Working With Translation Files and File Formats

Working With Translation Files and File Formats

Working With Translation Files and File Formats

Working With Translation Files and File Formats

(Last Updated On: October 26, 2020)

What are the file formats?


In order to store information on our computers, we have to convert it into the right format. You cannot insert a physical document into your computer and hope to get the information transferred to the hard drive. File formats are what allows us to store information on our computers by encoding it. There are various ways to store a source file on your hard drive. Every format has its own advantages and limitations. For instance, some of them might not work on Windows or Linux. Some may not support multiple languages. Some of the most popular formats and file types are PDFs, Word documents, Excel sheets, and Google Docs. But these types of language files may not be helpful to all the professionals.

Formatting in Translation:


In a world where the population speaks more than 7000 languages, no one can underestimate the importance of translation. We have apps like Google Translate that help people with their everyday conversations. Then there are translation agencies that can help people with specific documents. These language files cannot be handled by machines or apps. There is a lot that apps do not know about languages and culture, which is why people need the help of linguistic experts with language files.


When it comes to a language file for translation, it must be in the right format. A lot of software and tools like Transifex, BabelEdit, and SDL Trados Studio make it easier for a translation agency and its team to manage their workload. But not every software will be able to help you with a translation file if it is not in the right format. A language file cannot be read by the software if it is not in the right format. This can be a problem for linguistic experts if they are not familiar with different file types.


Localizing websites and apps is impossible without converting the language files into the right format. If the source text is not in the right format, the resulting document can have a missing translation. It can affect the appearance of the displayed text. Above all, the file management system of a translation agency can get affected if their documents are not in the right format.

How to prepare for translating a website

Working With Translation Files and File Formats:


If you have downloaded a software like Transifex but your documents are not in XLIFF, you will have trouble editing them. There is a lot that every linguistic expert has to learn about formatting. App developers use programs like Angular so they can continue their work across platforms. But when a linguistic expert is tasked with translating apps, they are handed over angular.json files. They will need to download a software for text extraction to access the information contained in the angular.json files. This is just one way in which translating AppBundle/Resources can be difficult for translators.


Someone who has no experience of working with Transifex and other localization software might not know when they need an extraction tool. It is true that XLIFF is the most popular format for localization, it is not the only one.


There are text editors like Poedit that can handle language files using gettext formats. Gettext is a common format in many PHP and Python projects like WordPress and Django. Even if you don’t have XLIFF files, you can work your documents with the help of the right software. The translation process becomes simpler once linguistic experts learn about file types and editing software.

Formatting in Translation

What Should You Focus On?


If you translate base applications, you don’t have to learn about editors that work with text messages. Your focus should be on the user interface and public pages. But you can’t make much progress with the user interface if you don’t know about string translation. As a translator, it is your duty to make sure that the privacy policy, cash on delivery messages, and all the important announcements on the app are easily understandable for the target market. A simple hello world in the target language can help a business make a good first impression on their audience.


Translating a website is just as complicated. If you are going for region localization, then you will have to know the right language versions. If the source language is different from the version spoken by the audience, you will fail to make a good impression on them. If you need to do a complete translation of a website, you will have to learn about template files. You will also need theme translation files so you can work on everything from plugins to public and checkout pages. A translation service provider that doesn’t know how online shops work won’t be able to do a good job of transforming your WooCommerce plugin. And if the checkout page is obscure, you won’t be able to make any sales.


Whether you should learn about Angular, XLIFF files, Poedit, or Python and Django depends on the field you want to work in as a translator. Whether you wish to work for WooCommerce shops or apps, knowing about plugins will be very helpful. Learning more about XLIFF files will also make it easier for you to create translated text. If you will be using various software and relying on tools like translation memory, you should learn language codes. Whenever you decide to download a software, make sure that it works on your operating system. You can’t change from Windows to Linux because of a program.

How to prepare for translating a website?


Before you download a program to begin working on language files, you must learn about the basics of translating a website. You won’t be able to translate plugins if you don’t know what empty strings are. It is also important to hire a native speaker of the target language if you want to get accurate results. If you want a custom translation then you should provide the relevant language files to the linguistic experts. If you have downloaded plugins then you should provide the source files to the translation team.


It is best to download a translation management tool that works best with the data type used on websites. Even a developer translation can become easier with the help of the right translation management tools. But it is important to download the tools that work on both Windows and Linux so you can work on every platform.


How to track where strings appear on the site?


Tracking strings is very important when translating an app or website. If you are not sure where the strings are located or how to track them, there is no need to worry. Depending on the program you are using, it won’t be difficult to track


If you are using Laravel, you can find the strings in the lang directory. The lang directory is located in the resources. The strings are often stored as an app.json file.

If you are using a different program like Symfony, you can learn about the strings from the user guide. With Symfony, you will be able to work on the files easily with the help of translation resources. You can also create dictionaries to be used as a tool when you are working on files. The dictionaries will also be stored in the translation resources file.

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