Translations Process#


The Open edX Platform supports running in multiple languages. This page explains the process by which we accomplish this. To begin with, your code needs to annotate strings so tooling can know that you want those strings translated. The tooling needs to extract those strings in order to be shared with translators. Once the strings have been extracted and made available to translators, strings can be translated to a variety of languages. Tooling will then download the translated strings and make them available to your running code.

flowchart TD annotate(Annotate Strings) --> extract(Extract Strings For Translation) --> upload(Upload to Transifex) --> translate(Translate Strings) --> download(Download for Use)

Annotating and Extracting Strings#

Given code like this:

from django.utils.translation import ugettext as _

# Translators: This will help the translator
message = _("Welcome!")

# Translators: This is a very long comment that needs to wrap
# over multiple lines because it would be too long otherwise.
message = _("Hello world")

Our tooling will extract the following strings:

  • Welcome!

  • Hello world

A similar process to the one noted above occurs in our Javascript frontend code as well. For our django backed services, we use django’s builtin translation tooling to extract strings for translation. In our React based frontends, we use react-intl to extract strings for translation.

To learn more about how to annotate strings for translation, see the annotation reference (link tbd).

Getting Strings Translated#

The tool we use to translate strings is Transifex. Once translation source strings are extracted from code to files, the Transifex CLI tool can be used to upload them for translation. Translation is done by the community and coordinated by the Translations Working Group. For more information see Quick Start: How to start translating for Open edX.

Using Translations#

In order to use translated strings, they must be downloaded as files. Translation files are periodically updated in the openedx-translations repository.

The openedx-atlas CLI tool was built to help you download translation files for a specific part of the codebase.

cd /path/to/credentials
# pull down the latest translations for all available
# languages for the credentials application
atlas pull --directory credentials

Once the translations have been downloaded, you can simply start up the service and the translations will be available to the user based on their profile settings.