Ankur - Supporting Bangla (Bengali) on GNU/Linux

Contributing translations

Translating KDE is a huge project and you can help us out by contributing translations or reviewing and correcting existing translations.

The latest translated PO files and unstranslated POT files are available in the KDE SVN archive. Primary development (happening in trunk) is currently focused on KDE4 (which is a major move as it changes from Qt3 to Qt4). Until that reaches a reasonably stable status, the "official" releases of KDE will all be based on the 3.5.x series (the stable branch). For the most part, this means very minimal changes to the translatable strings. PO files in trunk (KDE4) are currently auto-generated by copying the stable translations (one goal of KDE4 is to have as few differences in the messages as possible compared to 3.5.x).

The take-home message from all this is that we're currently translating files from the stable branch. Current status of translations can be found at KDE's localization site. The top-level page for Bengali is:

Note that KDE uses a concept of meta-packages to categorize the various PO files. For example, kdelibs contains material common to many applications, kdebase contains the applications that form the core of KDE, kdegames has the games that come with KDE. You would have to click on the appropriate category to get at individual files in that meta-package.

This pages give you access to both untranslated and translated (or partially translated) PO files, with extensions .pot and .po respectively. To help with the translation process, you could

Once you are done, submit your review or translation to the mailing list. To avoid conflicts, make sure to let us know before you start working on a file. Of course, the best way of reviewing translations is to use the translated KDE applications in your day-to-day work and report any oddities or suggested improvements.

Starting translations for new files

If you want to translate new files, you could grab a fresh one from among the untranslated POT files (note that randomly choosing new files is not a good idea, it's much better to systematically process a few modules at a time). Thanks to the great work of Golam Mortuza Hossain and others, there is now an online interface to the English-to-Bengali machine translator Anubadok that directly translates POT files, available at:

Whatever file you work on, you should first run it through this interface to obtain preliminary translations. Do not hesitate to ask for more help on our mailing list, and definitely let us know when you start translating a file. Remember that it's perfectly OK to translate small chunks of a file at a time instead of translating the whole thing at once.


Before you start, you should read translator's guide from the GNOME translation project for a brief introductory HOWTO. For more detailed instructions, see the KDE Translation HOWTO from the KDE localization site. Note that keyboard accelarators or shortcuts are indicated by an ampersand (&) for KDE, unlike an underscore (_) for GNOME. If you are running KDE (as you should be if you are translating it), the recommended translation tool is Kbabel (rather than plain text editors like Lekho or Gedit). If you are using a fairly recent version of X (probably Xorg), you can use the Indian (in) keyboard layout with the ben_probhat variant for Bengali input. The easiest way to set this up is through KDE Control Center's "Regional and Accessibility -> Keyboard Layout" module.

You don't need to translate every string in the PO file, just do the ones you feel confident about. If you are unsure about a particular string, translate it and put a comment starting with # FIXME above the msgid so we can check back later. After you are done, submit the translated PO file to the KDE translation mailing list. We will then review your submission, make sure there are no syntax errors (the chances of this are minimized if you use Kbabel to do your translations, but that is not necessary), and put the translated file into KDE SVN. You can help us out by checking your translation before submitting it; run:

$ msgfmt --check -o /dev/null your-file.po

to determine if your file is OK.

Updated: 25 March 2007

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