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Internationalization and Localization

Debian wiki's internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n) portal.

Debian has many services, softwares, interfaces and infrastructures to handle the complexity of its operations. Most of these mechanisms were built using English as the primary (and many times, the only) language. In order to cope with its "universal operating system" motto, many efforts are made to internationalize, localize and translate all possible interfaces:

  • I18N (internationalization) means modification of a software or related technologies so that a software can potentially handle multiple languages, customs, and so on in the world.

  • L10N (localization) means implementation of a specific language for an already internationalized software.

  • Introduction to i18n, Tomohiro KUBOTA

Localization fronts

This is an incomplete list of what is being localized in Debian. It should be useful to anyone interested in finding more information about specific areas of work:

Infrastructure support

  • I18n/SCIM - Smart Common Input Method, a platform for inputting more than thirty languages

  • I18n/ibus - similar to SCIM, a DBus-based daemon which supports different input method modules; actively developed

  • I18n/Fcitx5 - generic input method framework


These are meetings which cover the Debian project as a whole. For specific languages or teams, see the Localization teams below.

  • DebConf: we usually run some BOFs and other discussions related to i18n/l10n.


  • Sprint2012: i18n sprint in Paris to prepare i18n.debian.org and ddtp.debian.org machines.

Extremadura Meetings: 2008, 2007, 2006.

Localization teams

Debian I18n Team and contacts

Wiki pages

Mailing lists

  • Mailing lists about localization, translation, and support for users that don't speak English.

Language Support Improvements

Past works

These sections were put together for historical purposes.





See also

Wiki pages

List of English pages related to i18n/l10n in Debian:

CategoryPortal CategoryLocalization CategoryTeams