How Fedora is translated into over 90 different languages

If you’ve ever wondered how Fedora is translated into your preferred language? The answer is the Fedora L10N team. Translation is done across over 100 individual projects in over 90 languages. Developers of each project upload new strings to the L10n translation platform and teams of translators work together translate and review as many strings as possible before each new Fedora release.

Ever wanted to get involved in the Fedora project but wasn’t sure how?

Joining the L10n team may be for you. If you would like to get involved, the team have put together a guide to get you started.

A New Translation Platform

Until recently, Fedora L10n had been benefiting from a localization platform, Transifex. But after Transifex announced it would be moving to a propriety code base, major concern arose. A core value of Fedora is Freedom, moving to an alternative FLOSS translation platform was supported by the L10n team. A few alternative were available, but the Zanata team quickly provided instances for the team to test. After a month of testing, the team voted in favour of switching to Zanata. This decision was brought to FESCO and also gained the Fedora developers agreement.


Moving to a new platform did mean some L10n members were lost, but this was expected and many were considered to be inactive before the move anyway. Over 390 members are now working on Zanata, many of which have quickly adapted.


It’s been over 6 months since the migration to Zanata and if you have been involved in any part of the process, we’d love your feedback. To assist with this, we have put together a quick survey.

We plan to post the anonymized results to the Zanata blog, Fedora L10n mailing list, and in the comments of this post.

We hope to use the results to better understand the Fedora community’s translation needs and goals, and ensure Zanata is the best tool to fulfil them.

We’d love your feedback.

Fedora Project community


  1. I appreciate the efforts, but why is Esperanto not in the list?

    • You just spotted something that should be done. Maybe you can organize a Esperanto L10N team?

      • I actually want to use my laptop in esperanto so I praactice it more. Maybe I might find fluent speakers that are interested in this.

        Just to be sure, this is just missing, not because of some political decision or something?

        • Wolfgang Marcos

          Probably just a lack of people fluent on Esperanto willing to work on this, no political or religious reasons influence the distro translation process.

    • Balthazar

      Maybe because esperento is not a language. :-“

  2. Anony

    It all was pretty good, utill I found out that Zanata doesn’t even properly support RTL languages, that makes no sense for a translatoin software…

    • Once of the intention behind this survey is to gather feedback from users. Do complete survey and provide your feedback on missing support for RTL languages in Zanata. Will add required test cases and make sure it will work smoothly even for RTL languages in future 🙂

  3. ifoolb

    Well, I never set up my OSes in my native language. Maybe I just like English…

    • Wolfgang Marcos

      Me too, mainly because I have no one outside internet to keep my English sharp so I try to use it wherever possible.

      • Dragnucs

        I think nobody, or maybe just a fewer few, uses a computer or a phone in his native language. It is either French for some, or English.

        • Micheallee

          My setting for language is also En or Fr, however it’s not common for my classmates.Maybe I could deduct respectively that most China Mainlanders do prefer native languages…?

          • As a Chinese, I’d say it is true most Chinese prefer to use their native languages. It is also true that existing Linux users in China can use an English OS more or less, but to have a bigger impact on that many people, l10n is a must.

  4. Leslie Satenstein

    Could the L10 Zantec concept be extended where all the Fedora documentation (original and translated) is on the web, available for markups, or annotations?

    The idea of Global collaboration via the web is something that could increase document accuracy and time to update.

    Imagine if a Zantec facility with a JIRA ( concept was integrated as a translator/authoring product.

    Bye to Docbook and command line based editing.

  5. Hk

    Wow, definitly NOT easy to register! It’s probably easier to just build a linuxpowered rocket and visiting outer space 😛 My first thought was to register at Zanata, so that was what I did but this account was to absolutely no use! Instead, what I actually had to do were to first find the project itself, then I could register a project-exclusive Fedora-account which I then could use at Zanata (…), confirm this, login, and still not finished yet. Now I needed to sign a licensing agreement-wall that requested my telephone number (wtf..?) and then I could go back to Zanata. This is a really cumbersome and strange process that I have never experienced on any other platforms. Let’s see how this goes. Hopefully it’s easier to use the platform itself, than it was to sign up. I appreciate your efforts, but to be honest… If you want contributions, this matter should be treated as a blocker bug that needs to be fixed ASAP!

    • Zanata itself does not store telephone number. It is Fedora Account System that requires the telephone for registration. Zanata merely contacts FAS as OpenId provider to authenticate user for login.

  6. Haarek

    What is the reason that contributors need to provide a phone number?

  7. Jose Rodrigues

    Esperanto is an artificial language. It’s not settled anywhere. Why should there be a translation to it ?

    • Dragnucs

      Gnome and other distributions like trisquel provide it.

  8. Lubos Kocman

    Hi team,

    I’d appreciate a bit if somebody would also describe translation of Fedora comps files.
    I know it’s not so popular topic but it would deserve some awareness so people can get some overall idea about how it works and what can be improved.



  9. Jose Rodrigues

    Fedora version 22, and some other distributions, use the configuration tool IBus (Intelligent input Bus) for multilanguage input. For Esperanto it supplies settings for the X-system and for several other methods with dead keys. (In the X-method one types for instance cx and the computer automatically changes it to ĉ, etc). To configure it click on the circular symbol in the upper right tool bar, click on the tool symbol for “All Settings” (agordaro), “Keyboard” (klavaro), “Input Sources” (enigmetodoj) and click on the “+” sign, then the three vertical dots, and type “esp” in the field at the bottom of the dialog. Choose for instance “Esperanto (x-sistemo (m17n))”, “Add” (aldoni), and close the dialog. Go to the top right corner of the screen and click on the language chooser. Choose the layout that you want to use. You can change it at any time.

    • Dragnucs

      Writing esperanto is easy, using it as a display language isnt.

  10. We are glad to share the results from the Fedora translation community survey.

    We always welcome more feedback!

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