Posted by: bearc0025 | November 13, 2009

Localize – Localization an iPhone application

There are several steps, but none are monumental:

1. In the code, you need to call NSLocalizedString:
NSString *NSLocalizedString(NSString *key, NSString *comment);
See NSLocalizedString

“The second parameter is a comment that indicates how the string is used and therefore provides additional context to the translator.”

reference page

So you call it for your strings like:

NSString *translatedString = NSLocalizedString(@"City", @"label for textfield");

2. Create the strings files:

Read Using the Genstrings Tool to Create Strings Files, but basically you’re going to run:
genstrings -o en.lproj *.m
(NOTE: en.lproj as a dir must already exist)

Also read the section titled “Detecting Nonlocalizable Strings” which explains the NSShowNonLocalizedStrings option for detecting non-localized strings (e.g., executing an app like /Applications/ -NSShowNonLocalizedStrings YES)

In the strings file you just created, there are entries like this:

/* label for textfield */
"City" = "City";

Make a copy of that file in a new language dir (e.g., de.lproj for German) and translate the values as such:

/* label for textfield */
"City" = "Ville";

Tutorial for iPhone | Localized your iPhone application | Localization of your iPhone application | Different language for your iPhone applciation | iPhone Diary | Localization



  1. is nice solution for translation of .strings files

  2. If you’re involved with software localization, you might want to check out this new localization tool my team recently developed- It also works with .strings files.

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