The German translation

I have been playing around and learning ERPNext for a few months now. I really see its potential and have finally decided, that I want to move all our operations to ERPNext. However there is a problem and that’s the german translation. It’s not only bad, but barely usable. The most basic words are wrong (e.g. “no” gets translated to “Kein” instead on “Nein”, honestly thats just embarrassing) or the meaning is lost in translation. It feels like being translated by Google Translator or some other machine translator which doesn’t know the context.

This really scares off beginners who try ERPNext for the first time and particularly scares of skeptics. Running it in English may be an option for startups with young employees, but to really gain traction in the german market a proper translation is a must-have, since the majority is not willing/able to work on an English system on a daily basis.

Now the question is of course how to get there. Since ERPNext is open-source and free to use I would be willing to invest in a german translation. First however a few things must be clarified. I’ve heard (I think in a video from @Martin_Seibert) , that the german translation was better some time ago, but somehow really got messed up and mixed with auto-translations. This leads me to worry that the same thing might happen again. Another thing is the translation system. If I want to hire professional translators, the system is very counterproductive in my opinion. It would be far better to have a CSV or a tool where translators can work linearly - string by string - until everything is translated perfectly. So this leads to my two main questions directed to the ERPNext team (would be nice if @rmehta would join the discussion, since this is critical for the success of ERPNext in the german market - at least as i see it) :

1) Can we assume that a german translation would not get messed up again?

2) Is there a way to translate the whole system string by string?

I would love to see ERPNext really gain traction in Germany but think a proper translation is key to that. Therefore I really would welcome a discussion on this topic from other german users and the ERPNext team!!


Any thoughts?

In the release of v13 there will be a better translation system which will give you more confidence.


Why have I only found this today? I am totally in the same positionas @bene here. We have a number of employees who are most certainly in the second half of their career at least. I won’t go into detail what other special “needs” (not really, just wishes and things they are used to) I am facing here…

Back to topic - English is not an option for them. The lacking translation is as bad an issue as the fact that I have not found any clear documentation on how it’s handled, but instead there’s plenty of contradicting information and links that lead nowhere in this forum. The is a thing, yes, but I can’t seem to get any effect to my installation out of it.

Next point is that we need fully translated versions of our item descriptions. Everything we do here is German first and then we may or may not, depending if needed, add an English translation to it.
Neither have I found (yet, only a month of searching or so) how to set the item description to “translatable” (because that seems to be one way I found), nor any other path leading me to solve this requirement for our company.

Once more @bene: Have you been able to solve anything of this for yourself, and if so - how please? I am really going round in circles, unable to find solutions to such issues that should be rather trivial.

@everybody else: I am sure there must be the same issues in other languages. Are y’all’s countries really that bilingual that it doesn’t matter to you?

It’s kinda getting urgent for me here. I am trying to move on with implementing and adapting, and the deeper I dig the more translation issues I discover, while being unable to resolve them makes it harder and harder to justify the use of ERPNext, which used to be the top candidate after first evaluation.

Hi @mwrsa I have also problems with translation i polish. Have you found any solution?
I suppose that you have already found that custom translation.


Hallo zusammen,

wir von tüit GmbH, pflegen eine eigene Dokumentation auf zum System. Dort habe ich auch eine Seite zum Thema Übersetzung erstellt:übersetzungen-(translation)

Dort befindet sich eine CSV welcher in das eigene System hochgeladen werden kann.

Leider hat es in der Version 13 einige Übersetzungen zerschossen. Auch das Translation Tool funktioniert irgendwie nicht wie es soll…

Bei Fragen gerne jederzeit melden.


Hello everyone,

we have created a german documentation for ERPNext on You’ll find a page on translations here:übersetzungen-(translation)

Feel free to download the csv and import it to your system.

Unfortunatelly after v13 update many translations have been messed up.

Feel free to contact me on the matter.

Viele Grüße

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Not really, @Krzysztof. Like @wojosc writes: V.13 didn’t do its best concerning the translations. I lost all local translations through the update. From my experience though, the Translation Tool works most of the time, only a few parts of the desk don’t work for me.

Thanks for the links to your documentation, @wojosc!

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Kann jeder Deutschsprecher in ERPNext / Frappe Cloud nur auf gut Deutsch geschriebene Texte lesen?
Funktioniert dieser Programmteil fehlerlos?

What I found is that translated texts generally look rather fine, but I immediately found certain often-used single word items at a very wrong place.
Which means that the method to fish words from a big pond in order to throw them at UI texts to be translated is very wrong because it lacks context awareness.

Also the official recommendation to wholesalely translate UI items by free public translation services, without the necessary context machinery, sometimes seems to produce very unusable translations.

There is a translation centralization mechanism and effort via some public frappe site, but behind said “one-size-to-fit-all-translation-needs” recommendation there seems to be no “one-size-fits-all committee” (and how could it exist) “in charge” (and how could this easily come into being in FOSS) to clean up behind said public free naive-translation machine, and you can provide translations into said DB, but getting them into the actual product seems to be a lottery, so people complain about wasted efforts, as far as I understand from forum posts.

From experience I know that it’s not always easy to agree on translations between people with different backgrounds-and-little-domainspecific-knowledge.

