Using Verbatim to Localize SUMO

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Verbatim is Mozilla's web based localization tool. This article is a SUMO oriented overview of the basic translation workflow. It also covers some additional tasks for people with approver privileges.

Basic Translation Workflow

Log in or register

The Mozilla Verbatim site is located at If you have a Mozilla LDAP account you can just log in with your LDAP username and password. Otherwise, you'll have to register for an account before you can log in.

Navigate to untranslated strings

  1. Go to the SUMO project at
  2. Click on your language in the Overview tab.
  3. Then click on the Translate tab. It will show a directory listing.
  4. Click on the LC Messages directory (that's where the messages.po file is located).
  5. You will now see an overview of the messages.po file. In the summary column the number of untranslated words will be shown as a link. A click on that link takes you directly to the first string that needs to be translated.

Using Verbatim to translate strings

  1. When you are editing a string, just type your translation into the box on the left side of the English string.
  2. If you have approver permission click submit, otherwise click suggest.
  3. You will then be taken to the next string that needs translating.

This is some additional information about the Verbatim interface:

  • You can copy the English string over to the translation box by clicking the copy button.
  • You can move forward and back through the strings by clicking the Skip and Back buttons.
  • You can navigate directly to a particular string by clicking its string number on the far left.
  • You can make a translation as Fuzzy if you think there could be a better way to say something. This will mark it, so it can easily be found and updated later.
  • You can add notes about a particular string in the Translator Comments section.
  • When translating a string with both Singular and Plural forms you will see two boxes on the right hand side. The box for the Singular form is labeled "Plural Form 0" and the box for the Plural form is labeled "Plural Form 1".

Tasks for people with approver privileges

Review suggested strings

  1. Click on the Review tab. It will show how many strings are waiting for review under the messages.po file.
  2. Click on the suggestions link and it will take you to the first string that needs to be reviewed.
  3. You can accept the suggestion by clicking the green checkmark.
  4. You can reject the suggestion by clicking the red X.

Commit to VCS to publish your changes

Once you've translated some strings, you can push them to the VCS.

Note: Once your changes are in VCS they should show up on in about an hour.
  • Click on the Translate tab and click the "Commit to VCS" link under the message.po file.

Edit messages.po in an external application

  1. Once you log in, click on your language in the Overview tab.
  2. Then click on the Translate tab.
  3. To download messages.po click the "Download" link under the file listing.
  4. Once you've finished your edits, you'll need to upload your file to VCS.
  5. Click Browse… and select your file.
  6. Choose the upload setting:
    • Overwrite the current file if it exists
    • Merge the file with the current file and turn conflicts into suggestions
    • Add all new translations as suggestions
  7. Finally, click the Upload button.
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