Managing locales and languages

Phrase supports all written languages. Learn how to add and manage locales in your translation projects.

Projects in Phrase typically consists of at least two locales (also: languages). A locale defines a users language and typically contains language- and/or country related parameters. You can add as many locales to your project as you wish to reflect all the languages and country regions you want to support in your software.

Adding locales

Once your project is set up, adding locales is easy. Just click the Add Locale button in the locale overview. After adding the locale you can immediately start translating content for this new locale/language.

New locales can also be added by uploading localization files that contain new languages you did not already set up in your project.

When adding and managing locales you will come across these settings:


We require the RFC-5646 language code for a locale. This contains the language and region, e.g. en, de-DE or fr-CH.

With this knowledge Phrase can support you with useful information, e.g. figure out pluralization rules or manage the translation memory.

Default Locale

Every project needs exactly one default locale. This is the most important language and usually the language your software is developed in. In most cases this is English (en). We will automatically set the first locale you create as the default locale but you can change this any time.

Main Locale

You can mark the most important locales in your project as main locales. For example, your application might be available in a variety of languages but most (initial) work is done in German (de) and English (en). Mark these two locales as your main locales to benefit from our verification workflows.

Unverify new translations

New translations can be automatically marked as unverified. You can select the “unverify new translations” option to benefit from our verification workflows.

Unverify updated translations

Updated translations can be automatically marked as unverified. You can select the “unverify updated translations” option to benefit from our verification workflows.

Source locale

By default we assume that translations are entered based on your default locale. However, not all translators might be used to translate from your default locale (e.g. English) into the target language (e.g. Spanish). Instead they might want to use the French translations that were already entered in order to translate them into Spanish.

This is why every locale can be assigned a source locale. When given, we will display this as the source locale for the translators to work with. If none given, we will display the default locale of your project.

Translators can switch the source locale manually at any time by selecting it from the dropdown menu in the translation view.

Deleting locales

If you don’t want to support a given locale anymore you can remove it from your project at all times. Follow the Settings link on the language overview and click the Delete button.

Please note that deleting a locale will also remove all associated translations for that locale from your Phrase project. Make sure you have a backup of your data before actually deleting the locale.

Further reading

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