Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.6. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Translation.


From MoodleDocs

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 the Translation credits and contact the maintainer of your language pack to ask where you can help. (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.
  4. Check the langconfig file first, before translating other files.

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

How do language packs work?

A standard Moodle comes with an English language pack only. It is installed in moodledata/lang/en. Extra language packs are normally installed directly from within Moodle from Administration>Language>Language packs, but in some cases you might need to install them via FTP to your moodledata folder into the folder lang.

The English language terms (or 'strings') for the main (core) Moodle features such as administration, roles etc, are stored in lang/en. Language files relating to modules, blocks and add-ons are stored with the files of that particular module, block or add-on. So if you wanted to see the language strings for the badges block for example, you would look in blocks/badges/lang/en. If you wanted to see the language files for the workshop module, you would look in mod/workshop/lang/en

If you install another languge pack, you will then get a folder such as lang/fr which would have French translations of Moodle terms. Unlike with English, other language packs such as lang/fr will contain all translations along with the main core terms so you would find see for example the badges strings in lang/fr/block_badges.php and the workshop strings in lang/fr/workshop.php

These files (which all end in .php) contain short phrases, often called "strings". Strings may contain a placeholder (between the curly brackets below). This placeholder is replaced with the chosen words from the language pack when the string is displayed. The term between the square brackets is called the 'string identifier' or the 'string name'. Examples:

$string['addnewcourse'] = 'Add a new course';
$string['hidesection'] = 'Hide section {$a}';

If a string hasn't been translated, then Moodle will use the parent language or the original English version. Thus, you might see a Moodle site where some terms have been translated into a language but others still display in English.

Moodle placeholders must not be translated

The following words, when enclosed within {curly brackets}, are placeholders for Moodle names of variables. They should not be translated, but must remain as they are within the curly brackets:

firstname, lastname, username, email, city, country, lang, timezone, mailformat, maildisplay, maildigest, htmleditor, ajax, autosubscribe , institution, department, idnumber, skype , msn, aim, yahoo, icq, phone1, phone2, address, url, description, descriptionformat, password, auth, oldusername , deleted, suspended, course1, course2, course3, course4

They must also be written exactly like this in all translations of the documentation pages (such as this page.)However, the documentation writer/translator might like to include a translation enclosed in brackets. For example, in the Spanish documentation pages you might find: password (contraseña).

The fact is: no placeholders can be translated in AMOS. There is no official list of "reserved" $a properties. Whatever xyz is put in {$a->xyz}, it must be kept as it is in AMOS.


26 AMOS fullnamedisplay core original.png

Must be (in this case, when translated into Mexican Spanish):

26 AMOS fullnamedisplay core.png

unless your language uses lastname before the firstname, as Japanese does, which translates to:

26 AMOS fullnamedisplay core Japanese.png

Non-translatable strings

While AMOS does a great job for translating the Moodle core and most Moodle add-ons language strings, some English language strings are (as of July 2013) not yet available for translation with AMOS.

The plugins classified as 'Other ' are not translatable by AMOS (see this forum thread). You can use the Language customization tool within your Moodle (production or local) server to produce the .php file cointaining the translated language strings for your language and email this file to the particular 'other' plugin maintainer, so that it can be included in the lang folder within the downloadable Zip file for the plugin.

Translating the Moodle online Documentation (MoodleDocs)

MoodleDocs pages, such as the page you are reading right now, are wiki pages available in several languages. Any registered Moodle user can contribute to MoodleDocs and improve or translate these wiki pages. Please make sure to follow the guidelines for contributors.

You need to make at least one edit to an existing docs page before you are allowed to create a new page (an anti-spam feature).

Looking for translated add-ons in the Moodle plugins database

  • According to, almost all contributed plugins published in Moodle Plugins directory have been imported into AMOS and are ready to be translated.
  • When a user is looking at the Moodle plugins database, in ' Description tab > Useful links section' there is a link to 'Contribute translation for (your preferred language)' that points to AMOS.
  • Have a look at an example for the very popular HotPot plugin:

Link to Plugin translations in Moodle plugins database.png

  • You can click on the 'Contribute translation for (your preferred language)' link.
  • CURRENTLY: If you do not have an account in AMOS, you would have to 'Create a new account' by using the appropiate link.
  • If you have a translator account at AMOS, you can use AMOS to contribute a translation.
  • If the user then selects all the language packs (except English fixes) and writes 'pluginname' in the box for 'String identifier', AMOS will display the name of the plugin in all available translations.
  • Make sure that you have selected the Moodle branch(es) that you are interested in (eg, 2.5 in the image below).

Plugins translations in AMOS.png

  • In the above example, there are a total of 123 different language packs registered in AMOS; 63 of these are missing a translation for HotPot, which means thet there are 60 different language translations already available for the HotPot plugin, a fair number for this popular plugin :)
  • When no translation is available for any/many language(s), the box named 'Translation' will be empty for those languages.
  • If a plugin name has been translated, there is a fair chance (but no certainty) that this plugin has been (completely) translated into that language. You can change the settings in AMOS and check for yourself.
  • Please help Moodle users in other languages by translating your favorite plugins :)
  • You can find the add-ons with the largest number of downloads in the last year (or in the last two months) at These are the add-ons most likely to be most useful when translated to your language. It would probably be a good idea to translate them first.

Are there translations for the American (and other branches of the) English language?

See also