We are using CiviCRM 4.7 on Wordpress 4.4 in German Language and have switched the standard language to German. I have noticed that the country names are still in English.

  • Is there a specific reason for this?
  • What would be the correct steps to translate?
  • Do we need to translate manually all country names in the civicrm_country table?
  • Did you install the civicrm-l10n-4.7.x.tar.gz files, is your CiviCRM interface in German, and which German translation are you using? (de_DE, or another regional translation?)
    – bgm
    Apr 23, 2016 at 19:41

3 Answers 3


I am not using the German version, but have translated the Norwegian version of the country names. There I also have just copied the English version, and only changed the name of my own country.

One of the cases we use country names most often, is when sending postal mail. Norwegian post men reads Norwegian, but French and German post men don't understand Norwegian country names. They do however understand English country names.

Therefore; English country names=higher probability for postal mail to reach its destination abroad

  • Do I understand correctly you have only translated Norway to Norvegian and left all other countries in English? Sounds reasonable to me. How and where have you translated the country name? directly in the DB? Feb 1, 2016 at 2:05
  • Yes, only translated Norway to "Norge". I did that on the shared language files for the Norwegian translation in Transifex, and not locally. I copied the entire country name file on English in Transifex, and imported it into the Norwegian files, and then altered Norway. Are you familiar with Transifex, and the translation teams for each language? transifex.com/civicrm/civicrm and wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/pages/…
    – Flying
    Feb 1, 2016 at 5:57

We couldn't find an official translations for country names for ISO 3166-1 into languages other than English and French. If you could provide them that would be great. The Canadian government publishes its list of recognized countries related to this standard; perhaps Germany's foreign Ministry does something similar.

Check on transifex if the country names are able to be translated there. If not and you would like to provide translations, contact Mathieu Lufty or comment back here with your contact info and I will.

I created an issue on JIRA for followup by Mathieu https://issues.civicrm.org/jira/browse/CRM-18015 but it appears that there is no systemic problem with translations of country names. So there is likely a problem unique to your installation. Please try to reproduce on the demo site (dmaster.demo.civicrm.org) and reopen the issue with details if you are successful.


This is my fault, sorry about that.

The short answer, is that I think we should revert a change related to country names. This could probably be done for CiviCRM 4.7.9.

Long answer and mea culpa:

I am one of the people responsible for pushing new strings to Transifex when a new CiviCRM release is published.

When strings are pushed, we also review new strings to make sure that we are not pushing too many strings with typos, bad programming, etc. For CiviCRM 4.7, the release process was a bit different, and the strings were pushed to Transifex much later than usual. It's only then that I noticed that the country names were all uppercased (CRM-16876).

I disagreed with the change and wanted to have more feedback before pushing the strings to Transifex. It would have required translators to re-translate ~ 350 country names. However, I was backlogged by other important issues in 4.7, so I had not gotten to it yet.

To address some arguments mentioned in this thread: should the (foreign) country name on postal labels always be in English? Should it be in capital letters?

  • Maybe, but that should be a mailing format option. We could probably add that pretty easily in core, in a similar way that we have {contact.state_province} (abbreviation) and {contact.state_province_name}.

  • Currently, contribution forms with a country field do not look good. A list of uppercase names is hard to read and unusual.

  • As someone using CiviCRM in French, I would expect that other francophone countries would have their French country name.

  • Having a translated country name is also important for backend forms, where staff may not know the name of a country in English.

If you are interested in improving non-English support in CiviCRM, please subscribe to the "intl" discussion mailing-list (also known as the "Translation Working Group"). You do not need to be a programmer. We need translators, users and anyone using CiviCRM in non-English to give more feedback to help guide CiviCRM development.

We also have a list of language/locality-related items that we have identified as needing improvement. One big challenge is also raising awareness on what is a translation challenge. It's not always easy to know what can affect non-English users.

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