Knowledge Base/Troubleshooting/User Interface Issues

Translating Boxee's user interface to more languages

boxee tv
posted this on Jul-13 2009 08:34 am

Boxee has the potential of showing in practically any language. However, it is originally distributed with a full English user interface only. For other languages, we are counting on your assistance!

Boxee users have already translated the entire user interface into Spanish and Hebrew, and the Settings windows are translated to many other languages.

If you would like to help us, and translate the entire user interface to a language you master, we urge you to:

  1. Contact us to make sure no one else is already working on a translation to that same language.
  2. Read carefully the following section regarding the implications of maintaining an up-to-date translation of the Boxee user interface.
  3. Follow the instructions and send us the translated files, so we can share them with the world.

What will I get in return for translating Boxee to another language?

First of all, you will have our eternal gratitude and appreciation for facilitating the use of Boxee for many non-English speaking people. We will show this gratitude by adding your name to the Boxee credits' window.

Is it a one time gig?

Here's the big catch. In the year or so to come, we still expect to run some pretty significant changes in the Boxee user interface. Text labels are going to change, disappear or be invented, and with each Boxee release, we will be more than happy to get an update of the translation, to include the new text.

Basically, the translation you will be making, will be based on the current version in your possession, and will be distributed to the world with the following version (there will always be a 1 version gap between the translation and the version out there).

However, if you'd like, we will be more than happy to add you to our Early Access user's list, which means you will be receiving each version a few days before the rest of the world, and you will be able to do a quick review and translation, that still has a chance to make it into the final distribution of the new version.

The flow will be more or less like this:

  1. A new version of Boxee is being prepared in English.
  2. A release candidate is being sent to the Early Access users (that's you).
  3. You translate the new text labels showing in the release candidate, and send the translation to us ASAP (let's say, within 1-2 days).
  4. We pack your translation files with the final release, and include it in the download-able Boxee installation file on our website.

Important! Boxee is about to go through some major user interface changes within the next few months, and the Boxee Beta, due before the end of the year, will look rather differently from the current version. This means that any translation you work on today, might need a serious update in a few months.

Let's cut to the chase - how do I translate Boxee?

Boxee's user interface is consisted of XML files. There is a specific file which has all the text strings shown in the Boxee user interface (not including Boxee Apps), and there is such a file for each language.

Since there might be inconsistencies between the files (for example, and new version with an updated English xml file, while other languages weren't updated and have some strings missing), Boxee always defaults to the English file. If Boxee doesn't find a required string in the language xml file you've set it to use, it will look for that specific string in the English file, and show it from there.

Where are the language files?

All Boxee language files are stored in the following locations:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Boxee\language
  • Mac OS/X: ~/Applications/Boxee/Contents/Resources/Boxee/language
  • Linux: /opt/boxee/language

You will see a list of folders (one per language), each containing an xml file called strings.xml. This is the file you will need to edit.

  1. Open the strings.xml file stored under the English folder, and the one stored under the folder of the language you would like to translate to.
  2. Verify which is the last string included in the destination language strings.xml.
  3. Find that same string inside the English strings.xml file, and copy all the text from this point to the end of the file.
  4. Paste the text in the destination language strings.xml.
  5. Translate all the English strings into the destination language.
  6. Save the file, start Boxee and switch to the new language to verify that everything looks OK.
  7. Send the translated strings.xml file to us.

Tip! Since Boxee was graphically designed according to the length of the English text, try to translate into words pretty much the same length as the English ones, so that things will still look pretty when you are done.


Comments latest first

Pattanan Kantawong

Did you have anybody translate in thai language?

Aug-13 2010 06:47 am.
Rameshkumar Thevarajah

I tried to translate Boxee to Tamil langage as said in the above procedure. But The Tamil text I typed using unicode is not shown in the Boxee interface.

May-06 2010 04:59 am.
Brano Gege

I think you should add list of currently translated languages and languages you are looking for

Nov-04 2009 05:45 am.