Translating the Web site and other Texinfo documentation

Every piece of text should be translated in the source file, except Texinfo comments, text in @lilypond blocks and a few cases mentioned below.

Node names are not translated, only the section titles are. That is, every piece in the original file like

@node Foo bar
@section_command Bar baz

should be translated as

@node Foo bar
@section_command translation of Bar baz

The argument of @rglos commands and the first argument of @rglosnamed commands must not be translated, as it is the node name of an entry in Music Glossary.

Every time you translate a node name in a cross-reference, i.e., the argument of commands @ref, @rprogram, @rlearning, @rlsr, @rnotation or the first argument of their *named variants, you should make sure the target node is defined in the correct source file; if you do not intend to translate the target node right now, you should at least write the node definition in the expected source file and define all its parent nodes; for each node you have defined this way but have not translated, insert a line that contains @untranslated. That is, you should end up for each untranslated node with something like

@node Foo bar
@section_command translation of Bar baz


Note: you do not have to translate the node name of a cross-reference to a node that you do not have translated. If you do, you must define an “empty” node like explained just above; this will produce a cross-reference with the translated node name in output, although the target node will still be in English. On the opposite, if all cross-references that refer to an untranslated node use the node name in English, then you do not have to define such an “empty” node, and the cross-reference text will appear in English in the output. The choice between these two strategies implies its particular maintenance requirements and is left to the translators, although the opinion of the Translation meister leans towards not translating these cross-references.

Please think of the fact that it may not make sense translating everything in some Texinfo files, and you may take distance from the original text; for instance, in the translation of the web site section Community, you may take this into account depending on what you know the community in your language is willing to support, which is possible only if you personally assume this support, or there exists a public forum or mailing list listed in Community for LilyPond in your language:

In any case, please mark in your work the sections which do not result from the direct translation of a piece of English translation, using comments i.e., lines starting with ‘@c’.

Finally, press in Emacs C-c C-u C-a to update or generate menus. This process should be made easier in the future, when the helper script and the makefile target are updated.

Some pieces of text manipulated by build scripts that appear in the output are translated in a .po file – just like LilyPond output messages – in Documentation/po. The Gettext domain is named lilypond-doc, and unlike lilypond domain it is not managed through the Free Translation Project.

Take care of using typographic rules for your language, especially in macros.itexi.

If you wonder whether a word, phrase or larger piece of text should be translated, whether it is an argument of a Texinfo command or a small piece sandwiched between two Texinfo commands, try to track whether and where it appears in PDF and/or HTML output as visible text. This piece of advice is especially useful for translating macros.itexi.

Please keep verbatim copies of music snippets (in @lilypond blocks). However, some music snippets containing text that shows in the rendered music, and sometimes translating this text really helps the user to understand the documentation; in this case, and only in this case, you may as an exception translate text in the music snippet, and then you must add a line immediately before the @lilypond block, starting with


Otherwise the music snippet would be reset to the same content as the English version at next make snippet-update run – see Updating documentation translation.

When you encounter

@lilypondfile[<number of fragment options>,texidoc]{}

in the source, open Documentation/snippets/, translate the texidoc header field it contains, enclose it with texidocMY-LANGUAGE = " and ", and write it into Documentation/MY-LANGUAGE/texidocs/filename.texidoc. Additionally, you may translate the snippet’s title in doctitle header field, in case doctitle is a fragment option used in @lilypondfile; you can do this exactly the same way as texidoc. For instance, Documentation/MY-LANGUAGE/texidocs/filename.texidoc may contain

doctitlees = "Spanish title baz"
texidoces = "
Spanish translation blah

@example blocks need not be verbatim copies, e.g., variable names, file names and comments should be translated.

Finally, please carefully apply every rule exposed in Texinfo introduction and usage policy, and Documentation policy. If one of these rules conflicts with a rule specific to your language, please ask the Translation meister and/or the Documentation Editors on list.

LilyPond Contributor’s Guide v2.25.18 (development-branch).