SC3004 – ShellCheck Wiki

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In POSIX sh, $".." is undefined

Problematic code:

printf $"Hello, %s\n" "$USER"

Correct code:

# Check if gettext exists
if ! type gettext > /dev/null 2>&1
  # If not, create a dummy function that returns the input verbatim
  gettext() { printf '%s' "$1"; }

# Use gettext to get a translated version of the string
printf "$(gettext 'Hello, %s\n')" "$USER"


Bash allows using $"..." to easily get a translated string according to the current locale. This is powered by the gettext infrastructure.

Neither $".." nor the gettext infrastructure or the gettext command is POSIX. A script targeting sh may choose to invoke gettext if the system has it (such as GNU or Solaris), or use the translated string verbatim if it doesn't (such as macOS or FreeBSD).



ShellCheck is a static analysis tool for shell scripts. This page is part of its documentation.