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ORSEE allows you to install as many languages as you like. The standard languages shipped with the ORSEE packages include English and German. You may add your own language to the system, or import language files provided by other users.

Languages are maintained in a huge table in the ORSEE database. Particularly, (almost) every human-readable output of the system is retrieved from this table, which includes e-mail templates and site content. Thus, any emails, default texts, help texts, any public content, laboratory names and addresses, subject pool names and descriptions, experiment type names, experiment class names, the participant profile with all its fields, and FAQs are all multilingual, i.e. have to be defined for all installed languages of the system. (You do this on the specific configuration pages of these items.)

Date and time formatting

In Options/Date and time formatting you can customize the language-specific display of dates and times, which will apply throughout the system. The page displays a list of items, that refer to different ways to express dates and times. You can click on the Edit link to change the format.

  • format_datetime_date, format_datetime_date_no_year: These formats are used to display a date (with or without the year included). You can use the following shortcuts:
    • %d will result in the day of the month, from 1-31.
    • %m will result in the month, from 1-12.
    • %Y will result in the year, with four digits.
  • format_datetime_time format_datetime_time_no_sec: These formats are used to display the time (with or without seconds). You can use the following shortcuts:
    • %H will result in a 24-hour (military time) hour 0-24
    • %h will result in a 12-hour hour 0-12
    • %a will result in am/pm
    • %i will result in the minute 0-60
    • %s will result in the second 0-60
  • format_datetime_month_names,format_datetime_month_abbr: these are used in the display of calendars (main calendar and popups). They should be the names and abbreviations of the 12 months, from January to December, separated by commas.
  • ,format_datetime_weekday_abbr: This field should contain abbreviations for the 7 weekdays separated by commas, which will be used in calendar displays. Note that the list of weekdays always has to start with Sunday, no matter what you choose in format_datetime_firstdayofweek_0:Su_1:Mo (the respective rotation will be automatically applied).
  • format_datetime_firstdayofweek_0:Su_1:Mo: This will be used for calendar displays (main calendar and popups). Enter a 1 if the week starts with Monday or 1 if the week should start with Sunday.
  • format_datetime_shortcut_days,format_datetime_shortcut_hours, and format_datetime_shortcut_minutes: Enter here abbreviations for the nouns “Days”, “Hours”, and “Minutes”, which will then be used to display time intervals.

Language main page

In the section Options/Languages you can edit the language symbols (the words and sentences used in ORSEE) and the languages themselves. On the languages main page all installed languages are listed. if you make a language available for participants, then participants will be able to choose this language in their profile. If you make a language available in public area, then visitors of the public area of the recruitment system can switch to this language to view the pages.

The language that is configured as the public standard language in Options/General settings must be available in the public area. To change to another public standard language, you will have to enable at least one more language here as available in the public area, such that you can switch to it as public standard language in the Options/General settings. (You can disable a language only when it is not the public standard language.)

Adding a language symbol

When defining new custom fields for the participant profile form (see Participant profile form), you may need to add a new language symbol for the field (in order to keep the participant profile form multilingual). You can add a language symbol by clicking on the Add symbol button and providing a Symbol name (which will be used in the profile form as the shortcut that refers to the respective language term) as well as the symbol's expression in each installed language.

Editing language symbols

The respective link Edit words for xx in the language list will display the language's edit page. You may browse the language symbols using the alphabetical links, or search for language items using the small search form. Each row of the resulting symbol list includes the symbol's name, it's value in the currently used language, and a text field with the value of the symbol in the language to edit. After having changed the contents of the text fields you click the 'Change' button to store the fields in the database. (The 'Edit' link next to a symbol allows you to change the respective symbol's expressions in all installed languages, not just the selected one.)

Adding a language

To add a language to the system, click the respective button on the languages main page. You will have to provide a shortcut for that language (a two-letter code like en, de), the name of the language in that language (English, Deutsch), and the base language on which this new language should be based on. When the new language is created, it will basically be a copy of that base language, which you then can edit and change.

You have the option to go through all language symbols of the new language and change them, or to import a language file which will then fill the symbol expressions for the new language (see section Importing a language file).

Deleting a language

To delete a language, you click on the Delete language button on the languages main page. Then, you select the language which you want to delete. This cannot be the current language you are using, and it cannot be the admin or public standard language as configured in Options/General settings. Second, you select the language to which participants and experimenters which are currently using this language should be converted to. After a click on the button you will have to confirm the deletion of the language once more before it is (non-reversibly!) purged from the database.

Edit basic language settings

On this page, you can change the language's name (in that language), and you can import or export a language file of this language as described below.

In addition, you can enter the code for the language icon in base64 format. The icon is used on the public main page when showing the list of available languages. The code is basically the language file, transformed into text using base64 encoding.

When you create a new language, you might want to put the code here for the respective flag icon. For convenience, as set of flag icons and their base64 encoding can be found here: . Make sure to copy the code exactly as is.

Exporting a language file

The language export page presents you a link from which you can download an ORSEE-specific language file of the selected language. You download and save the file by a right-click and then choosing 'Save link as …'.

The format of the ORSEE language file is simple: It contains the symbol's names and values. Lines and variables are separated by unique terms. The file is base-64 encoded to allow compatibility with all operation systems.

Important note: This function exports:

  • language symbols (as defined in Edit words for xx),
  • email templates,
  • default texts

It does not export other multi-lingual terms which are laboratory-specific, such as

  • public content,
  • laboratory names and addresses,
  • subject pool names and descriptions,
  • experiment type names,
  • experiment class names,
  • FAQs,
  • or any other items.

Importing a language file

The language import dialog gives you three options: to update your language, to upgrade it, and to do both at once.

  • Updating means that that only language symbols already defined in the system will be imported. Existing terms will be overwritten. Use this to install a new language on this system.
  • The Upgrading option is provided to ease the upgrade to a new ORSEE version. It will keep any symbols that are already defined in your system as they are, they will not be overwritten. This option will only install language symbols that do not exists yet in your system or are empty on your system.
  • Both at once. The third option is a combination of the two options above: it installs new symbols and overwrites existing ones. Use this when upgrading the system and at the same time installing a new language.

In addition to the import option, you can select the filename of the new language file on your local computer that will be uploaded. After a successful import the system will tell you how many existing language symbols have been updated and how many new language symbols have been installed.

online_configuration/languages.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/12 14:20 by

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