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For the children's television program character, see The Flumps.
Original author(s) David Fraser
Developer(s) translate.org.za
Initial release December 2004; 12 years ago (2004-12)
Stable release
2.7.6 [1] / 20 June 2016; 8 months ago (2016-06-20)
Preview release
2.8.0rc5 [2] / 30 January 2017; 47 days ago (2017-01-30)
Repository github.com/translate/pootle
Operating system Cross-platform[which?]
Type Computer-assisted translation
License GNU GPL
Website pootle.translatehouse.org

Pootle is an online translation management tool with translation interface. It is written in the Python programming language using the Django framework and is free software originally developed and released by Translate.org.za[3] in 2004. It was further developed as part of the WordForge project and the African Network for Localisation and is now maintained by Translate.org.za.

Pootle is intended for use by free software translators, but it is usable in other situations. Its main focus is on localization of applications' graphical user interfaces as opposed to document translation. Pootle makes use of the Translate Toolkit for manipulating translation files. The Translate Toolkit also offers offline features that can be used to manage the translation of Mozilla Firefox and OpenOffice.org in Pootle. Some of Pootle's features include terminology extraction, translation memory, glossary management and matching, goal creation and user management.

It can play various roles in the translation process. The simplest displays statistics for the body of translations hosted by the server. Its suggestion mode allows users to make translation suggestions and corrections for later review, thus it can act as a translation-specific bug reporting system. It allows online translation with various translators and lastly it can operate as a management system where translators translate using an offline tool and use Pootle to manage the workflow of the translation.


Pootle was first developed by David Fraser while working for Translate.org.za in a project funded by the CATIA programme. Its first official release was made in December 2004 although it had been used in various internal Translate@thons by Translate.org.za.

The name Pootle is an acronym for PO-based Online Translation / Localization Engine, but it is also a character in the BBC children's program The Flumps.

Translate.org.za released various versions and in 2006 Pootle was further developed as part of the WordForge project, a project funded by the Open Society Institute and the International Development Research Centre. This added XLIFF file management and infrastructure for translation workflow. Many of these features were added in the 1.0 release.

Pootle is used by OpenOffice.org,[4] One Laptop Per Child's learning environment Sugar[5] and other projects.[6] Pootle is the basis of the Verbatim project which is building localisation infrastructure for Mozilla projects.

Design philosophy[edit]

Pootle was designed to be a web translation tool using the Translate Toolkit. It serves as a translation management system, treating translation files as documents and managing them as such.

The aim of Pootle is never to replace existing processes but rather to enhance them. Thus it interacts with upstream version control systems allowing it to commit changes directly to the main project rather than maintaining a parallel system outside of the project.

It is free software and projects are encouraged to host their own Pootle server to allow their community to localise.

Supported source document formats[edit]

The Translate Toolkit provides conversion from its supported source document formats which include: Java and Mozilla .properties files, OpenOffice.org SDF files, HTML, Text, XLIFF and Gettext PO.

Pootle itself works directly on Gettext PO and XLIFF files, as well as Qt .ts, TBX and TMX (since version 2.0.3). Since Pootle 2.1.0 there is also native support for several other formats, such as Java .properties files, PHP array files, Mac OS X strings and several subtitle formats.


  • Terminology extraction based on term frequency
  • Translation memory - created by an offline tool
  • Machine translation through popular online services
  • Alternative source language - view translations from a third language while translating
  • Glossary - choose between live global glossary or a glossary per project
  • Goals - set goals and add users to goals
  • Statistics - word count and string statistics
  • Suggestions - allow suggestions to be made allowing outside participation and bug reporting
  • Version control - update from or commit directly to upstream version control systems
  • User management - assign various rights to users
  • Translation interface - perform online translation and review
  • Checks - performs over 40 checks on translation quality

See also[edit]


External links[edit]