Chapter 1. Introduction

Usually program messages and documentation are written in English. Using a framework made of a set of tools and libraries, it is possible to have your favorite applications speak your native non-English language. This process of adapting an application to a specific language is known as localization. The localization process includes translating the program's interfaces and documentation to the various languages users need and, in some countries or regions, making the inputs and outputs conform to particular conventions. Lokalize is a tool which will assist you in the localization process to make an application's interface speaks many languages.

Every internationalization-aware program makes available for translation one or more message-catalog files. The extension of these files is .pot. POT is an acronym for Portable Object Template. Lokalize is an advanced and easy to use PO file (GNU gettext message catalogs) editor. It is a computer-aided translation system for translators, written from scratch using the KDE Platform 4 framework. Aside from basic editing of PO files with nifty auxiliary details, it integrates support for glossary, translation memory, diff-modes for QA, project managing, etc. It has many features like full navigation capabilities, extensive editing functionality, search functions, syntax checking and statistics functions.

Portable Object (.po) files: Each translator takes a copy of one of these POT templates and begins to fill in the blanks: each message is translated into the language desired. The file containing the translated text is referred to as a PO (Portable Object) file.