Survey Tool Guide

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This page explains the different views used in entering in CLDR data. The exact appearance in screenshots may change as the tool is enhanced over time.



  1. Go to and log in.
  2. For your first login for this version of the CLDR tool, you may be asked if you want to import old votes.
    • If you have submitted votes in the previous releases, you have the option to carry forward your votes from the previous CLDR data submission period and you don't have to vote on each item again. 
    • By default, all of your votes that match the most recently published CLDR value will be pre-selected and can be imported with a single click. 
    • Any non-winning votes from previous vetting can also be reviewed and imported as well, but these should be reviewed individually to see if they are the correct value.

Picking Locales

  1. On the left, you’ll see a sidebar. It will by default show the locales you have write-access for. You can scroll to the language you want, or type it in to get to it quickly.

  2. Pick your language, and subregions will show up. Almost all participants should not pick a region: they should use the default. For example, if you work on Spanish in general (default = Spain), you will see that that Spain is grayed out in the list below: choosing Spanish means that you are working on the default (Spanish for Spain).
  3. Only those of you working on a specific variant language (or "sub-locale") will pick a non-default region. If you work on Mexican Spanish, pick Mexico.
Make sure that you haven't mistakenly turned the Information Panel off! See No Information Panel.

Main Sections

  1. Once you have selected your locale, more options show up in the left sidebar. (You’ll note that the sidebar only shows if you mouse over the > character on the left.)
  2. If the locale is relatively new and very complete, start working on the Core Data section and go through the rest of the sections. If the locale is mostly complete, then go to Dashboard below.
  3. Once you have selected a section, you'll see a table to enter votes in. The main table has these columns:

    1. Code: the code CLDR uses to identify this data point.
    2. English: the plain English value of the data point (the text you are to translate).
    3. Abstain: the default vote value for you. Only use abstain if you don't know a good value to be used.
    4. A: The value’s current status. A checkmark means it’s approved and is slated to be used. A cross means it’s a missing value. (Note, for sub-locales, a cross is not necessarily bad. If the parent locale has a good value, the sub-locale will inherit it. Check the Winning column.)
    5. Winning: this is the currently winning value. If the survey tool would close now, this is the value we would publish. If the value has a blue star next to it, that means it’s also the value that was published in the previous version. Normally it takes at least two votes from two different organizations to change value: in some locales the bar is lower, and for some items it is higher.
    6. Add: If the winning value is not correct and is not listed under Others, then use the plus button here to enter the correct value. If you enter a new value, your vote will be applied to it automatically.
      • If what you want is a variation of what is in Winning or Others, you can cut & paste, and then modify.
    7. Others: other suggested values, not currently winning, but available to vote for. 
  4. Click on one of the radio buttons to make your vote. The winning status changes in real-time so depending on vote requirements and existing votes, your vote may move your desired value to the winning column right away.
  5. Look at the Regional Variants to see if any should be changed: see Information Panel below.
  6. Once you are done with all the sections, go to the Dashboard.


The main panel uses icons to indicate important information and possible problems. After clicking on the Code cell, look to the right-side info panel for more details.

Icon Description
⊗ There is a serious error in the translation.
⚠ There is a warning on the translation. This might or might not indicate a problem.
ⓘ Hover over this icon to see important information about translating the item.
ⓔ Hover over this icon to see an example of the item in context. This is also important for correct translation.
✓, ✓ The item has enough votes to be used in CLDR.
✘, ✘, ✘ The item does not have enough votes to be used in CLDR, by most implementations (or is completely missing: ✘)
⚐ Committee approval is needed for this item. Click the button in the right-side info panel to request approval.
✩ The item was Winning in the last release of CLDR.

Icons for the Dashboard are listed below.

Information Panel

  1. If you hover over an item (including the English item), a tooltip will appear showing a sample value and usage of the item in context. The item itself will have a white background; other text in context will have a gray background.
  2. When you select an item (the text, NOT the radio button), additional information will show in the right hand Information Panel. See 
  3. Make sure you use a wide-screen monitor and enlarge your window until you can see it, something like the image below.
  4. The box at the top shows information about the code you are translating. It also has a link that you should click on the first type you encounter that kind of item that will explain any "gotchas".
  5. If there is an error or warning for the item, you see that in the middle.
  6. Below that, you'll see an example. This is the same as you get by hovering over the item in the center section.
  7. If there are votes, you'll see a breakdown of them; you also see the number of votes required to change the value. Unicode organization members typically have 4 votes; others typically 1.
  8. Near the bottom, you'll see a pulldown menu that shows the values for different regional Variants. Here, you can quickly compare the values and go to different sublocales to correct inconsistencies.
    • NOTE: we are still refining this menu.
  9. At the bottom is a Forum button, for posting a question or request to other translators for your language. For more information, see Forum.


