Converse supports localization of its user interface and date formats. As of writing, 17 languages are supported.

The translations of Converse can be found in the locale directory.

Translations of Converse are very welcome. You can add translations either manually by editing the .po files in the above-mentioned locale directory, or through the web at weblate.

As of version 3.3.0, Converse no longer automatically bundles translations in its source file and instead fetches only the relevant locale for the current session from a URL as specified by the assets_path setting.

There are three configuration settings relevant to translations and localisation. You’re encouraged to read the documentation for each of them.

Manually updating translations

If you simply want to add a few missing translations, then consider doing it through the web at weblate.

Some things however cannot be done via weblate and instead have to be done manually in a checkout of the Converse source repository.

These tasks are documented below.

Updating the translations template (.pot file)

The gettext .pot file located in ./locale/converse.pot is the template containing all translations and from which for each language an individual PO file is generated.

The .pot file contains all translateable strings extracted from Converse.

To make a user-facing string translateable, wrap it in the double underscore helper function like so:

__('This string will be translated at runtime');

After adding the string, you’ll need to regenerate the POT file:

make pot

Making translations file for a new language

To create a new translations file for a language in which Converse is not yet translated into, do the following


In this example we use Polish (pl), you need to substitute ‘pl’ to your own language’s code.

mkdir -p ./locale/pl/LC_MESSAGES
msginit -i ./locale/converse.pot -o ./locale/pl/LC_MESSAGES/converse.po -l pl

Please make sure to add the following attributes at the top of the file (under Content-Transfer-Encoding). They are required as configuration settings for Jed, the JavaScript translations library that we’re using.

"domain: converse\n"
"lang: pl\n"
"Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8\n"
"plural_forms: nplurals=2; plural=(n != 1);\n"

Updating an existing translations file

You can update the .po file for a specific language by doing the following:


In this example we use German (de), you need to substitute ‘de’ to your own language’s code.

msgmerge ./locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/converse.po ./locale/converse.pot -U

To do this for ALL languages, run:

make po

The resulting .po file is then what gets translated.

Generating a JSON file from a translations file

Unfortunately Jed, which we use for translations in Converse cannot use the .po files directly. We have to generate from it a file in JSON format and then put that in a .js file for the specific language.

To generate JSON from a PO file, you’ll need po2json for node.js. Run the following command to install it (npm being the node.js package manager):

npm install po2json

You can then convert the translations into JSON format:

po2json -p -f jed -d converse locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/converse.po locale/de/LC_MESSAGES/converse.json

To do this for ALL languages, run:

make po2json


If you are adding translations for a new language that is not already supported, you’ll have to add the language path in main.js and make one more edit in ./src/locales.js to make sure the language is loaded by require.js.

Making sure the JSON file will get loaded

Finally, make sure that the language code is added to the list of default values for the locales config setting.

This is done in src/converse-core.js.

Look for the following section:

// Default configuration values
// ----------------------------
this.default_settings = {
    // ... Omitted for brevity
    locales_url: 'locale/{{{locale}}}/LC_MESSAGES/converse.json',
    locales: [
        'af', 'ar', 'bg', 'ca', 'de', 'es', 'en', 'fr', 'he',
        'hu', 'id', 'it', 'ja', 'nb', 'nl',
        'pl', 'pt_BR', 'ru', 'tr', 'uk', 'zh_CN', 'zh_TW'
    // ... Omitted for brevity