Localization Module User Guide

Note: This guide deals with using the localization within your Sahana only. If you are interested in helping to translate for the project worldwide, we recommend that you also visit the translation pages.


Localization in the Sahana Disaster Management System is carried out by volunteers. They translate Sahana into to their own language interactively inside of Sahana. They do this via the Localization is sub-module of Sahana's Administration module:

Main Features

The Localization sub-module has four main features:


The Localization module, is available via the Administration module. You need to be granted Administrator priviledges in order to access this module. If you need access, contact one of your system's Administrators.

Select Administration in Sahana Main Menu and Administration module menu will appear in grey above it. Select Language/Locale.

Change the language

  1. Navigate to Administration > Localization > Language/Locale > Set Locale
  2. Select Language
  3. Click Set Locale

If there is more than one language added to Sahana, the system's user can change the language from the default English. Select Default Language and select then the desired language.

Then Sahana system will then change to the selected language.

Sahana in Sinhala

Add a new Language

  1. On your filesystem, create a folder in …/sahana/res/language_name.
    1. In MS Windows, this will look more like C:\…\sahana\res\language_name\
  2. Non-Windows users need to grant write permissions of the sahana/res/ folder and subdirectories.
  3. Create another folder LC_MESSAGES in the folder you just created.
  4. Open Sahana in a web browser.
  5. Navigate to Administration > Localization > Language/Locale > Add/Remove Language > Add Language
  6. Label your language
    1. Language Name is what will appear to end users
    2. Language Folder Name needs to be the same as language_name
  7. Click Add.

Remove a language

  1. Navigate to Administration > Localization > Language/Locale > Add/Remove Language
  2. Select one of the available languages from the dropdown list
  3. Click Remove


There are several ways translate within Sahana. They all involve different ways of accessing the words database. In effect, they are different paths to the same goal. Multiple methods are provided for convienence. We recommend you try all methods and use the solution that works best for you.

  1. Manual Translation
  2. Interactive Translation
  3. Database Translation

Manual Language Translation

To translate a word list user can use this method. First user has to change the language to which user needs to translate. Then select Language Translation ( if there is a translation for word 'Language Translation' that will display instead of 'Language Translation' ).

In above Image it shows translating English to Sinhala. Click Get New List to get a new word set to translate. To edit a available word list click Load Existing List. Then give the translation in appropriate place ( shown in a red circle in the image ). To save the changes click in the Save button. To add changes to the system click the Compile Message.

Interactive translation

This way can be use to translate word in a simple way than the previous one. This supplies a user interface to do the translation word by word.First select Interactive Translation and the select the language and click Set Locale. Then Sahana system will change the language of the system interface. Then select the Enable Localization ( can be in selected language ). Then right click on a word you wants to translate. Pop up input box will come and shows the existing word. You can change it and click Ok.

To finalize the translations Go to Language/Locale in Administration module and select Update Translation and click Update.

Database Translation

Database translation is needed to translate data in the database. To translate a word in sahana it should go to the word list in manual translating or use interactive translation. In sahana data in a specific column of a table can be added to the word list. So a translator can go through the word list and can translate them.

  • Select Language/Locale in Administration module and select Database Translation

It will shows a list of data sets ( column name of a table ) which are already added to word list with a form to add a table name and a column name. After giving a table name and a column click Add Entry and data of the given column will go to word list. Then do the manual translation. By clicking on the remove link ( shown in a red circle ) a data set can be removed from the word list.

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