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How to contribute translations to FreeMind follows.


Step-by-step overview

  1. Get a SourceForge user.
  2. Choose the editing tool if getting started.
  3. Get the latest English translation.
  4. Get the latest translation for your language.
  5. Find and complete what is missing.
  6. Set mnemonics in the translations.
  7. Post to Translations tracker.
  8. Register yourself as FreeMind translator if you prefer.

Getting a SourceForge user

To get a SourceForge user, visit creation page, unless you already have a user. (You need a SourceForge user to post your translation to Translations tracker, as described below.)

Getting the latest translations

Look for a translation into your language present in the development branch. If such a translation is not present, take [1].

Choosing the editing tool

Translation files can be edited using variety of tools.


Popeye Screenshot | Download can deal with several language property files at the same time, so you can contrast the original property file data with their translations. Also, the program can highlight all properties that do not have a translation set in one of the selected languages.

After a short test, I can recommend Popeye. No installation needed, works fine, looks good, and has a nice web.--Danielpolansky 03:26, 2 Jun 2007 (PDT)


PropeditScreenshot can directly edit property files written in Unicode reference characters, thereby saving the time and effort of converting into Unicode through native2ascii. Its plugin is integrated with Eclipse and JBuilder. Files can be opened in the IDE and saved in Unicode. See also Propedit project page.

Plain text editor

A plain text editor is the tool of choice if you are well acquainted with them and prefer them. If so, you already probably have your favorite tool. If not, these tools include Microsoft Notepad, Notepad++, Vim, Emacs and a vast variety of other tools.

Using plain text editor is more tricky in that the language translation files are using Java unicode notatiton, encoding a single non-latin character like \u4567, making the file less readable. A workaround is to convert the language file into UTF-8 encoding first, then edit it, and finally convert to Java notation again. The conversion is described in the following section. Once the text is in UTF-8 encoding, tools like Microsoft Notepad can be used, and the non-latin characters are shown as you would see them in a WYSIWYG editor. However, various plain text editors differ in their capability to show UTF-8 characters. Notepad on Windows XP is definitely able to do that.

Converting between Unicode notations

To convert a file in UTF-8 into \uXXXX Unicode escape notation, you may use native2ascii tool included with the Java SDK. Example of use ( is before conversion):

cd C:\j2sdk1.4.2\bin>
native2ascii.exe -encoding UTF8

Ideally, your file's name will be, where xx is the code of the language (e.g. en, de, dk etc.).

To convert \uXXXX Unicode encoded file back to UTF-8, use a command similar to the following.

cd C:\j2sdk1.4.2\bin>
native2ascii.exe -reverse -encoding UTF8

Translate with PO tools: Virtaal and prop2po

You can also use a traditional PO translation tool such as Virtaal if you convert the properties file to PO format.

To convert from properties to PO, you will need the prop2po command from the Translate Toolkit. Assuming your language code is xx, use the following command for the conversion:


Now open in Virtaal. Set your target language in Virtaal: this ensures that various features like spell checking, translation memory and terminology will be set correctly.

Before you submit or test your translation, you will need to convert it back to Java properties format as follows:

po2prop -t

This will convert your PO file into a Java properties file using the English properties file as a template. All Java escaping of Unicode will happen automatically. Submit your properties file as usual.

Setting mnemonics

For menu items, you can set mnemonics by putting "&" character before the letter of the mnemonic in the title of the menu item. For instance, "&Edit" means that the title of the menu will read "Edit" and its mnemonic will be "e". Mnemonic is a keyboard shortcut accessible in various ways; in Windows, either by pressing Alt + mnemonic, or by pressing F10, followed by the mnemonic. Mnemonics are there not only for the leading menus, but also for submenus and menu items.

Posting translations

Send your translation to Translations tracker. To be able to do it, you need a SourceForge user, which can be created at Account Registration page at SourceForge.

Registering yourself as FreeMind translator

If you are seriously planning to become a FreeMind translator, and want to receive Call for translations emails from us, please register yourself as translator by subscribing to freemind-translator mailing list. To subscribe, follow this link, and fill in the form.

When to translate

We send a call for translation email after publishing the first release candidate of FreeMind, as at that point we can make sure that only few or possibly none new texts to translate will be added.

A translator can still start creating and posting translations at any point of time, so he or she can distribute the workload in time.

Using new translation in FreeMind

  1. Write or download the file.
  2. Unpack the freemind.jar file with 7-Zip or similar into a temp folder.
  3. Replace or add the with the new one.
  4. Repack the freemind.jar with the modified content of the temp folder.

