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Launchpad Help > Translations > Import policy


When you start using Launchpad to translate a project, you need to import the project's translation templates. Optionally, you may also want to import any existing translations.

Launchpad supports GNU Gettext's .pot templates and .po translation files.

To make translating in Launchpad run smoothly for everyone, we have a few rules that you must follow to ensure a successful import of your templates and translations. Some of these rules are social and cover things such as whether you have permission from the project to start a translation effort in Launchpad. The rest of the rules are technical.

Note: if you follow these rules, the easiest and quickest way to get your templates and translations automatically into Launchpad is to import them from a Bazaar branch.

Social rules

When you request a new translation template import into Launchpad, you should make sure of the following:

Technical rules

Whenever you upload a template for the first time, your project's translations maintainer will need to check it manually. After that, it should get through our automated approval process without problems. You'll need to check each template uploaded using the following rules:

If you are uploading translation files, you should follow these rules:

Other useful guidelines

You can learn more about working with translations and templates in .po and .pot format by reading the GNU Gettext documentation.

You should also be aware of the following:

Sample directory layout

We recommend the standard GNU Gettext directory and file layout:


Working with upstream projects

Thousands of people use Launchpad to translate software into their own language. Once you open a project for translation in Launchpad, it's likely that you'll get contributions from members of the Launchpad translations community.

We want everyone's work in Launchpad Translations to have a chance of making it into software that people use. That's why we insist that anyone opening a project in Launchpad for translation must either represent the upstream project or otherwise have permission from the project. We'd hate to see people make translations only for them not to stand a chance of being used in the project.

If you want to open a project for translation in Launchpad, but you're not already involved in that project, you should get in touch with the project.

Template for contacting upstream projects

If you want to suggest to a project that they use Launchpad to translate their software, you might find this email template useful.

Dear project maintainer,

I am interested in translating your application X into the language L, and
have noticed you don't have an established translation framework.

I've been translating other programs using Launchpad Translations, a
web-based translation service provided by Canonical (the primary sponsor of
Ubuntu). Launchpad makes it easy for people to suggest translations and
already has a community of thousands of translators.

With Launchpad, all you'd need to do is publish a "translation template"
-- in the form of a GNU Gettext .pot file -- via a web form when it best
suits you (for example, when your next version is feature complete).  Once
published in Launchpad Translations, it would be made available to the
community of translators who would be then able to translate it.  When
you're ready to release your next version, you would request an 'export' of
all the available translations, which you would get in a tar.gz archive.

Launchpad Translations is under continuous development, and features are
being added and improved every month.  It is and will always be free of
charge for free software projects.  For me, it would make translating your
application very easy.

You can learn more about Launchpad Translations at

Thank you,

< Translating your project

Translations/YourProject/ImportPolicy (last edited 2018-05-24 17:26:01 by cjwatson)