So the method seems to be: produce sometranslation with little effort taken as an MVP and hope that someone takes over to do the next step of producing a real and coherent translation. Which is a valid method for distribution of develeopment+translation efforts.

But as long as contextual info is not very tightly integrated in the fishing-from-the-pond step, coherently producing a clean and at least correct translation is impossible even for a functioning committee, because the incomplete machinery might always reshuffle items which must stay at the intended place because it doesn’t use context-awareness (e.g. in which menu a translatable items sits).

This method is a situation where translation-competent people will quickly be frustrated, and indeed so much so that they might not even start to try participation. And I don’t say this lightly, having decades of professional translation experience in very different domains. Frankly, I wouldn’t touch the translations as long as this contextlessness persists, because I know the result beforehand, from experience. Many a time some project manager without knowledge of translation, via several intermediate sub project managers and even several intermediate enterprises who all want a share for their “work”, just sent a list of items to translate, often even alphabetically sorted (which takes away even the last remnants of contextuality), which is a dead horse order to begin with, which you only accept out of misery and if you had no income for some time and no bread any more, knowing full well that it will come back later because “the translator did a bad job”, in fact it’s all the PMs before who didn’t, and the translator COULDN’T do a good job, because in this situation it is IMPOSSIBLE. So this is how all these jokes about strange translations come into being. But the translator is the least responsible for it, most of the time.

The translator should have the web page in front of his eyes when translating and the machinery behind it MUST ensure that an item doesn’t pop up just anywhere else just because the word or the expression is the same. This is the part which is naive and even uncultured, because misunderstandings because of lack of context happen in any language in daily life all the time, and programming a misunderstanding-mechanism is a pre-alpha-“effort” at best (if not outright sabotage: maybe someone in the early development of gettext and .po files was sent by some industry spy/operative to lure inexperienced OSS fans into a dead end for later products, and sow discord as a byproduct? or were these just inexperienced youth? whatever, there is a matureness of software products which needs to be acquired). It might, but ONLY AFTER HUMAN CONFIRMATION. Without this, the translation endeavor will rest defective and frustrating and produce a situation where the product, more or less at first glance, will give an impression of incompetent work. If software-evaluating people see this year after year, it’s certainly bad publicity, and only adventurous people will look further.

Other than that, there also might be a need for a style guide and a terms dictionary (which certainly might evolve, too, adding to the communication needs) if any group (in any language) decides to produce and/or to try to help to produce a quality translation.

Please also note that the splitting of the monolith into modules (some time ago) might pose some additional communication and mutual education requirements if the whole thing is to have a uniform, coherent look.

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I like seeing such messages:
a. They describe a situation competently.
b. Authors incur such costs probably because they care.
c. This increases the probability to get closer to a desired result.
On what day would you like us to talk?

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Your reply very accurately reflects my intent. I write this because otherwise I very much like the product and the efforts of frappe and “us ecosystem” to promote sharing and quality FOSS products.

FOSS is trying to pry back a just share of humanity’s being able to copy software and messages at almost no cost, from people who try to reap all the benefits only for themselves, which is egoism at scale (there are other aspects to it, which somewhat reduce the scandal, but this is what is visible to anyone who looks and doesn’t just accept any injustice as normal).
Egoism at scale is a slavery and thus a calamity producing machine, but political slogans only will not defeat it: an educational and participation-in-one’s-own-and-community’s-life effort is needed, and also an awareness that everybody needs to strive for quality, a non-judgemental attitude, respect of users, humans in general, e.g. strive for love in the sense of being oneself a loving human all the time.

Regarding your question: Aren’t we talking already? So, what exactly do you mean?
I don’t have enough of an overview of the framework technically (one of my current TODOs) in order to emit pull requests, but I guess I wrote a lot of indications already for devs to understand the problem and improve the translation framework. They might even know all this already from the experiences gleaned after creating the translation framework, and understanding the implications of what they see via the incoming translation DB items. Maybe the needed technical changes might just need time?
I don’t know enough about the core dev ecosystem and functionings at this point in time, and translation teams tend to group into language groups, and thus maybe the cross-domain communication (devs – translation contributors) is somewhat incomplete (in lack of a better term)?
It’s also possible that some devs try to over-engineer translation using AI, skipping a much simpler, but essential step of the human look at each and every item, in order to automate more, but lacking experience in the domain?
It’s also possible that every necessary step is currently in the works already and ready in some weeks or months or so? I don’t have information about what’s going on “behind the scene”, so to speak.

Said another way, I don’t want to be rant-y, just offer a contribution of mine in an effort to share an experience which might benefit whoever is interested in translation improvements.

Translation is a lot of work, anyway. And tools can help alleviate it, if done correctly.

Hi Julian,

I’m not sure what you are trying to say by this. Please elaborate. Thank you.

Viele Grüße


the support with locally managed translations is appreciated, but unfortunately, the translation tool of ERPNext is based on a too simple concept after all. Instead of a language-agnostic keyword, the English words are used as the reference for the translation. “Cancel” just as an example leads to different translations in different context (abort the next step, annullate a document, etc.), but in ERPNext I can enter only one of them. Translation will not improve unless a fundamental change is made to the core of ERPNext to strictly separate the label of a field/function from its translation.