Usually, programs are written and documented in English,
and use English at execution time for interacting with users.
This is true not only from within GNU,
but also in a great deal of proprietary and free software.
Using a common language is quite handy for communication
between developers, maintainers and users from all countries.
On the other hand, most people are less comfortable with English than with
their own native language, and would rather be using their mother
tongue for day to day's work, as far as possible.
Many would simply love seeing their computer screen
showing a lot less of English, and far more of their own language.
GNU `gettext' is an important step for the GNU Translation Project,
as it is an asset on which we may build many other steps.
This package offers to programmers, translators, and even users,
a well integrated set of tools and documentation.
Specifically, the GNU `gettext' utilities are a set of tools
that provides a framework to help other GNU packages produce
These tools include a set of conventions about
how programs should be written to support message catalogs,
a directory and file naming organization
for the message catalogs themselves,
a runtime library supporting the retrieval of translated messages,
and a few stand-alone programs
to massage in various ways the sets of translatable strings,
or already translated strings.
A special GNU Emacs mode
also helps interested parties
in preparing these sets, or bringing them up to date.
Online Manual is available at
The Frequently Asked Questions and their answers are at
gettext can be found on in the subdirectory
/pub/gnu/gettext/ on your favorite
GNU mirror. For other ways to
obtain gettext, please read
How to get GNU Software.
The latest release is
The latest development sources can be obtained through the