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Localization using gettext

In addition to Importing translations in CSV format, Godot also supports loading translation files written in the GNU gettext format (text-based .po and compiled .mo since Godot 4.0).


For an introduction to gettext, check out A Quick Gettext Tutorial. It's written with C projects in mind, but much of the advice also applies to Godot (with the exception of xgettext).


  • gettext is a standard format, which can be edited using any text editor or GUI editors such as Poedit.

  • gettext is supported by translation platforms such as Transifex and Weblate, which makes it easier for people to collaborate to localization.

  • Compared to CSV, gettext works better with version control systems like Git, as each locale has its own messages file.

  • Multiline strings are more convenient to edit in gettext files compared to CSV files.


  • gettext is a more complex format than CSV and can be harder to grasp for people new to software localization.

  • People who maintain localization files will have to install gettext tools on their system. However, as Godot supports using text-based message files (.po), translators can test their work without having to install gettext tools.

Installing gettext tools

The command line gettext tools are required to perform maintenance operations, such as updating message files. Therefore, it's strongly recommended to install them.

  • Windows: Download an installer from this page. Any architecture and binary type (shared or static) works; if in doubt, choose the 64-bit static installer.

  • macOS: Install gettext either using Homebrew with the brew install gettext command, or using MacPorts with the sudo port install gettext command.

  • Linux: On most distributions, install the gettext package from your distribution's package manager.

Creating the PO template

Automatic generation using the editor

Since Godot 4.0, the editor can generate a PO template automatically from specified scene and script files. This POT generation also supports translation contexts and pluralization if used in a script, with the optional second argument of tr() and the tr_n() method.

Open the Project Settings' Localization > POT Generation tab, then use the Add… button to specify the path to your project's scenes and scripts that contain localizable strings:

Creating a PO template in the Localization > POT Generation tab of the Project Settings

Creating a PO template in the Localization > POT Generation tab of the Project Settings

After adding at least one scene or script, click Generate POT in the to