5.9.1 Getting started with documentation translation

First, get the sources of branch translation from the Git repository, see Working with source code.

Translation requirements

Working on LilyPond documentation translations requires the following pieces of software, in order to make use of dedicated helper tools:

It is not required to build LilyPond and the documentation to translate the documentation. However, if you have enough time and motivation and a suitable system, it can be very useful to build at least the documentation so that you can check the output yourself and more quickly; if you are interested, see Compiling.

Before undertaking any large translation work, contributors are encouraged to contact the Translation Meister.

Which documentation can be translated

The makefiles and scripts infrastructure currently supports translation of the following documentation:

Support for translating the following pieces of documentation should be added soon, by decreasing order of priority:

Starting translation in a new language

At top of the source directory, do


or (if you want to install your self-compiled LilyPond locally)

./autogen.sh --prefix=$HOME

If you want to compile LilyPond – which is almost required to build the documentation, but is not required to do translation only – fix all dependencies and rerun ./configure (with the same options as for autogen.sh).

Then cd into ‘Documentation/’ and run


where MY-LANGUAGE is the ISO 639 language code.

Finally, add a language definition for your language in ‘python/langdefs.py’, ‘Documentation/lilypond-texi2html-lang.init’ and ‘Documentation/web/server/lilypond.org.htaccess’. Add this language definition and the corresponding section in ‘Documentation/lilypond-texi2html.init’ and ‘scripts/build/create-weblinks-itexi.py’.

LilyPond — Contributor’s Guide v2.23.2 (development-branch).