Formal german available?


After some searching upon this, I must admit that I am confused.

Do I get it right that there is no possibility to have a Discourse forum running with formal german? In the business world, the informal german is not very common…

We cannot use an informal german forum here.

If I just did not find the right point, would you please give me a hint?

Thank you,

1 Like

(Stephen) #2

Discourse currently has one German translation on Transifex.

I’m not aware of Transifex offering a discrete formal German offering, or any other projects which offer both the formal and informal, but if Transifex supports it then Discourse can too.


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #3

Last time this was discussed at Support for formal/informal language variations the conclusion was that Transifex doesn’t support those variations:


(Gerhard Schlager) #4

I think that highly depends on the type of business… and speaking for myself, I always find it strange when a computer (piece of software) addresses me formally. But yeah, I know that everyone feels different about such things.

I guess it could make sense for some businesses to use formal language for emails sent by Discourse as well as texts like Privacy Policy and Terms of Services. But you most likely want to edit those anyway, so it shouldn’t be a big problem.



Thank you all for your rapid replies.

I am sorry, I didn’t want to start a discussion if informal german is ok or not - since we address the majority of our customers in conversations and E-Mails in formal german, a forum that is only capable of informal german is not choosable.

I am afraid but it is as simple as that. Althhough I like what I saw of Discourse up to now.

Does someone know: How can I find out if there is a formal german version somewhere on transifex?

@gerhard Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but for me in the non-private sector informal language is still something that has to be agreed upon by both sides. Addressing someone informat without their consent is impolite or at least a form of disrespect. I would not expect that in a supermarket, hotel or bank without being puzzled.


(Gerhard Schlager) #6

I’m not aware of a formal German translation.

1 Like

(Michael Friedrich) #7

I would analyze the language strings if I were you. Maybe you‘ll just need to replace several phrases from casual “du” to “Sie”.

On the other hand, if German is too personal, I‘d leave the locale to English. Most of the conversations in Discourse are either self explaining or have common icons.

We use Discourse at work, and didn‘t care about a German version. Probably because the majority of our tools in IT are English only.


(Richard - #8

You would need to replace hundreds (I estimate around 450) phrases, and not just from “du” to “Sie” - you’d also need to change the verb forms. So this is not an easy task.


(rizka) #9

Furthermore, it is not a one-time task. Discourse evolves rapidly. New strings are added and existing strings go through changes.



Hello - I’m back again.

I just had an email conversation with Thelma from Transifex. She informs me that
“you can select as many target languages as you want and as many locales as you want. For example, you can add German (de) and German (Germany) (de_DE)”

So, is it possible to just add German (Germany) (de_DE) as the formal variant of german, based upon the existing German (de)? It should be possible with overseeable effort to translate all strings containing “dein*” and “du”.

Is it correct that all phrases that show in the users area are in files named “client” ?

kind regards,


(Lionel Rowe) #11

User-viewable strings come from both client and server localization files. For a complete* translation, you’d need both. client vs. server is only relevant as to whether the strings are accessed via back-end Ruby code or front-end JavaScript code — from the end user’s point of view, they’re basically indistinguishable.

*“Complete” comes with the caveat that @rizka mentioned, namely that the available strings are constantly changing. I’m not sure how configurable fallbacks are in Transifex, but my guess is that de_DE would fall back to de by default. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.