Translating manpages

Alain Portal alain.portal at
Tue Apr 6 17:36:37 UTC 2010

Le Mardi 6 Avril 2010 15:59:13, Domingo Becker a écrit :
> 2010/3/22 Alain Portal <alain.portal at>:
> > What do you know about translating man pages?
> It seems to be a bit more complicated than translating po files.
> Man pages are in nroff/troff format.

This isn't so complicated, there is just a few nroff macros to learn and 
I became upstream of the french man-pages translation in june 2005 
( where my first release was 1.59.
In 3.03 version, there are 837 man pages, I translated 150 of them and updated 
all 837, alone, and with only two tools: kwrite and diff.
I translated also 93 man pages taken other vanilla (createrepo, diffutils, 
docbook-utils, initscripts, nfs-utils, openjade, opensp, pciutils, procps, rp-
pppoe, sysvinit, util-linux-ng, yum, yum-utils, etc.)

Just to say, there is really not complicated to translate man page directly in 
nroff format.

> So the problem here is to convert that format to .po format to allow
> translations with our tools and then back to nroff/troff format.

In po format, there is no more context :-(

> That conversion should be a bijective function.
> I have no idea if there's a program to do that.

There is...

> Gettext support for man pages would be great.
> The current version for man pages is 3.24 and its sources are available at 
> [1]. The man-pages-es version included in Fedora 12 is 1.55.
> So, there's a lot of work to do.
> Juan Piernas, the Pameli's maintainer, has no problem with helping us
> to restart the Spanish translation within Fedora infrastructrure [2].

Sorry, I don't understand spanish.


Les pages de manuel Linux en français
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