This chapter explains the goals sought in the creation of GNU `gettext'
and the free Translation Project. Then, it explains a few broad
concepts around Native Language Support, and positions message
translation with regard to other aspects of national and cultural
variance, as they apply to programs. It also surveys those files used
to convey the translations. It explains how the various tools interact
in the initial generation of these files, and later, how the maintenance
cycle should usually operate.
In this manual, we use _he_ when speaking of the programmer or
maintainer, _she_ when speaking of the translator, and _they_ when
speaking of the installers or end users of the translated program.
This is only a convenience for clarifying the documentation. It is
_absolutely_ not meant to imply that some roles are more appropriate to
males or females. Besides, as you might guess, GNU `gettext' is meant
to be useful for people using computers, whatever their sex, race,
religion or nationality!
Please send suggestions and corrections to:
Please include the manual's edition number and update date in your
* Why The Purpose of GNU `gettext'
* Concepts I18n, L10n, and Such
* Aspects Aspects in Native Language Support
* Files Files Conveying Translations
* Overview Overview of GNU `gettext'
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