Hello, Blender Community. Last week I was working together with Xiangquan Xiao to finish his Google Summer of Code project related on improving internationalization and localization in Blender.

Localization was changed a bit since Blender 2.49. Now you can translate visible interface (labels, buttons, menus) and/or tooltips. In comparison with 2.49 there’s no option to separate translation of buttons and menus. It is because of internal changes of Blender itself — mostly related on RNA (which is actually getting translated and it’s quite difficult to predict if operator name would be used for button or menu).


Usage of localization is pretty simple. Go to User Preferences, System tab and in the right bottom you’ll see Use International Fonts checkbox. If you enable it, you’ll see Language used for translation and two check boxes: translate interface and translate tooltips. Interface will be translated as soon as you set language and enable translation of interface/tooltips.

Known issues

Unfortunately, there are some known issues:

  • Translations aren’t full. It was more a project to bring up “platform” which will allow making translation easy. We need translators to translate all remained messages in .po files. I think details how this can be done would be published separately.
  • If you’re running Linux, make sure locale for your language is generated. If locale isn’t generated, you’ll have a message in terminal when try to switch translation on. To define new locale you can use this command: sudo localedef -i ru_RU -f UTF-8 ru_RU.UTF-8
  • I’ve noticed really slow startup time and memory usage up to 800-900Mb on my laptop. Spent plenty of time to figure problem out and i found, that it’s video driver issue. My laptop has got some of Intel HD graphics (integrated into processor). Upgrading driver from Intel’s driver download center solved this issue.

This project should be really easy to use, so let’s keep this post clear. Thanks for your time 🙂