Supported formats

Weblate supports any translation format understood by Translate-toolkit, however each format being slightly different, there might be some issues with not well tested formats.


When choosing file format for your application, it’s better to stick some well established format in toolkit/platform you use. This way your translators can use whatever tools they are get used to and will more likely contribute to your project.

Weblate does support both monolingual and bilingual formats. Bilingual formats store two languages in single file - source and translation (typical examples is GNU Gettext, XLIFF or Apple OS X strings). On the other side, monolingual formats identify the string by ID and each language file contains only mapping of those to given language (typically Android string resources). Some file formats are used in both variants, see detailed description below.

For correct use of monolingual files, Weblate requires access to file containing complete list of strings to translate with their source - this file is called Monolingual base language file within Weblate, though the naming might vary in your application.

Automatic detection

Weblate can automatically detect several widely spread file formats, but this detection can harm your performance and will limit features specific to given file format (for example automatic adding of new translations).

GNU Gettext

Most widely used format in translating free software. This was first format supported by Weblate and still has best support.

Weblate supports contextual information stored in the file, adjusting its headers or linking to corresponding source files.

The bilingual gettext PO file typically looks like:

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "Monday"
msgstr "Pondělí"

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "Tuesday"
msgstr "Úterý"

#: weblate/accounts/
msgctxt "No known user"
msgid "None"
msgstr "Žádný"

Monolingual Gettext

Some projects decide to use Gettext as monolingual formats - they code just IDs in their source code and the string needs to be translated to all languages, including English. Weblate does support this, though you have to choose explicitly this file format when importing components into Weblate.

The monolingual gettext PO file typically looks like:

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "day-monday"
msgstr "Pondělí"

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "day-tuesday"
msgstr "Úterý"

#: weblate/accounts/
msgid "none-user"
msgstr "Žádný"

While the base language file will be:

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "day-monday"
msgstr "Monday"

#: weblate/media/js/bootstrap-datepicker.js:1421
msgid "day-tuesday"
msgstr "Tuesday"

#: weblate/accounts/
msgid "none-user"
msgstr "None"


XML based format created to standardize translation files, but in the end it is one of many standards in this area.

XLIFF is usually used as bilingual, but Weblate supports it as monolingual as well.


If the translation unit doesn’t have approved="yes" it will be imported into Weblate as needing review (what matches XLIFF specification).

You can override this by adding skip-review-flag flag to the component, see Component configuration, what will make Weblate ignore this and all strings will appear as approved.

Java properties

Native Java format for translations.

Java properties are usually used as monolingual.

This format supports creating new languages. When a new languages is created, a new empty file will be added to the repository. Only keys that are defined will be written to the newly created file. The Weblate maintainer needs to make sure that this is the expected behaviour with the framework in use.

Weblate supports ISO-8859-1, UTF-8 and UTF-16 variants of this format.

Qt Linguist .ts

Translation format used in Qt based applications.

Qt Linguist files are used as both bilingual and monolingual.

Android string resources

Android specific file format for translating applications.

Android string resources are monolingual, the Monolingual base language file file being stored in different location than others res/values/strings.xml.


Android string-array structures are not currently supported. To work around this, you can break you string arrays apart:

<string-array name="several_strings">
    <item>First string</item>
    <item>Second string</item>


<string-array name="several_strings">
<string name="several_strings_0">First string</string>
<string name="several_strings_1">Second string</string>

The string-array that points to the string elements should be stored in a different file, and not localized.

This script may help pre-process your existing strings.xml files and translations:

Apple OS X strings

Apple specific file format for translating applications, used for both OS X and iPhone/iPad application translations.

Apple OS X strings are usually used as bilingual.


You need translate-toolkit 1.12.0 or newer for proper support of Apple OS X strings. Older versions might produce corrupted files.

PHP strings

PHP translations are usually monolingual, so it is recommended to specify base file with English strings.

Example file:

$LANG['foo'] = 'bar';
$LANG['foo1'] = 'foo bar';
$LANG['foo2'] = 'foo bar baz';
$LANG['foo3'] = 'foo bar baz bag';


Translate-toolkit currently has some limitations in processing PHP files, so please double check that your files won’t get corrupted before using Weblate in production setup.

Following things are known to be broken:

  • Adding new units to translation, every translation has to contain all strings (even if empty).
  • Handling of special chars like newlines.

JSON files

New in version 2.0.

JSON is format used mostly for translating applications implemented in Javascript.

JSON translations are usually monolingual, so it is recommended to specify base file with English strings.


Weblate currently supports only simple JSON files with key value mappings, more complex formats like the ones used by Chrome extensions are currently not supported by translate-toolkit and will produce invalid results.

If you are using nested dictionaries structure in your translations, you can workardound above limitation by using examples/hook-json_restore_hierarchy as PRE_COMMIT_SCRIPTS.

Example file:

    "Hello, world!\n": "Ahoj světe!\n",
    "Orangutan has %d banana.\n": "",
    "Try Weblate at!\n": "",
    "Thank you for using Weblate.": ""

.Net Resource files

New in version 2.3.

.Net Resource (.resx) file is a monolingual XML file format used in Microsoft .Net Applications.


You need translate-toolkit 1.13.0 or newer to include support for this format.

CSV files

New in version 2.4.

CSV files can contain simple list of source and translation. Weblate supports following files:

  • Files with header defining fields (source, translation, location, ...)
  • Files with two fileld - source and translation (in this order), choose Simple CSV file as file format
  • Files with fields as defined by translate-toolkit: location, source, target, id, fuzzy, context, translator_comments, developer_comments

Example file:

Thank you for using Weblate.,Děkujeme za použití Weblate.

YAML files

New in version 2.9.

There are several variants of using YAML as a translation format. Weblate currently supports following:

  • Plain YAML files with string keys and values
  • Ruby i18n YAML files with language as root node


You currently need patched version of translate-toolkit to support YAML. Check translate-toolkit issue tracker for more details.

Example YAML file:

  hello: ""
  orangutan": ""
  try": ""
  thanks": ""

Example Ruby i18n YAML file:

    hello: ""
    orangutan: ""
    try: ""
    thanks: ""


As already mentioned, all Translate-toolkit formats are supported, but they did not (yet) receive deeper testing.