it, the Gnu Gettext tools won't work, giving you an error message. PoEdit doesn't mind duplicates, however. So if the PO file does seem to contain duplicates, try splitting the PO file into halves, and halves again etc until Gnu Gettext stops complaining about duplicates. Remember to copy the header to every file before using the Gettext tools.)

Now take foo_untranslated and translate it in OmegaT. Or, use smart find/replace to convert it into a tw4win tagged file and translate it in Trados or Wordfast.

In the end, merge the two PO files by copying and pasting in a Unicode compliant text editor (remember to have only one header at the top of the file).

In rare cases, the client will rant and rave because you've changed the order of the segments, but in reality it shouldn't matter because PO is really a kind of TM format.

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English to Chinese
You can do something like this: Aug 5, 2008

1) use Rainbow to convert the po files into xliff files
2) use TagEditor to convert the xliff files into ttx files and start translation
3) merge the translation back into the po files from the localized xliff files by using Rainbow again

Hope it helps

[Edited at 2008-08-05 09:30]

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