Localiser CiviCRM

CiviCRM un logiciel dont le code source est écrit en langue anglaise. Cependant, il a été conçu pour les organisations de tous les pays, et bien entendu, elles doivent pouvoir utiliser le logiciel sans avoir à modifier son code techniquement.

Localiser CiviCRM, c'est à dire d'adapter un logiciel aux besoins de votre localité, n'est pas aussi simple que l'on peut l'imaginer initialement. Il faut non seulement traduire les chaînes de texte affichées à l'écran, mais aussi configurer la bonne devise monétaire (USD ou $ aux États-Unis, GBP ou £ en Grande-Bretagne), le format de date et d'heure (par exemple: le 16 novembre 2012 sera écrit 11/16/2012 aux États-Unis, mais en Russie le format de date sera 16.11.2012) ou encore le format des chiffres (1 234 567,89 en France, mais 1,234,567.89 au Japon ou aux États-Unis).

CiviCRM offre plusieurs mécanismes pour supporter les besoins de différentes langues et régions. L'écran « localisation » (affiché dans la saisie d'écran ci-dessous) permet aux administrateurs de choisir la bonne configuration pour la langue et le pays de votre organisation. On peut y accéder par : Administrer >  Configurer > Configurations globales > Localisation.



CiviCRM accommodates different languages, however the developers rely on the community to translate the text displayed.

A number of languages have already been provided to a greater or lesser extent. Some have more than 90% of the text translated, others only 5%, and a number of languages have not been translated at all. Please check the online translation tool Transifex ( to find out about your language of interest. Download and install it on your CiviCRM installation to find out how well it will suit your needs.

You may find that although the translation is correct, you would want to use different terms in your situation. You are very much encouraged to take part in the translation of your language.


A number of facilities in CiviCRM support the community in its translation efforts, though some are still under development.

  1. Transifex is an online tool that enables groups of translators to translate strings of text and keep an overview on its progress. Register there, look for your language, join the team or, if your language is not available, start translating.
  2. A glossary ( on CiviCRM's wiki will help you maintain consistency in your translations. It will also help you get some insight on how much work it will be to translate those strings of text that your users will most often see and that would therefore be the first to translate.
  3. A tips and tricks wiki page ( explains how to set up your localization community.
  4. A FAQ ( on the CiviCRM wiki covers localisation.

Getting Started

Feel like helping translating CiviCRM to a new language or improving the current translation? Here's how to do it (provided you have a bit of a technical background):

  1. Go to and create an account.
  2. Look for your language on and either join a team, or request the creation of a new one if needed.
  3. Start translating!

Team work

The CiviCRM translation work flow is still a work-in-progress and until the process becomes more mature, you should probably refer to  for the most current instructions.

The work flow is heavily based on teamwork. Hopefully, there is already a team of translators for your language that you can join. This team will have built a glossary, will have started a translation set and will be able to review your translations and give constructive criticism.  If such a team does not yet exist, the opportunity is all yours to create one.

Components and files

There are quite a lot of strings (phrases) to translate in CiviCRM. To make it easier to translate the part that you are interested in (hopefully the one you know best), the strings that need translation have been divided into components, which are CiviCRM plugins (e.g., CiviCRM core, CiviMail, CiviContribute, etc.). A separate component should be available for each version of CiviCRM, starting with version 3.2 (or 3.1, for language teams that have chosen to do so).

Each component itself contains a number of files, which themselves contain the strings to translate. The main component "CiviCRM" (the core) has close to 20 files (for countries, provinces, menu, etc.).

Tools and technical details

The process you use to do translation depends on whether you prefer to do translation online or offline. Online translation does not require installation of any software. Offline translation is done with files downloaded from the translation website, using software that offers more features than the online system.

Online translation

Transifex is the tool to use for online translation. It does not have as many features as an offline tool such as PoEdit, but it's the easiest way to contribute translations and do the occasional quick correction. Every translator should have an account on the Transifex site, because translation teams can use the forums and messaging system to coordinate their work.

The basic steps in online translation are:

    1. Select a component on This will display the list of language teams for this component.
    2. Click on the icon in the Options column next to the language you are interested in. This brings you to the list of files for this component.
    3. Click on the "pencil and paper" icon. This brings you to the online translation screen, which lists all the translatable strings in this file.
    4. For each string, you can then enter a translation.
    5. When you are finished, you can click on the "Send for review" button at the end of the page.

      Offline translation

      Most translation is usually done with an offline translation tool. One of the most common is PoEdit (see, which is free software and has a big community of users. The exact steps in translation using an offline tool depend on your tool of choice, but should follow the following steps:

        1. Download the files from you want to translate,
        2. Load the files up in your translation tool and do your translations.
        3. Send them back to the site when you are done.

          Building a translation memory

          PoEdit and other translation software will help you build a translation memory for your language. This translation memory can either be restricted to translations done in CiviCRM, or include translations from other projects. If you include other projects, automatic translation might be able to translate more strings, but you will lose consistency and most strings will be marked as fuzzy. This could be a way to bootstrap a new translation, though.

          Building a translation memory based on words from the glossary could go a long way in insuring the consistency of your team's work.

          Using version control (mostly for programmers)

          Transifex keeps files in a version control system, This is useful to some users who find interacting with the Github site easier than downloading each file separately from Transifex.

          Consistency & consensus

          To insure a good consistency in the translation, every team is encouraged to build and use a glossary and employ peer review. You can find a glossary of common terms on You definitely should translate these terms to your language, and make sure your team reaches a consensus on all terms.

          Building and sharing a common translation memory, which is like a specialized glossary that can be used automatically by translation tools,  also helps to insure consistency. The PoEdit help system explains how to build this database (and most other translation software should do the same).

          Team building and sprints

          A good way to make progress in translation is to organize translation sprints. This means getting as many people as possible together in the same room to translate as many documents as they can. Here are a few things to keep in mind when organizing a translation sprint:

          • Choose a good location, where people will be able to get online (enough computers for everybody, or desks to set up laptops and with a decent Internet connection).
          • Provide instructions in advance on how to install an offline translation tool such as PoEdit, and have people ready to help others install and use it.
          • Create the glossary in advance. Present the glossary, discuss terms which do not have consensus, make sure everybody has access to a copy of the glossary, and print a sufficient amount of copies beforehand.
          • Determine goals for the sprint: which component will be translated, and what percentage your team is trying to achieve.
          • Make sub-teams with clear objectives: per component or file or a part of it.
          • If your translators are not familiar with CiviCRM, do a demo of the features your team is about to translate.
          • Clearly designate someone who can be interrupted in order to answer questions.
          • Make sure you've got enough coffee, tea, chocolate, etc. in reserve to keep everybody going through the night.
          • At the end of the sprint, present the result of the translation in a demo CiviCRM installation.
          • Discuss whether the team has reached its goal and how to improve further.

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