Going through the bash manual I found the Locale-specific translation section Bash Reference Manual → 126.96.36.199 Locale-Specific Translation:
188.8.131.52 Locale-Specific Translation
A double-quoted string preceded by a dollar sign (‘$’) will cause the string to be translated according to the current locale. If the current locale is C or POSIX, the dollar sign is ignored. If the string is translated and replaced, the replacement is double-quoted.
Some systems use the message catalog selected by the LC_MESSAGES shell variable. Others create the name of the message catalog from the value of the TEXTDOMAIN shell variable, possibly adding a suffix of ‘.mo’. If you use the TEXTDOMAIN variable, you may need to set the TEXTDOMAINDIR variable to the location of the message catalog files. Still others use both variables in this fashion: TEXTDOMAINDIR/LC_MESSAGES/LC_MESSAGES/TEXTDOMAIN.mo.
So I decided to test it.
My machine uses the English US locale:
$ echo $LANG en_US.UTF-8
And writing an English word worked well:
$ echo $"Hello" Hello
I checked which locales are available here and found out many:
$ locale -a C C.UTF-8 en_AG en_AG.utf8 en_AU.utf8 en_BW.utf8 ... en_ZM.utf8 en_ZW.utf8 es_ES.utf8 POSIX
So I decided to test this functionallity with Spanish. However, changing the locale did not make the translation to be triggered:
$ LANG=es_ES.UTF8 echo $"Hello" Hello # Still in English. Should be "Hola", in Spanish
Why is that? What am I missing here? I suspect there is a set of words that are translated somewhere, but I cannot find out where.
This is my Bash version:
$ bash --version GNU bash, version 4.3.11(1)-release (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)