Guidelines for translating Belenios

You have noticed that your favourite language is missing on our voting platform? Or that some part is incorrectly translated or not translated at all? Or you simply would like to contribute to Belenios? Your contribution is very much welcome!

You can modify an existing translation or add a new language using the Weblate platform. You can easily create an account and contribute. We provide here a few guidelines.

The list of currently existing languages on the Belenios voting platform can be found here (listed as language codes). We prefer to use our own translation for French but we really need your help for all the other languages. Even well supported languages have untranslated sentences as we constantly improve our platform. Please consider helping to translate these extra sentences!

What to translate first?

We have split the translation files into two components:

  • Voter interface: This component contains all what the voter will see: the election page, the voting interface, the emails, the results. We believe that this component should be translated in priority.
  • Administrator interface: This is what the administrator of an election will see when s.he has to set up an election, as well as the material seen by the other authorities: decryption trustees and credential authority.


The vocabulary of an election is very specific. Moreover, Belenios makes use of cryptographic concepts unknown to most users and requires new entities (such as decryption authorities) which do not exist in paper-based election. Hence a special care is needed to translate these notions. It is important to chose words that still convey some intuition for the user. Even more importantly, the chosen words should be consistently used within the translation otherwise the voter or the authorities will be completely lost.

We strongly recommend that you use the glossary, and start by creating one if none exists for your language. We give here a list of words that should belong to the glossary with a few explanation for each of them. We refer to Belenios instructions for more explanations on this vocabulary.

Belenios vocabulary

  • administrator: The administrator of the election, in charge of entering the voter list (emails, ...), managing the authorities, opening and closing the election, etc.
  • credential: The voter receives a credential, in addition to her login and password. Both are needed to vote. Voters are used to login and passwords but often surprised to have to use this extra "credential". This could be explained as some "code" needed to vote.
  • credential authority: This is the authority in charge of generating the credentials and distribute them to the voters. Sometimes this role is played by the server directly.
  • private / public credential: The credential sent to the voter is a secret data, just for her. However, a public part of the credential is sent to the voting server and used to check authenticity of the ballots.
  • fingerprint: Technically, this is the hash of the data, for example the hash of a ballot or the hash of a key.
  • shuffle: In alternative elections (eg preferential voting), ballots are shuffled and re-randomized before being decrypted. Decryption trustees each perform one shuffle so that none of them is able to link the resulting ballots to the initial ones.
  • smart ballot tracker: This is some string given to the voter. It is actually a fingerprint (a hash) of their (encrypted) ballot. It allows a voter to track her ballot and in particular make sure it is included in the ballot box.
  • trustee: This is an authority that has a share of the decryption key and is needed to decrypt the election result.

Vote vocabulary

  • ballot: The sealed ballot of a voter. Technically, this is the encryption of her voting choices (plus some extra crypto material).
  • tally: When the result is computed.
  • voter: A voter. ;-)
  • voter list: The list of all registered voters, entitled to vote.
  • weight: Some elections give more votes to some voters (e.g. the director of an association may have a number of votes that depend on the size of her association). Hence the weight of voter or of a ballot refers to the number of votes associated to it.

Have a look at the voting platform.

It is sometimes hard to translate a sentence and sometimes just some fragment of a sentence without knowing the context. We advise that you set up a mock election on our voting platform to see how it looks like.

How is it integrated in Belenios?

Updates on Weblate are not automatically pushed to Git. The updates are merged when there are other important pending changes, or when (translatable) strings in the source code are changed, or before a release. We only have a couple of releases every year. Intermediate and more frequent test releases are available on our beta platform. You may check if your translation is available here in order to see an election in your language. NEVER use the beta platform for real elections. It may be reinitialized at any time and data is lost.