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Translate the CouchDB Documentation

@@ WIP  

The CouchDB documentation will now also be available in other languages than English. If you would like to read the documentation in your own language, we invite you to join the CouchDB translation team. Subscribe to the localisation-mailing-list and drop us a note on which language you would like to work.  

Translators and Contributors

These nice people are doing translation work or help to get things running.  

  • Facundo Farias (Spanish) 
  • Robert Kowalski (German) 
  • Jackie Xu (Chinese, Dutch) 
  • Ivo Limmen (Dutch) 
  • Billy Lee (Chinese, Korean) 
  • Ido Ran (Hebrew) 
  • Daniel Sularea (Romanian, Italian) 
  • Michael Bykov (Russian) 
  • Octavian Damiean (German) 
  • Oliver Kurowski (German) 
  • Gabriel Hnatów (Polish) 
  • Manolo Micozzi (Italian) 
  • Kamyar Navidan (Persian) 
  • Bruno Pedro (Portuguese) 
  • Makoto Hashimoto (Japanese 日本語) 
  • Luiz Antonio de Vasconcelos Filho (Portuguese) 
  • Thiago Miotto (Portuguese) 
  • Andre Albert Silva Van Drunen (Portuguese) 
  • Argan Wang (Chinese) 
  • Larbi Kouiti (Arabic) 
  • Clément Poulain (French)
  • Razvan Ionescu (Romanian, German)
  • Sangho Won (Korean)
  • Willy Aguirre (Spanish)
  • Alexander Shorin (Russian, Setup) 
  • Jan Iversen (Danish, Setup, Reviewer) 
  • Andy Wenk (German, Setup)  


How are translations made?  

The CouchDB project is using the ASF translation service. The software behind the service is called Pootle and offers a good web-interface for translation work.  

Joining the translation team  

Drop us a note on the mailing-list that you want to join the translation team. We will send you an invitation email and ask you to answer some questions:  

  • your preferred username 
  • the language you would like to work on 
  • ask you to state that your contributions are under the Apache 2 license  

After you have replied to this email with the details we asked for, we will create an Pootle account at and send another email with your username and details for the password creation process to you. Then you are ready to go. Please read the following info before you start.  

Start translating  

The overview for all available languages can be found at Choosing the language you want to do translations for will direct you to the translation sources. You will find a directory and file structure. This structure is representing the documentation at  

The translation will be made in a .po file (more info regarding GNU_gettext). Clicking on a file you want to translate will open a new page with status information for this file. To start your translations click Continue translation. You will then be directed to a new page where all sections of this file are available. Clicking on a section will open a text field where you fill in your translation. After finishing you have to possibilities:  

Submit mode

  When submitting your translation, you indicate that the translation is final. If you thing some more work has to be done on this section, mark the checkbox Needs work. If the checkbox is marked, the translation will be shown in italic text mode.  

Suggest mode

  When using this mode, your translation will be marked as a suggestion. This is visible on the language overview page. The suggestion has to be accepted by you or by another translator.  

Keep the Markup in the .po files

The sources for the CouchDB documentation are living in the CouchDB source repository. It is written in .rst files. If you want to have a look at these files, please follow this guide. The files you find in the translation tool are generated into .pot files from these .rstfiles with Sphinx and are available for each language as .po files - the files you are directly translating. You will find some kind of markup in the .po files like:  

You can start the CouchDB server by running::

The double colon is markup from the .rst files and it is important, that you keep them exactly like they are. A German translation would then look like this:  


Du kannst den CouchDB Server starten in dem Du folgenden Befehl ausführst::


Another example:  

Try `gmake` if `make` is giving you any problems.


will result into:  


Probiere `gmake` aus wenn es bei der Nutzung von `make` zu Problemen kommt.


Terminology / Glossary

Each language has it's own Glossary. You can reach it with the link Terminology. The glossary was initially created from the translation files when they have been set up. The Glossary is intended to help make the translations more concise. So for example the wordreplication could be translated in German to Replikation but we want Pootle to suggest Replication to keep the english word.  

See also the official docuemntation for terminology.  

Overview of the Pootle service form the user guide written by our friends at the Apache Open Office project  

Official Pootle documentation for version 2.5  

Compiling HTML output from the documentation

Note: this is actually just for the english documentation. But it shows how one can compile the HTML output of the documentation:  

git clone
 cd couchdb
 ./bootstrap && ./configure
 cd share/doc
 make html


Open build/html/index.html in your browser to see the result.  

You need to install Sphinx on your machine to be able to run this. The best way to install Sphinx is with easy_install:  

sudo easy_install sphinx

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