Translating Ren'Py link

It is possible to translate Ren'Py itself. A complete translation translates the GUI, various Ren'Py messages, new projects, and the launcher. This should cover most gameplay and development scenarios. Right now, not every error message can be translated.

To create a new translation:

  1. Open the Ren'Py launcher.

  2. On the preferences page, choose "Open launcher project".

  3. Choose "Generate Translations."

  4. Enter the name of the language to translate to. This should consist of lowercase ASCII characters and underscores, so "japanese", "russian", or "ancient_klingon" are all valid language names.

  5. Choose "Generate Translations."

The same procedure can be used to update a language translation. To access the created translation, return to the preferences, then choose the newly created language. Note that by default, the translation will be a copy of the English translation.

Translation Files link

The translation files live in launcher/game/tl/language/. With the exception of script.rpy, all files consist of string translations that can be translated using the string translation syntax. Some strings might begin with "## ". These are comments that are translated, wrapped, and included in the options.rpy and gui.rpy files.

The translation files are:


This file contains interface messages (strings) that Ren'Py may present to the player.


This file contains strings that are only of interest to creators, and not players.


This file contains strings that are displayed to the developer or player when Ren'Py has a problem.


This file contains comments that are placed into the default GUI.


This file contains strings that are displayed as part of the launcher.


The file contains strings that are not used by modern Ren'Py.


This file contains strings that are used to translate the comments in the default options.rpy file.


This file contains strings that are used by the default gui, and the comments in the default screens.rpy file.


The contents of this file are copied, verbatim, into script.rpy when a new project is created.


This file does not exist by default, but should be created when needed. It configures the launcher styles, and the font that is used by a generated game.

Language-Specific Translations link

There is one translation that is not a straight-up translation. The "{#language name and font}" translation should be replaced with the name of the language, optionally wrapped in a launcher font, if non-ASCII characters are used. For example:

translate french strings:

    old "{#language name and font}"
    new "{font=fonts/Roboto-Light.ttf}Français{/font}"

This is used to display the language name when the launcher is not in that language.

Translations beginning with "{#in language font}" need to be wrapped in the same way. For example:

translate french strings:

    old "{#in language font}Start using Ren'Py in [lang_name]"
    new "{font=fonts/Roboto-Light.ttf}Commencez à utiliser Ren'Py en [lang_name]{/font}"

Changing Fonts link

Ren'Py ships with a default font (DejaVuSans) that covers most western languages, but other fonts are often needed. A font can be configured by editing launcher/game/tl/language/style.rpy, and adding:

init python:
    translate_font("language", "myfont.ttf")

Where "language" is the language in question (for example, "japanese"), and "myfont.ttf" is the font that should be used (for example, "MTLc3m.ttf"). The font file should be placed in the launcher/game/tl/language directory, so it can be found by the launcher.

Changing the Launcher Style link

The styles used by the launcher can be configured by setting variables in a translate python block. The following variables are available. The names are a bit confusing, as they reflect the English-language translation.

These variables are only available in the launcher.

define gui.LIGHT_FONT = "Roboto-Light.ttf" link

The path to the font used for normal text in the launcher.

define gui.REGULAR_FONT = "Roboto-Regular.ttf" link

The path to the font used for heavy-weight text in the launcher.

define gui.REGULAR_BOLD = False link

If True, heavy-weight text is bolded.

define gui.FONT_SCALE = 1.0 link

A scaling factor that is applied to all text in the launcher.

A translate python block is used to set these variables. For example, the following is used to change the fonts in the Arabic translation of Ren'Py:

translate arabic python:
    gui.REGULAR_FONT = "DejaVuSans.ttf"
    gui.LIGHT_FONT = "DejaVuSans.ttf"
    gui.FONT_SCALE = .9
    gui.REGULAR_BOLD = True

Functions link

The following functions are used to configure translation in the launcher. They should be called from the init python block.

translate_font(language, font) link

This is used to set a font for language. The font is used in the launcher, and also used to in games generated in that language. The font file should be placed in game/fonts.


A string giving the name of the font file.

translate_define(language, define, value, help=None) link

This is used to set a define when generating a game. For example, it can be used to change the size of a font.


The language involved.


The name of the define.


A string giving the value the define should be set to. (ie. "10", "False", or "'Font.ttf'").


If not None, a comment that will be generated before the define. The comment will only be generated if the define does not exist in gui.rpy. There is no need to use "## ", as the comment will be added and wrapped automatically.

For example, the following changes the size of dialogue text:

translate_define("martian", "gui.text_size", 12)