Translating LimeSurvey

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Translating LimeSurvey

Wouldn't it be great to have LimeSurvey completely translated to your mother-language? The LimeSurvey team is always on the look-out for new translations and for people who help to update the existing ones. Please read these instructions and don't hesitate to send email to if you are in doubt or have any other questions.

How to translate - Step-by-Step instructions

Updating an existing translation

  1. Create a free user account on the LimeSurvey website. "Note: If you already have an account, please log in first on the LimeSurvey website!"
  2. Go to, log in there with the same user name and password.
  3. Pick the LimeSurvey version you want to translate for and start translating. After your translation was approved, it will automatically be released in the weekly stable release and your user name will be credited in the change log.
  4. If you are interested to become a prime translator for your language with the ability to approve newly translated strings, please contact us at Such a position requires a maximum of about an hour of work per week - important to us is that you are reliable doing this.

Customize an existing translation

Sometimes you want to modify an existing translation so it accommodates your particular survey situation better. In that case do the following:

  1. Go to (external link), pick the LimeSurvey version you want to translate for and the particular language you want to modify.
  2. On the bottom of the translation page you will find an option to export all strings as .po file. Do that and save it as *.po file to your local harddisk:
    Export po file.png
  3. Download and install poEDIT (external link).
  4. Start poEdit and edit the downloaded *.po file - modify the particular translations.
  5. When you save the *.po file, a *.mo file is automatically created. That is the one LimeSurvey will read from.
  6. Place the particular *.mo file in the right language folder in /locale by replacing the existing one - for example for French this would be /locale/fr/LC_MESSAGES/fr.po. Note: The /locale is located inside the root directory of the website.
  7. Done.
Note: If you are using LimeService, they will be happy to place the file for you. Just create a support ticket and attach the .po file (not the .mo).

Creating a new translation

  1. First of all, get access to the development version of LimeSurvey. For detailed instructions, access the following page: Accessing the source code.
  2. Download and install poEDIT (external link).
  3. Now you have to find out the language-code for your language - you can search for your language-code in the IANA Language Subtag Registry (external link).
  4. Go to the /locale directory (located in the root directory of the website) and create a directory named after your language code.
  5. Download your language template by clicking on the following link Once you receive the language template file, rename it to <your_language_code>.po.
  6. Copy the <your_language_code>.po file to the newly created folder located in the /locale directory.
  7. Open the file with poEdit and translate everything you need to translate.
  8. To make LimeSurvey know about your language, you must add it to the file application/helpers/surveytranslator_helper.php (located in the root directory of the website). Open that file with a text editor and add your language in the same way the other languages in that file are defined.
  9. Save - make sure that the *.mo (that's the one LimeSurvey is reading from) file is located near the *.po file. It should be automatically created after you modify the *.po file.
  10. Send the new *.po-File and the updated surveytranslator_helper.php file to If you want your name to be linked from/shown on the team page, please write so in the e-mail!