I am somewhat uneducated about localization in DE, since I prefere the English original for texts anyway. However I installed a GNOME DE for some persons onlys speaking German. I could set the GNOME/display language to German and basically enjoy Datei in place of file everywhere (as by magic).

The problem is that at one tiny place (the power setting/battery indicator) it says "Not charging" leaving a spot of imperfection, as it should be more accurately in German something like "Nicht ladend".

Now I did a :

 grep -iIr 'Not charging' /usr

hoping it would find me the place where the translations/translated labels reside. Unfortunatelly it does not yield any results.

Where are those localization translation files that GNOME uses to provide a German UI?

It is somewhat hard to consult a documentation, since a websearch regarding Gnome translation files localization is more likely to show guides how to engage in doing part of the development and become a translator, but does not indicate where the files or data eventually is stored


1 Answer 1


The translation files are stored, in compiled form (.mo), under /usr/share/locale. Those for German are in /usr/share/locale/de/LC_MESSAGES.

These files aren’t intended to be modified directly. You can decompile and recompile them using gettext’s msgunfmt and msgfmt tools. Even better, if you download the source for whichever GNOME component is missing your message, edit the corresponding .po file, and rebuild the .mo file, you’ll then also be able to submit a patch and perhaps have your translation included in future releases...


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