XLIFF Localization

XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format) is an XML-based format created to standardize the way localizable data is passed between tools during a localization process.

Besides the usage in traditional translation tools, XLIFF is used more often in the field of software translation. Several tools like Xcode or Multilingual app toolkit allow you to export and import XLIFF files as alternative to the more proprietary resource file formats.


  • Lingohub is capable to handle files based on XLIFF 1.2.

  • A XLIFF file holds source and target language information in one file.

  • The <target> attribute can be omitted, but we always need a <source> attribute.

  • The <file> element must specify the attributes “source-language” and “target-language”.

  • The translation title is specified by the <trans-unit> “id” attribute (“resname” attribute as alternative)

  • The <trans-unit>s can be grouped using <group> and the “id” value of the group will prefix the translation title. So a “resname” only needs to be unique in its group.

  • The <note> attribute inside <trans-unit> will be stored as description for your translators.

  • All attributes on your elements will be stored by Lingohub and exported as imported.

  • <context-group> information will be stored by Lingohub and exported as imported.

  • <header> information will be stored by Lingohub and exported as imported.

  • Placeholders can be defined using the <ph> element. Eg. “<ph id=”1″>{0,number}</ph>”


Additional example files can be accessed here.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xliff version="1.2" 
  xsi:schemaLocation="urn:oasis:names:tc:xliff:document:1.2 xliff-core-1.2-strict.xsd">
<file original="sample.properties" 
  source-language="en" target-language="de" 
   <trans-unit id="1" resname="key1">
      <source xml:lang="en">Box 12 is <ph id="1">{0,number}</ph> inches high.</source>
      <target xml:lang="de">Box Zwölf ist <ph id="1">{0,number}</ph> Zoll hoch.</target>
   <trans-unit id="2" resname="key2">
      <source xml:lang="en">Box &quot;<ph id="1">{0}</ph>&quot; is blue.</source>
      <target xml:lang="de">Box <ph id="1">{0,number}</ph> ist blau.</target>
   <trans-unit id="3" resname="key3">
      <source xml:lang="en">Boxes are built in three sizes: small, medium and large.</source>
      <target xml:lang="de">Boxen werden in drei Größen gebaut: klein, mittel und groß.</target>
    <group id="messages:2">
      <trans-unit id="4" resname="key4" xml:space="preserve">
          <source>Hello <ph id="1">username</ph></source>
          <context-group name="sample properties" purpose="location">
            <context context-type="sourcefile">XliffInfo.java</context>
            <context context-type="linenumber">34</context>


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