Language other than English #languages #reports #french


RootsMagic Inc promised non-English language versions would be forthcoming when RootsMagic 4 was released in 2008. RootsMagic 4 was built on a database that supports Unicode and data can be stored in most languages. RoostMagic would seek volunteers to help translate the user interface and report strings into their languages. Nothing has ever come of that promise and users continue to seek ways in which they may be able to, at least, produce reports that are in another language.

An Attempt

This page provides the means to change what you can in RootsMagic 7 into another language and demonstrates its limitations. French is the example used because the author knows it a little bit.

Individual Summary report with French fact names. However, highlighted words are hard-coded and cannot be changed.

The Individual Summary Report has the fewest elements that are hard-coded in English, of any of the popular text reports. The Narrative reports have the most. The page above has highlighted examples of the hard-coded English text which the user cannot change.

The report does show French fact names (maybe not the best translations but that is beside the point). The RootsMagic user interface in Lists > Fact Type List, allows the user to change the fact names and abbreviations for user-added fact types but not for the built-in fact types. However, it is possible to change the built-in fact types through SQLite as described below.

One could open the database with a SQLite manager and edit the FactTypeTable fields Name and Abbrev directly for all having a FactTypeID under 1000 – these are the built-in ones. Everyone above 999 is custom and can be edited through RootsMagic.

I took a different approach. I opened the FactTypeTable and copied from it to Excel, keeping just the columns FactTypeID (the key), Name and Abbrev. I added columns for the translated Names and Abbrevs and for formulas to create SQLite statements. I copied the Name column into Google Translate and its output into the translated Name column. Likewise for the Abbrevs. In Excel, I revised the translations as some were clearly wrong or poor (and maybe some still are). The spreadsheet could be used for any language.

Then I developed a SQLite script in Excel that I could copy out to the SQLite manager. The script creates a table with the English and translated fact type names and abbreviations and revises RootsMagic’s FactTypeTable accordingly. It does not touch the fact sentences which remain in English but that is something the user can do through RootsMagic.


FrenchFactTypes.xlsx Edit this spreadsheet to create the following script for another language.
Facts-TranslateNames.sql Run this script as-is to convert your built-in fact types to French.

Export to a French (or other) Database

Because RootsMagic does not produce a complete non-English report even with the above translations, the only other option is to export the subjects of the desired report to another software that does. Below is an example of a report from Family Tree Builder 8.0, a free software from that can work in 40 or more languages. This is the first page of a Descendant report; it has no equivalent to the RootsMagic Individual Summary. While it is a major improvement linguistically, there are flaws due to the GEDCOM translations by both programs. And FTB outputs footnotes in its French report as blanks, not even the English originals; perhaps a bug in this new version that has undergone a major rewrite from version 7 as RootsMagic did between 3 and 4.

Sample report from Family Tree Builder 8.0 from data imported from a GEDCOM exported by RootsMagic 7.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.