Some items are by default inherited from other places in the data. You have the option of voting for the inherited value or entering a different one.

The inherited values are color coded:
    1. Darker The original is from a parent locale, such as if you are working in Latin American Spanish (es_419), this value is inherited from European Spanish (es).
    2. Lighter The original is in the same locale, but has a different ID (row).
    3. Red The original is from the root.

    You can click on the link in the right sidebar to see the original value.

    Regional Variants

    The regional variants menu looks something like the following (the exact appearance depends on the browser):

    When you pull it down, it will show which regional variants have different values than the main language locale. The current locale will show as gray.

    For this case, for example, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have a different decimal separator than German (= Germany) does. Hover over the menu item to see the value it has. In the above diagram, you'll see "." as the decimal separator for Switzerland in the yellow hover box.

    If any values are incorrect, please correct them. You can do that by selecting the menu item, which will take you to the same item, but in the regional locale. For example, selecting “Belgium” above goes to the decimal separator for German (Belgium). You can then correct the item.

    Normally, the only values that should be different are in date and number formats. In some locales there are other variations: for example, German (Switzerland) spells words with “ss” instead of “ß”, so differences can occur on many different pages.

    Regional Inheritance

    If you are voting in a "child locale", i.e. the non-default locale for your language, such as pt_PT, en_AU, zh_Hant_HK, etc., you have the option to enter a vote to actively follow whatever the translation is for the parent locale. 

    You do this by voting for the translation highlighted in blue. If do this, you are essentially saying "always copy the parent value, even if it changes". Only vote for the blue value if you feel confident the parent value will always be suitable for your locale. In the screenshot below, this is the case for the vote for "inglês".

    If you want to vote for a firm value in your locale, that should not follow the parent locale, simply click the plus button and enter the value you want to vote for. Note that this can be the same as what is currently being inherited. You'll notice after your vote that the value is not highlighted in blue, indicating it's a hard vote, as in the case of "embu" below.

    An inheritance vote is useful if there are no differences in spelling conventions and political relations between your locale and the parent locale. Abstaining from voting may have the same effect, but if another vetter votes for something different, it would be unopposed by you. By voting for the blue inheritance value you make your opinion known to other vetters.


    The Dashboard will show you a list of data items with warnings of different kinds. Some will require action, some may be false positives. (For the veterans, this is the redesigned Priority Viewer.) 

    The goal is that you should work the Dashboard down to show zero items, then review the Reports, below.

    The first priority is to fix all the Missing items by supplying the correct translations.

    Dashboard Sections

    Go through each of the sections to address the problems. These sections are explained below.

    At the top of each section is an arrow symbols to show the items in the section, the title (such as Missing), the number of items, and an "Unhide" button. Below that header are a series of rows.

    Dashboard Rows

    Each row has a link to the value in survey tool, the English value, the previous version’s value, the currently winning value, and 3-4 action buttons, as below on the right. If the currently winning value and previous version’s value are equal, then the winning value is shown with “=”.

    Icon Description
    Code: This will bring up a new main window with the context for the item, where you can make changes.
    Fix: This will bring up a Quick Fix Panel where you can change or edit your vote (see below).
    Hide: If you are sure that the warning is a false positive, you can hide it from view. Click on the other eye button on top of the section to unhide hidden lines.
    Forum: Enter a forum post to be seen by other linguists regarding this specific item. This is useful if your item is losing and an incorrect item is about to win. Also use the forum to discuss the translation with other vetters.
    Info: Warnings or errors will have additional info here.

    Quick Fix Panel

    If you click on the Fix button, you'll see a pop-up Quick Fix Panel like the following.

    This panel shows a summary of what you'd see in the main page for the item, and allows you to make a quick change. If, however, you haven't changed an item of this type before, it is best to click on the link at the top to go to the main page for the item. That way, you can see other items of the same type.

    There are different categories of problems.


    Best is to click on the blue Code (such as Reykjavik or CNY-name in the above screenshots). You get a new window with the items in context, where you can add a translation. When you fix a Missing item it will turn to New.


