About Translatomatic

Translatomatic (TM) is a free and open source text translation utility written in ruby. It combines the translation quality of a chinese gadget’s instruction manual with the convenience and ease of use of a command line tool such as git.

The main use of Translatomatic is to translate a file to one or more languages. The following file formats are currently supported:

The following translation APIs can be used with Translatomatic:


Install the translatomatic gem with the following command:

$ gem install translatomatic


This gem provides an executable called translatomatic. The translatomatic command has a number of functions, not all of which are documented here. For help on available commands and options, execute:

$ translatomatic help

And for help on a command, execute:

$ translatomatic translate help
$ translatomatic translate help file


Check for available translation services and options with the services command:

$ translatomatic services

Options can be specified on the command line, in environment variables, or in translatomatic’s configuration file. The configuration file can be modified using translatomatic’s internal config command. To list all available configuration settings, use:

$ translatomatic config list
$ translatomatic config describe

See also the Configuration section below for more information.

Translating files

When translating files, translatomatic translates text one sentence or phrase at a time. If a file is re-translated, only sentences that have changed since the last translation are sent to the translator, and the rest are sourced from the local database.

To translate a Java properties file to German and French using the Google translator:

$ translatomatic translate file de,fr --translator Google

This would create (or overwrite) and with translated properties.

Displaying strings from a resource bundle

To read and display the store.description and properties from local resource files in English, German, and French:

$ translatomatic display --locales=en,de,fr \
    resources/ store.description

Extracting strings from source files

To extract strings from some source files, use the strings command, e.g.

$ translatomatic strings file.rb


Translatomatic configuration examples

To set one or more translation services to use:

$ translatomatic config set translator Microsoft,Yandex

Secondary translators will only be used if a translation error occurs when using the first choice.

To set a default list of target locales:

$ translatomatic config set target_locales en,de,es,fr,it

With target_locales set, files can be translated without specifying target locales in the translate file command.

$ translatomatic translate file resources/

To display the current configuration, execute

$ translatomatic config list

Database configuration

By default, translatomatic uses an sqlite3 database in $HOME/.translatomatic/translatomatic.sqlite3 to store translated strings.
To store translations in a database, you should have an appropriate database adapter installed, such as the sqlite3 gem. Translatomatic does not install database adapters automatically.
The database configuration can be changed by creating a database.yml file under $HOME/.translatomatic/database.yml for the production environment, e.g.

  adapter: mysql2
  database: translatomatic
  pool: 5
  encoding: utf8
  username: username
  password: password


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.