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 1 Introduction
 This chapter explains the goals sought in the creation of GNU `gettext'
 and the free Translation Project.  Then, it explains a few broad
 concepts around Native Language Support, and positions message
 translation with regard to other aspects of national and cultural
 variance, as they apply to programs.  It also surveys those files used
 to convey the translations.  It explains how the various tools interact
 in the initial generation of these files, and later, how the maintenance
 cycle should usually operate.
    In this manual, we use _he_ when speaking of the programmer or
 maintainer, _she_ when speaking of the translator, and _they_ when
 speaking of the installers or end users of the translated program.
 This is only a convenience for clarifying the documentation.  It is
 _absolutely_ not meant to imply that some roles are more appropriate to
 males or females.  Besides, as you might guess, GNU `gettext' is meant
 to be useful for people using computers, whatever their sex, race,
 religion or nationality!
    Please send suggestions and corrections to:
      Internet address:

 Please include the manual's edition number and update date in your


* Why                         The Purpose of GNU `gettext'
* Concepts                    I18n, L10n, and Such
* Aspects                     Aspects in Native Language Support
* Files                       Files Conveying Translations
* Overview                    Overview of GNU `gettext'
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