    Your vote is losing (see the screenshot above). If you can live with the winning item—if it is reasonable, even if you don't think it is optimal—vote for the winning item. If not, click the Forum button and give reasons for people to change their vote to what you have. You can list a number of items in the same forum post, to make it easier for people to read.


    This is very similar to Losing, except in this case your vote is winning and someone else's is losing. Just look these over quickly; if someone else's item is better, then you might want to change your vote. Otherwise, click the Hide button so that you don't see it any more.

    Warnings, English Changed

    For Warnings and English Changed, you'll see something like the following. The warning message is on the top left, in this case "The value is the same as English". That is a quite common warning for languages that are close to English in the spelling of languages or territories. If the value is actually ok, then click on the Hide button (crossed eye). If not, then vote for a fix, or post on the Forum for discussion.


    The New items are the newly entered items for this release, and are provided here for reference. You don't normally need to look at them.


    There are two ways to clear items from the Dashboard list:
    1. fix them (such as adding a translation for a missing item)
    2. hide them (such as when the English has changed but the translation doesn’t need to change).
      • Only hide items if it really is a false positive, not because you gave up on fixing it…
      • If you hide an item by mistake: 
        • Unhide all the lines with the top eye button.
        • Click on the orange eye button in the line (a “Show" tooltip will appear).
        • Hide all the lines again by clicking the top eye button.


    The reports show lists of items that need to be reviewed for consistency. You should look through these after you do the Dashboard to make sure that the items are consistent, when viewed in the context of others. Each of them has a link to instructions at the top. Please read these before continuing.


    Special Notes


    Translations should be what is most appropriate for ”middle-of-sentence” use. So, for example, if your language normally doesn't spell languages with a capital letter, then you shouldn’t do that here. Please see Capitalization for more details.


    For important information regarding the use of plural forms for your language, please read Plurals.


    If you find a problem, you may want to review FAQ & Known Bugs to see whether it has already been reported (and whether there is a work-around). If not, or if you have suggestions for improvements, please file a bug using the Feedback link at the bottom of each window. If you encounter problems or have enhancement suggestions for the survey tool, please file a ticket.

    If there are other issues, you can raise them on the Unicode CLDR Mailing List.

    For unofficial SurveyTool support, visit #cldr on freenode webchat — Once connected, enter your text at the very bottom of the page, and press the enter key to send text). Alternatively, use your own client to log into the #cldr channel on the network.

    No Information Panel

    If you click on the Code cell and there is no Information Panel, you may have turned it off accidentally. Go to the Gear icon at the top and make sure that the Toggle is set right.

    Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 17.05.53.png

    May not be modified—see details

    You may sometimes see a message like the following.

    These items are particularly sensitive, and require committee review. To handle them, click on the Code cell (eg, “Main Letters”). In the right-hand information panel, you'll see details. At the bottom, click on the “Flag for Review button”. On the new page, you'll see a message box. Enter the change that you want to make, and the justification for it. Then click “Post”.


    After the data submission phase, any differences in the submitted data will be resolved according to the data resolution processHowever, you should collaborate with the other translators where you have questions, via email and the forums.

    The forum is the place to debate issues in your language. Use the forum for general topics or consistency questions. If you want to bring up a specific topic, click on the data point in the survey tool or in the Dashboard, then click the New Forum Post or Forum button to the right. This will allow you to make a forum post directly linked to the data item that will also show up when the item is selected in the survey tool, to make it visible for other linguists.

    When you make a forum entry, it will be emailed to all other linguists working on the same locale. Note that the forum is sorted by parent locale and has no sub-forums for sub-locales. If you are talking about a translation in a sub-locale, be sure that you’re clear about that.

    Advanced Features

    1. Users familiar with CLDR XML format can upload votes (and submissions) for multiple items at once. See Bulk Data Upload.
    2. Organization managers can manage users for their organization (add, remove, send passwords, set locales, etc.) For more information, see Managing Users.
    3. CoverageSome users may want to reset their Coverage Level, with the menu that looks like the image to the right.

      The Coverage Level determines the items that you will see for translation: the minimal level has the highest priority items. You normally start with the level marked "Default" (which will vary by your organization and locale). Each successively higher level adds more items, at successively lower priorities. You will not normally go beyond "Modern", unless you have special instructions for your organization.

      Note that some companies won't use the data until it is complete at a certain coverage level, typically Modern.