Locale Translation (Bash Reference Manual)

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A double-quoted string preceded by a dollar sign (‘$’) will cause the string to be translated according to the current locale. The gettext infrastructure performs the message catalog lookup and translation, using the LC_MESSAGES and TEXTDOMAIN shell variables, as explained below. See the gettext documentation for additional details. If the current locale is C or POSIX, or if there are no translations available, the dollar sign is ignored. If the string is translated and replaced, the replacement is double-quoted.

Some systems use the message catalog selected by the LC_MESSAGES shell variable. Others create the name of the message catalog from the value of the TEXTDOMAIN shell variable, possibly adding a suffix of ‘.mo’. If you use the TEXTDOMAIN variable, you may need to set the TEXTDOMAINDIR variable to the location of the message catalog files. Still others use both variables in this fashion: TEXTDOMAINDIR/LC_MESSAGES/LC_MESSAGES/TEXTDOMAIN.mo.