Improved Internationalization and Localization

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 :)


  1. You should also try working with for your localization projects. It has a very nice user interface and helpful features. I recommend it.

  2. I thought about involvement to localize up to 100% (Polish)-
    – where and how it’d possible/anybody interested (except my 12 y.o son ??)

  3. Ho Sergey, excuse my error about your name!!!

  4. The startup issue seems to have been fixed by revision 40431.

  5. Hi Sergay,
    How to continue the translation of blender in French because the. Po for France is not over, please?

  6. After this change (i.e. as of revision 40395) Blender takes nearly 25 seconds to start on my Core i5-660. Previous to this submission, it took 2 seconds.

    Is someone looking into this already, or should I put it on the bug tracker?

    Plus, agreed about the font. Text is coming out smaller, blurry and harder to read now.

  7. An idea for a translation “platform”:
    It’s used by the Xfce team among others.

  8. Why did the font change!!!!!!! WHYYYYYYYY!!!!! :(
    I hate that cycles has that cramped, uncomfortable condensed font. Now trunk too???

  9. IRVE your recommendation is dead on. Taking this one step further in an observation. Given most of the buttons in Blender are text I’m not sure a lot of thought has gone in to how internationalization would play out. Some words for specific functionality or words required to express the context of the button will extend quite a bit across the button thus eating up screen real-estate. Hence why the commercial packages in this genre use icons to depict functionality and tool tips to elaborate on that function.

    However, I commend the work being done to extend Blender in to other geographies. Certainly this is a step in the right direction in bringing Blender to the masses in a more usable and native form.

  10. Think of a way to keep UI in english, but allow tooltips in any language. I guess tha it would be most beneficial for later international use.

In order to prevent spam, comments are closed 15 days after the post is published.
Feel free to continue the conversation on the forums.