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DLL / EXE Based Translations

More detailed help with translating ALShow, ALSong and ALPass is coming.

In the meantime, please refer to the ALShow Translation Video Tutorial thread in the ALTools forums and the actual ALShow Translation Video Tutorial.

You can also read the ALShow Translation Video Tutorial transcript below. Please note that the video does not exactly follow the script, but it is never-the-less factually accurate.

Thank-you for your patience,

Your ALTools Admin


ALShow Translation Video Tutorial Script

Hello, and welcome to the ALShow/ALSong translation video tutorial.

My name is Ryan Smyth and I'm the ALTools Evangelist here at ESTsoft.

In this video I'll be showing you the basics about how you can help translate ALShow and ALSong into your own language.

Differences in translation methods & appTranslator

But before we start, I'd like to briefly go over the fundamental difference between how ALZip, ALSee, and ALFTP differ from ALShow and ALSong when it comes to translating them.

ALZip, ALSee and ALFTP use plain text files and can be easily translated in Notepad or any regular text editor.

This is the English language INI file for ALZip, and if I scroll down a bit past the translation instructions, you can see how the text is readily available to translate. Very simple. Very easy.

ALShow and ALSong on the other hand don't have those nice neat and easy to translate INI text files. Instead, they have resource DLLs and cannot be edited in your favorite text editor.

Both methods have their own pros & cons, but I won't get into a comparative analysis of them.

To translate a resource DLL, you need special tools like Microsoft Visual Studio or a special translation tool. Visual Studio is difficult to use for non-programmers, and quite expensive and we're not going to use it for those reasons.

Instead, for ALShow and ALSong, we're going to use a neat little translation program called "appTranslator". Again, it's not cheap, but, it comes with a fantastic free version for translators!

Downloading files

You can download the free "appTranslator for Translators" installation program from the ALTools web site in the Translators page. If you haven't done that already, pause the video, then download and install it.

To translate ALShow or ALSong, you need the appTranslator project file for the program. You can download that from the Translators page as well. If you haven't already done that, pause this video and download the file now.

Project files

The project file contains almost everything you need. There are a few extra resources that go along with ALShow and ALSong, but I'll cover those in another video. Just so that you know, those other resources are XML files for the skins and graphics for the skins. There are only about half a dozen graphics with text though, and those are almost all menu items like "File", "Help", etc.

I've got an appTranslator project for the English version of ALShow and just for demonstration purposes, another for the Korean version of ALSong. I'm going to start with the basics for ALShow then later on in another video I'll go over more specifics for both ALShow and ALSong.

Open project

Double click on the appTranslator project file to get started or open it from the Start menu and browse to the project.

Once you've got the project open, you'll be able to choose which language you want to translate ALShow into. Just click the dropdown menu here and choose one of the available languages. If the language that you want isn't in there, just email me so that I can add your language to the project file. I'm usually pretty quick with things like that and you can expect it to be ready and uploaded within a day and probably shorter.

I'm not actually going to translate anything in ALShow as I only speak English and Korean, so I'll just pick a random language here and just use Pig Latin instead. So... Arabic is the first in my list of languages, and I'll just select that.

Automatic translation

Now, in the right pane, you'll see "English.dll". Expand that and scroll down to 1217 under "Dialogs". As you can see, this is the "Screen Display" preferences pane for ALShow. Now without even doing anything, I can see that there's some Arabic already there. That's the automatic translation feature of appTranslator and can save you some time. I can click on the button, and see that in English it would be "Browse". Which is good, because I can't read any Arabic at all.


But, before actually start doing anything, I'm going to click this ultra-nifty "All Translatable Items" drop down menu and choose "Items to be Translated". Now I can see what's already done, like my auto-Arabic translation, and what I need to do, like everything else =) This just seems like such a super-cool feature of appTranslator. In the string tables and menus, as we'll see later on, this feature can make our translated items "disappear", and make our lists a bit shorter. You may or may not want to use it there, or just use it to kind of 'sort & search' for things. It will also do the same for our list of dialogs.

Starting the translation

Well, time to translate. I'm going to click here, and down here in the translation box, I'll type some Pig Latin... ReenScay IsplayDay. And then I'll click OK to set the new text. Now, I'll click on here, and if I look below, I'll see that the translation box is greyed out - That's because I just clicked on an image. So, you can just ignore those.

Now, just for fun, let's play around with this "Video" part here. I'll click to select it, then up here on the appTranslator toolbar I'll click the Layout Mode icon. Now I can resize and reposition that text label. So I'll just play a bit... type some text... "IdeoVay andday IllsSta AptureCay TionsOpay"... Click OK to set the text. And I'll toggle layout mode off.


The next general area that needs to be translated are the menus. So, expand the menus and click to display them in the preview pane.

Again, some things are already done for us. I'll quickly type in some new Pig Latin for the menus...

And that's about enough for now. Just notice that you can move the ampersand around for keyboard usage. A lot of languages don't use the Roman alphabet and put them in parentheses at the end of the text. I'll do that for the Arabic text here like so...

So that's all pretty easy.

String tables

The last things to do are the string tables. Those are for message dialogs and error dialogs as well as other miscellaneous things that are scattered throughout the program.

So, I'll click on the "String Table" to display it and we can see that there is a fair amount of text in here. Most of it is really simple and mostly similar or related things are grouped together. If you have any troubles here, post in the ALTranslators forums or drop me an email at support@estsoft.com and I'll get you an explanation or clarification ASAP.

Just for an example, I'll scroll down to 1501 here and where it says "[Aspect Ratio] HDTV Aspect (16:9)" I'll put a nifty message for us... OK. And that's it.

Building the new resource DLL

So, those are the basics to translating. Next, we just click the "Build Target Files" toolbar button, accept the defaults and OK button... To get an error... That's no problem. Just click here to browse to the real English.DLL in the ALShow directory... Then click OK. We've got a new language resource DLL, so... Here's our new file on the desktop. We just need to stick it in the right directory and rename it.

So here in the ALShow language directory, I'll rename the original English.DLL, move our new file here, and rename it to English.DLL. Launch ALShow, press F4 to display the preferences, and click our translated preferences panel.

And there are our new translations with our repositioned label control.

And if we check out the File menu, we can see our changes there as well. Now, I'll play this free music video that I downloaded at Infected.co.il and change the aspect ratio to HDTV Aspect (16:9)... and here in the top of ALShow, we can see that special message that we translated =) And I'll just press the shortcut key, Ctrl + F8, and you can see it our message appears just like we'd expect.

Getting the project translation to us

Once you've finished with a translation, you can zip the DLL & appTranslator project and email them to our support email address, or if you need some other way, just drop us an email and we'll set you up with an InternetDISK guest account where you can upload them through Internet Explorer.

Once we receive your new translation, we'll then upload it to the ALTools web site so that people can download and manually install it while we create a new installer for ALShow or ALSong as the case may be.

So translating ALShow and ALSong is a bit different than for other ALTools, but with appTranslator, it's highly visual, and that makes things easier and quicker.


I hope that you enjoyed this ALTools translation video tutorial and I hope to hear from you soon!

Thanks and have a great day!