Menu label checklist

Menu Label Checklist Poor Good
In English, use capitalized labels Move to root Move to Root
Menu items leading to a dialog should end with ... . Open
Close ...
Do not repeat the verb already used in the menu heading Export > Export to PNG
Insert > Insert Hyperlink
Export > As PNG
Insert > Hyperlink

State of translation

Currently, we have the following languages translated. The table below is out of date, mapping roughly the state at 0.8.1. It would be very helpful if the translators would update it. Up-to-date information of the state of translation can in any case be found in GIT and in Translations tracker.

Already Translated Languages
Language Language Code GIT Translator Last version patch Last up-to-date version Capitalized titles Translated help map
Arabic ar GIT nasser_almesad
Basque Euskara eu GIT azkentximinoa 0.9.0 No No
Bulgarian bg GIT vel_ 0.9.0 No No
Catalan ca GIT albertalcaine
Croatian hr GIT
Czech Česky cs GIT allitaice No
Chinese, Traditional zh_TW GIT willyann 0.8.1?  
Chinese, Simplified zh_CN GIT willyann  
Danish Dansk da GIT 0.8.1?
Dutch Nederlands nl GIT koenr 10rc1 0.9 No No
English English en GIT N/A 0.8.1? Yes Yes
Estonian Eesti et GIT elaugasson 0.9.0.beta18 0.9.0 RC1 0.8.1? Yes Yes
French Francais fr GIT sgamel, ewl, srombauts, Daniel Berthereau 0.8.1? Yes
Galician gl GIT
German Deutsch de GIT christianfoltin 0.8.1? Yes
Greek Ελληνικά el GIT sarikoudis, Yannis Kaskamanidis 0.9.0 RC4
Hungarian hu GIT documan
Indonesian id GIT permataharahap
Italian Italiano it GIT bobalex, valtermura 0.8.1?
Japanese Nihongo ja GIT drikin, tomophy 0.8.1? / 0.9.0
Korean Hangeul ko GIT goliathz, lyg73 0.8.1?
Lithuanian lt GIT oxiris
Norwegian Bokmål nb GIT larslem
Norwegian Nynorsk nn GIT yjlandro
Polish Polski pl GIT Rafal Kraik, kfoltman No
Portuguese Português pt_PT GIT Luis Ferreira, alvalente
Brazilian Portuguese Português brasileiro pt_BR GIT nonducor, echofloripa
Romanian Română ro GIT nicoleta_negut
Russian Pусский ru GIT dpolivaev, sergeykotkin 1.0.0 Beta1 Yes
Slovak Slovenský sk GIT viliambur
Slovenian sl GIT filmsi 0.8.1? No?
Spanish Espanol es GIT hgayosso, sergist 0.8.1? Yes Yes
Swedish Svenska se GIT andber, gustavsson 0.9.0 No?
Turkish Türkçe tr GIT jnmbk Yes
Ukrainian uk_UA GIT dubyk
Vietnamese vi GIT dinhtrung


  • Last version patch: enter a link to the latest existing patch with the FreeMind version it concerns as text.
  • Last up-to-date version: enter the newest released version of FreeMind with up-to-date translation; consider beta versions as well.
  • Capitalized titles: Whether the titles use title case such as "Mind Mapping" rather than "Mind mapping", as is the case with English.

The ISO 639-1 language codes can be found in Wiktionary.

Translating the documentation

The file, which is documentation in mindmap format, is a simple XML file. It can be found in your FreeMind installation (eg in Microsoft Windows XP, you'll find it in C:\Program Files\FreeMind\doc). Open the file in a Unicode enabled text editor, and then simply translate everything in the TEXT attribute. For example:

 <node COLOR="#000000" CREATED="1124560950701" MODIFIED="1124560950701"
 TEXT="You can install the applet at your website so that other users can
 browse your mind maps.">

Using Swordfish

If you want to use translation memory or a CAT tool, you can now use Swordfish to translate MM files. Swordfish is not free software.

First, create a file named config_map.xml and put the following code in it:

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
 <!DOCTYPE ini-file PUBLIC "-//Maxprograms//Converters 2.0.0//EN" "configuration.dtd" >
 <ini-file><tag attributes="TEXT" hard-break="segment" keep-format="yes">node</tag></ini-file>

Then copy this file into the /ini folder of your Swordfish installation (there may be a file by that name already; if so, rename it temporarily).

Run Swordfish and go File -> Convert file to XLIFF format. Remember to select the file type as "XML (Generic)" and the encoding as "UTF8". If you select "Embed skeleton", you may be able to recreate the MM file with a third-party XLIFF editor.


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