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LargoRecipes in Your Language

I've received several requests for internationalisation of LargoRecipes - that is, translating every feature of the program into a target language, so speakers of that language can easily use it. The good news is that LargoRecipes version 0.9.1 is fully internationalised, so that translators can use a fairly simple process to convert prompts, error messages, help screens, and reference data into a new language. This page tells you how to get LargoRecipes running in your favourite language!

Some translations may already be available - so your first stop should be the download page to see if yours is already available. If a full translation isn't available, maybe a partial one is - again, look on the download page for instructions.

If the translation you want isn't there, you'll need to do the translation yourself. This may seem like a big task, but realise that you don't have to do it all at once - you can do some now and some later, or work with partners to finish different parts of the task. See the LargoRecipes user forums to find partners interested in helping you do translations.

Below, you'll find very detailed instructions for translation. Don't be put off by the detail, because it's not that hard: you download and uncompress some files, find the right parts of each file to translate, do the translation, and recompress. (I'd like to make this process easier eventually by providing a wizard-like graphical walkthrough right inside LargoRecipes, but it's not too hard to do even without hand-holding.)

Note to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean speakers: Java can't display these languages without some tweaking. Details are at the bottom of this page.

Getting the right tools

First, make sure you have the latest version of LargoRecipes - see the download page for instructions.

Next, make sure you have access to a zip utility. Linux users should have one as part of the operating system - type zip -h at a command line to check. Windows users may want to download programs like 7-Zip or WinZip. Macintosh users - sorry, but I don't know any zip programs for you (I'm sure there are some though).

Make sure you have a text editor that can save text files in the UTF-8 encoding correctly. An encoding is a way of translating characters into numbers, and UTF-8 is the encoding LargoRecipes uses. UTF-8 is a common standard that lets you represent nearly any character from nearly any alphabet in the world, including Asian pictograms (Chinese, Japanese, etc.), Arabic, Russian, and many others.

The text editor I use is jEdit, but I'm sure there are many others equally good. Whichever you choose, use it to edit all the files mentioned below, and always make sure to save with the UTF-8 encoding. If you use jEdit, do this to make sure you are always saving with UTF-8: From Utilities, choose Global Options, then click Loading and Saving. Choose UTF-8 from the dropdown list for Default character encoding.

Warning to Windows users: Windows Notepad says it can save UTF-8, but actually sticks two useless bytes at the beginning of any file it saves with that encoding. You can't see these useless bytes when you reopen the file in Notepad, but LargoRecipes sees them and is confused. Apparently Microsoft Word is even less helpful (but I haven't tried).
  • Determine the ISO codes for your language and, if applicable, the country in which that language is spoken. (Why specify the country? Well, for example, British and American English differ quite a lot, so you might want to distinguish which one you are translating for.) For example, the code for English is en and the code for Britain is GB, while the code for French is fr and for the country of France is FR. See these two sites for codes: Language codes and Country codes
  • Start LargoRecipes if you haven't already. After it goes through the intro screens, close it again. (This unpacks the files you need.)
  • In the folder where you started LargoRecipes, navigate to the lib subfolder. There you will find a file with the name IntlResourcesEnglish.0.9.1.jar. Copy this file to a convenient place, outside your LargoRecipes folder, and rename the copy to (replacing French of course with whatever language you are going to be translating into).
  • Unzip the zip file you have copied. For instance, on Linux you type unzip You will get several new folders (this is why you copied the file to a working folder, so these new folders wouldn't clutter up LargoRecipes). The instructions below say what to do with each folder.
  • After completing the translation of all (or just some) of these files, it's time to try out your translation in LargoRecipes! First, zip the folders into an archive called (for instance) Be careful - don't zip a parent folder that contains all the subfolders - zip them from inside that parent. For instance, on Linux type cd FrenchLargoRecipes then
    zip images data startup help META-INF properties
  • Change the name of the file to IntlResourcesFrench.0.9.1.jar and move it to the lib folder of your LargoRecipes installation.
  • Delete the data folder in your LargoRecipes installation folder. (Warning: this will erase any recipes you already have entered into LargoRecipes - you may want to back up the folder instead of deleting it, if you have recipes you care about.)
  • Start LargoRecipes. You'll get an error about a missing reference data file - just click Continue and LargoRecipes will load your translated data file.
  • Check that the items you changed are now in your language!

    After you finish following these steps, please consider sending me your translated files, so I can share them with others through this web page. That way, everyone can get the benefit of your translation and enter recipes in your language!

    For super-translators: Translate demo. If translating prompts and ingredients isn't enough for you, consider translating the tour of LargoRecipes (the one you get to from About..Demonstration) as well. The steps for this are similar to those above: download the English demo file from the download page, change .jar to .zip, and unzip. Then translate the HTML files as before; if you want, regenerate the sample web page and recapture the screenshots with prompts in your language. Zip it up again and replace the _en in the filename with your language and country code. Change .zip to .jar and put the resulting file in your demo directory - LargoRecipes will now load this demo if you are viewing it using your language and choose the menu item.

    Chinese, Korean, and Japanese fonts: Java needs some tweaking to display these languages properly. Here's what to do:

    Last updated 23 July 2003
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