How to translate a Joomla! add-on for yourself

Today, I found some time in my schedule to scratch something from my ‘this would be nice’ list.  My bosses have been telling me how it would be nice to have a forum on the Joomla! based website for seniors we’re managing.  So, today I found some space in my schedule and started working on it. 

My weapon, or component of choice:  Agora.  Why?  Because, generally speaking, it’s “simpler” than the other alternatives out there.  Since the target audience of the website isn’t exactly "internauts and supergeeks” simple was a good thing. 

But simple also means that it’d have to be in Dutch – which is the main language of our audience.    And the Dutch translation for Agora was incomplete.  So I stepped in, and “completed” the translation myself.  Translating add-ons isn’t that hard, once you know how to.  For those of you who are interested in doing so, here’s a short guide.


If no language pack is available for your module / component, you can easily make one yourself, using the following steps.

1)  FTP to your website, and go to the languages folder.  Open the en-GB folder (because 99% of the Joomla! components use English as a language)

2)  Download the .ini file for your component / add-on, then open it.  In the .ini file you’ll see a lot of lines, looking like this: 

JOOMLAUSERSIGNOFF= You are now logged out
JOOMLAUSERLSIGNON= You are now logged in
JUSTANEXAMPLE=  Just an example. 

If you change the parts after each = you change the text for that expression.  For example, if I’d change “you are now logged out” to “Sayanora, sucker” that text would be shown in the component instead of “you are now logged out.” 

3) Go ahead, and translate all the “text” into the counterpart in your language.

4)  Rename the file, by changing the en-GB iso code to the ISO code for your language.  For Dutch, for example, this has to be nl-NL .  You’ll know what ISO code to use if you take a look at the other translations in the language folder. 

5)  Upload the file to the proper language folder. 

6)  Now, when someone visits your site and the other language, for example Dutch, is “activated” by Joomla!  your own translation will be used.  How cool is that? 

I hope this guide makes sense.  If not, feel free to contact me.  I’m also available for English to Dutch translations!

2 thoughts on “How to translate a Joomla! add-on for yourself”

  1. And, did you shared your Dutch translation back to the community? Many people make or improve current translation but forget to share it back, so many people do the same translation…

    BTW we can always use people to translate extensions in our ‘taal team’ of 🙂

    1. As a matter of fact, I did. I sent the updated translation to the developer, and they’re going to publish it (or so they said). It would be selfish of me not to…

      I guess I better apply for a position on your team, right? 😉

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