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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Translation.

So you'd like to help with translating Moodle?

Great! :-) Please check the list of language packs without maintainer. If your language is listed, and you'd like to volunteer to become language pack maintainer, email our translation coordinator, Koen,

Otherwise, check Translation credits and contact the maintainer of your language pack to ask where you can help. The name at the top of the list for each language is the current language pack maintainer. (If you don't receive a response within a reasonable time, email Koen

Getting started

The Moodle languages portal enables translators to work collaboratively on language packs and submit translations using a special Moodle translation tool called AMOS.

To help with translating Moodle

  1. Create an account on the portal, making sure you provide your full name (in order for you to receive credit for your translation work) and contact email.
  2. See the info Help for newcomers.
  3. Access the AMOS translation tool via the link in the navigation block and see the AMOS documentation.

If you have any questions, please enrol in the Translating Moodle course and join the discussions there.

Background info: Structure of a Moodle language pack

The standard Moodle distribution comes with an English language pack only. All other languages must be added to your installation. The English strings for Moodle core (that is the main subsystems like administration, gradebook, roles etc) can be found in lang/en/ folder of your Moodle installation. For example, grading related strings are defined in lang/en/grades.php. All other Moodle components (like activity modules, blocks, enrolment plugins etc) define their own strings in lang/en/ folder within the plugin directory. For example, Workshop module defines its strings in mod/workshop/lang/en/workshop.php.

Translations are located in your moodledata directory, in folder lang/xx/. Translations of all the components - both core and plugins - are stored there. For example, the Czech translation of the Workshop module is stored in moodledata/lang/cs/workshop.php and grade-related strings in moodledata/lang/cs/grades.php (note the difference against the English strings). The Translation priority page gives you a quick overview about the lang files, the content and makes a suggestion about priorities for translation.

The language files all have a .php extension (eg moodle.php or workshop.php). These files contains short phrases, often called "strings". Strings may contain a placeholder for variable substitution. The placeholder is replaced with a certain value when the string is displayed. Strings are stored in PHP array called $string. The item key in this array is called string identifier or string name. Examples:

$string['addnewcourse'] = 'Add a new course';
$string['hidesection'] = 'Hide section {$a}';
$string['uploadedfileto'] = 'Uploaded {$a->file} to {$a->directory}';

These strings definition can be then used by get_string() function (see lib/moodlelib.php). If a string doesn't exist in a particular language, Moodle tries to find it in the so called parent language. If there is no parent language defined or it does not define the requested string, then the equivalent in English will automatically be used instead.

Installation language packs may be found in the install/lang folder. These language packs contain only the strings needed for the installation process. The files are generated automatically and must not be changed manually. For translators this is a unusual experience, since changes you add to the strings used in the installation script will not be visible until our script is run and commits them into Moodle sources.

Summary of changes since 1.9

  • Translations are not kept in CVS any more but in a database at
  • A web interface is used to translate strings
  • All plugins now define their English strings in the plugin folder, as contrib plugins used to
  • Language codes no longer have a _utf8 suffix
  • HTML help files have been replaced with strings with a _help suffix
  • Placeholders must be wrapped in curly braces
  • Double quotes should not be escaped any more in the string definition

For details of the translation process in versions of Moodle prior to 2.0, see Translation pre-2.

See also