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Pootle is a free and open web environment for translators. It enable volunteers to translate .PDFs, content of main web page, presentations, .ODT files, menus, and many other things. The translator interface is very simple. A person just selects a language or project title, click, and translate. You no longer need to worry about the document layout. Pootle will do the substitution job and place the translated content in correct positions within files.

This software is used by communities around the globe as a standard for translations. We have thoroughly tested it with a team of international translators and it should speed up the progress and make these translation tasks very easy. Just check out how simple it is.

How get involved in translation projects with Pootle

Communicate with your coordinators

You can take a look at the linguistic coordinator contacts page to get in touch with them if you haven't done so already. You can also communicate with fellow team members through the Linguistic Team International Forums.

Pootle Registration

You can visit Pootle, where you'll be able to check out our materials without having to log in. To translate and proofread however, a Pootle user has to be registered and logged in.

To get started with the registration process, click on the "Log in" link on the top right corner of the page.

You can then click on the "Registration" link right below the username and password boxes.

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Once you typed in your credentials and submitted the information, the system will take you to a security page which will ask you a simple question as a security measure, to make sure you're human !!

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Once you've answered the security question (and that you got it right), a message will inform you that the procedure is complete.

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You can then access the mailbox corresponding to the email address that you provided during the registration process. The sender is " ", the subject of the email is "Pootle registration"

The email contains a link which you can click on to activate your account. You'll be sent towards the main Pootle page, which will display a message.

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You can then log into Pootle by clicking on "Log In" link on the top right end of the page.

Pootle Configuration

Once connected, you have access to the "My Account" page which is comprised of four tabs :

  • Dashboard : contains all the projects that you have selected in your "Settings" space, for easier access.
  • Settings : allows you to set up the number of displayed paragraphs per page, your favourite languages and the projects you'd like to be a part of.
  • Profile : allows you to define your first and last name.
  • Password : allows you to reset your password.

Settings tab

  • Number of rows : allows you to define the number of translation blocks (paragraphs) you'd like to show on screen. The default value is 9, but if you have a big monitor, you might want to display a little more information on any given page. The Pootle system will automatically adapt itself to this setting when displaying content to be translated/proofread.
  • Interface Language : defines the language in which the interface is displayed (buttons, links...)
  • Projects : projects you'd like to participate in, which will appear in your dashboard. Your language coordinators will be able to consult the projects you picked as your favourites. You must pick your favourite projects for the coordinator to provide you with the appropriate rights to said projects.
  • Alternative source languages : you can define extra languages in this menu list, which will allow you to check out translations in other languages for the given paragraph that you're working on (read-only). It enables you to select a language that might be closer to the one you're working with, and provide you with inspiration as to how to translate a given word/passage.
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Project name
(as of 2012-05-15)
Activist Orientation Guide Contents of the activists orientation guide (2009 version)
Designing the future E-Book by the Venus Project
TZM Website (Historical) Contents of the old website
Terminology Contains glossary entries. You don't need to subscribe to that project
Tutorial Contains messages/reminders that are meant to guide translators in their work.You don't need to subscribe to that project
One Planet Project website website contents
TVP Press Kit
TZM Defined The essay-style collection known as TZM Defined, describing the tenets and understandings of The Zeitgeist Movement
TZM Global Documents and Chapters Guide
TZM Newsletter Contents of the Zeitgeist Movement newsletters
The Venus Project website Contents of the website

Translation and Proofreading Features

How to translate

When you click on any given project, you have access to a certain amount of files with the .po extension. Those files contain the text to be translated and the text itself is subdivided in paragraphs, allowing for a paced translation.

The Pootle interface will change the given rights that the language coordinators have give to you.

User without rights

A user without rights can only read text, or not have access to the project's contents at all.

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User with translation rights

A user with translation rights can submit and/or suggest a translation by using the "Submit" or "Suggest" button. When a translation was already submitted, for a given string (chunk of text), the "Suggest" feature will allow to offer an alternative without deleting the submitted translation.

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User with proofreading rights

A user with proofreading rights can present a translation by clicking on "Submit" or "Suggest".

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Once a suggestion has been presented as alternative to the submitted text, users with reviewing rights will be presented with a panel allowing them to accept or decline your suggestion.

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On the panel itself, there are two buttons, one red, the other green. Once the suggestion has been accepted, the text contained in the box is replaced by the text contained in the suggestion panel.

Caution : these accept or decline actions are irreversible ! If the suggestion is accepted, the text of the translation will be replaced; if declined, the suggestion will be deleted (both on screen and physically on the server).

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However, backups of the whole Pootle database are made on a regular basis, which allows the Pootle admin to repair possible mistakes : massive text deletions, translations submitted in the wrong language, etc...

Note : The guidelines or procedures shared here are according to Pootle's developers; but other approaches are also possible, and maybe more favorable, depending on the number of volunteers and conditions of your language team. To check the existing ones and/or share new alternatives, use the What's your take on translation and proofreading rights on Pootle? forum thread

The "Fuzzy" magic

Whenever you aren't sure about the quality a translated string, mark it as "fuzzy". This makes it easier to improve quality at a later stage.

When a proofreader has read and corrected the text, he or she can untick the "fuzzy" box. Pootle will then consider the translation as complete.


As you translate, you might see a list of words appear on the left side of the screen, those are words that have been encountered in that given project for which the language coordinators have found an agreed upon translation. However, the development for this module isn't complete, which is why some terms might have awkward translations or that some difficult terms do not show up at all.

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Other useful information

Why is there code in the text ?

From time to time, you'll encounter HTML tags or variable names in the texts. When web-based contents are translated, those tags are important because they carry text formatting information for the browser that'll try to display them, which is why those tags must be copied as they are.

Example :

  • The text as displayed in Pootle :
Wanna contribute to the video transcription team?<br />Join the <strong><a href="" target="_blank">
 Linguistic Team International Forums</a></strong><br />and introduce yourself!
  • This same text will be displayed on the website as follows :
Wanna contribute to the video transcription team ?
Join the Linguistic Team International Forums
and introduce yourself !

Translator's notes

Translators are allowed to add notes in the translated text that might help the reader to soak in the information that's presented. Some cultural elements, for example, require clarifications that the original text doesn't provide. The note must be short however, and be clearly detached from the text itself (you can use squared bracket for example). The usefulness of such notes can be discussed with your fellow teammates so that everyone agrees about the relevance of such notes at a given position.

Example : in the first ZM newsletter, Neil Kiernan talks about "Using politics as a soapbox". One might need to explain the usage of "soapbox" in this context if the term is to be used in the litteral sense throughout the article. (Otherwise, this might make for an awkward read !!)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Available shortcuts when translating, which might come in handy.

Suggest or Submit [Ctrl]+[Enter]
Fuzzy [Ctrl]+[Space]
Toggle between Suggest or Submit [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Space]
Bigger text [Ctrl]+[+]
Smaller text [Ctrl]+[-]


Whenever possible, try to "translate" the web links that you might encounter within different projects by providing the reader with an version of this website in your own language, if it exists.

Example :

may be able to become :

Or if a direct translated source doesn't exist, seek a chapter translation of the same page :

LTI WikiLanguage Team Contacts | FirstTimers-General Guidelines | LTI Guidelines | Transcription Team | Proofreading Team | Translation Teams | Translation Proofreading Teams | Linguistic Tech Team | Media Center | Project Teams | LingTeam Development | Meetings (edit)