[Tkinter-discuss] Internationalising Tkinter

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at pythonware.com
Fri May 6 14:41:24 CEST 2005

Martin Franklin wrote:

> As the subject says my boss in his infinite wisdom has asked me to
> investigate "Internationalizing Tkinter"  By this I mean I have a Python
> & Tkinter application that among other things produces reports (using
> the Canvas postscript method)  What I would very much like to do is have
> this application display widgets in different languages (just Spanish
> for now but I would like to build / use a frame work where any language
> python / Tk supports may be used)
> I have googled for "Internationalizing python" and came up with this
> excellent article (still reading through it as I write this) but it is
> quite old and I wonder if it's a little out of date.
> http://python.fyxm.net/workshops/1997-10/proceedings/loewis.html
> Any hints, docs, links etc would be much appreciated.

minimalistic solution:

    from translate import T

    Label(w, text=T("my label")).pack()
    b = Button(w, text=T("ok"))

where translate.py is

    class Translator:
        def __init__(self, language):
            self.texts = {}
            self.language = language
            ... read translation file for given language and add relevant
                entries to texts ...
        def __getitem__(self, text):
            return self.texts.get(text, text)

    ... get country/language code (e.g. via the locale module)
    T = Translator(language)

where the translation file can be a tab-separated text file (or CSV or any
other format that is easy to maintain in e.g. Excel), a prefix-encoded text

    ** Weight
    DE Gewicht
    DK Vægt
    FI Paino
    GB Weight
    NO Vekt
    SE Vikt
    PL Ciezar
    US Weight
    ES Peso
    MX Peso
    FR Poids
    CZ Vyska

    ** Height

or some other easy-to-edit-easy-to-parse format.

for maintenance, you can add a hook to the __getitem__ method that
outputs all untranslated items to a file:

    class DebugTranslator(Translator):
        def __getitem__(self, text):
            t = self.texts.get(text)
            if t is None:
                print self.language, text
            return t or text

if you want a more complex way to do the same thing, look for "gettext"
in the library reference.


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