Better Multilingual Support with Crowdin

Categories: Community, TYPO3 CMS, Localization Created by Georg Ringer
The multilingual backend has always been a great benefit of TYPO3. Whether you’re French, German, or English-speaking, having the editing and administrative user interface in a language you understand means you can work faster and more confidently. After a long history with Pootle, TYPO3 is moving on to Crowdin, to take translation to the next level.

Join the initiative and help be a part of translating TYPO3.  

Introducing Crowdin to TYPO3!

Crowdin is a localization management platform and offers the core features essential for delivering great translation:

  • Single source: Translate text once that is used in different versions and parts of the software.

  • Machine translation: Let machines do the first pass and then human-translators can edit the suggestions.

  • Glossary: we can use our own TYPO3 glossary to make sure specific words are properly translated (e.g. Template in german, TypoScript or SEO)

  • Translation memory: we can reuse existing translations, no matter if done for the TYPO3 Core or an extension.

  • Crowdin is a cloud-based content localization solution which offers a free plan for open source projects.

Benefits of Crowdin 

In addition to the core features, Crowdin offers some benefits that we are very excited to make use of.


The holy grail of translating software is to work directly in the backend. Crowdin gets us very close to that ideal with their inline translation handling which they call In-Context. The benefit is that translators see exactly where this string is used.

In addition to the In-Context feature, we can give even more context to our translators by being able to add screenshots and tag the source strings to them. For example, the following screenshot is shown when the string “Edit and Advanced functions” is getting localized.

This way translators get additional context for those strings that are tricky to find in the user interface. You can read more about Adding Screenshots in the Crowdin Knowledge Base.

Other good things

  • The user interface is very intuitive, which makes for a great user experience.
  • The Crowdin Knowledge Base is comprehensive and includes lots of useful articles.
  • The team at Crowdin are very supportive and are highly interested in developing a great relationship with the TYPO3 community.

Proof of Concept

Check out the proof of concept which is based on a working solution using the Crowdin API to:

  • Add the English source strings from Git to Crowdin.

  • Download translations from the TYPO3 Translation Server and upload them to Crowdin.

The Proof of Concept also downloaded translations from Crowdin to create zip files which can later be consumed by TYPO3 sites.

The Proof of Concept shows a percentage complete for each language. You can also view the latest activity by user, and there is an area for discussions.

You can dive into each language and see the progress in real-time on the directory tree.

Making TYPO3 the Best Global CMS

Since 2011, we used Pootle software on the TYPO3 Translation Server to provide translators with an interface to localize labels of TYPO3 core and extensions. This self-hosted solution required a lot of work on the part of the Server team and in particular Xavier Perseguers. Moving to a SaaS solution will allow us to concentrate more on the actual work of translation rather than the infrastructure. Crowdin offers a free plan for open source projects and uses AWS for their computing infrastructure.

Shifting to Crowdin will help us achieve our goal to fully translate TYPO3 v10 Core and the 40 most-used extensions into 20 languages by the end of 2020. Allowing us to deliver a better experience for more users across the globe.

Goals for the Localization Initiative

  • The TYPO3 Core can be translatable supporting various branches

  • The translations of the TYPO3 Core are downloadable via the Maintenance Area in TYPO3 Backend

  • Extension authors can localize their extensions on Crowdin using the same Translation Memory as TYPO3 Core

  • The translations of TYPO3 Extensions are downloadable via the Maintenance Area in TYPO3 Backend

  • Both translation for the TYPO3 Core and extensions can be updated through Scheduler

  • The In-Context localization is integrated into the TYPO3 Core

  • Get more people involved in translating TYPO3 and extensions in more languages.

Which leads to my last point … this is where you come in!

Get Involved

Are you keen to see it in action? You can take a look at the proof of concept implementation at Crowdin. Or you could experiment with the In-Context localization which is available for testing now.

Interested in joining the team?

Join the initiative