How to efficiently work with gettext PO files when making small editsto large text values



Any one using the GNU gettext utilities to internationalize their
python applications?

I'm looking for tips and/or tools on how to efficiently work with
gettext PO files when making small edits to large msgid values.
Example: We have lots of multi-sentence/multi-paragraph messages
that are stored in our PO message catalog files. If we make a
very minor change to a message, perhaps editing a single sentence
or even correcting punctuation, we lose our original translation
when we run the msgmerge utility.

Rather than re-translate long messages (that have already gone
through an editorial approval process) from scratch, our
translators return to backup copies of their PO files and
manually search for the text of the last msgid/msgstr translation
pair which they then diff against the current msgid values to see
what has changed, followed by a copy and paste of the last
translation which they then edit to reflect the updated msgid

That's a lot of work! Certainly there must be a better way of
handling this type of workflow?

Is there a best practice way to archive and find previous
translations that are no longer in a PO file? One idea that comes
to mind is to store a unique msg id in the text of our messages
or in the comments that precede our message and use this id to
retrieve previous msgid/msgstr translation pairs for review. Or
are there PO editors or online services that make this process
more efficient?


Note: This question also cross-posted on Stackoverflow (an
excellent developer forum)

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