I've a couple of language files in my plugin. Each language has a pair of files with extension .mo and .po.


When I remove the .po files the translation still works so I'm thinking about getting rid of the .po's and keep the .mo's.

Is this a problem or what's the idea of having both for each language?

  • Would you delete .cs or .jsl files after they are compiled? – BillK Feb 15 '16 at 8:07
  • po is "Portable Object", mo is "Machine Object"; mo are the files used by the software. The po files are used by translators and translation software to translate the strings, when they are ready, they are compiled to mo files. If, in the future, some translatations need to be updated, po files make it easy. – cybmeta Feb 15 '16 at 8:08
  • Imho you can't create a .mo (for other languages) file without a .po (which is the master file for translations) file. So leave that .po where it belongs, as others will confirm. (in the language folder) – Charles Feb 15 '16 at 10:22

keep the .po. If someone will want to modify your translation he can do it based on your .po but it is much harder to do it (if possible at all) based on the .mo file.

You don't save much by not distributing the .po and it keeps things organized for you as well.

  • Thanks, I'll ask my users to translate via poeditor.com. Still an issue? – Xaver Feb 15 '16 at 8:09
  • why do you want people to redo work you already done? do you hate your users so much? – Mark Kaplun Feb 15 '16 at 8:10
  • poeditor has an interface. I'm not able of all languages and people don't touch the .mo or the .po file at all. But I guess I have the answer to my question. – Xaver Feb 15 '16 at 8:12
  • People do touch, just because you don't know about it doesn't mean they don't. Not always your translation fits the specific needs of a site, and if they are able to touch the translation they might send you their suggestions. As I said it is possible convenience to the user that costs you very little if anything at all. – Mark Kaplun Feb 15 '16 at 8:22

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