Alternative source language

Pootle has the ability to display alternative source languages while translating. Thus, translators who know another language better than English can take part in the translation project. Also, it provides a way to disambiguate terminology by seeing how other languages have translated the same string.



Users who want to use the functionality need to specify the desired alternative source languages in their account configuration. Alternatively, Pootle will try to guess the user’s alternative source language by looking at the browser’s Accept-Lang header.


If the selected project doesn’t have translations in the alternative source language then no alternative will be displayed.

This feature is enabled by default.

Matching criteria

In order to show suggestions from another language, the following is needed:

  • The alternative languages must be visible in Pootle and added to the same project.
  • The string must be translated in the alternative language (not incomplete or untranslated).
  • The file names need to be identical (identical strings from different files are not matched).
  • The source text for both translations need to be identical.