Media files using Hindi and Nepali Script


I am trying to set up a survey that will be used in English, Hindi and Nepali.

Previously I have asked about support of data upload in Hindi and Nepali and this does work because ODK supports UTF-8 character sets.

However, I have recently tried to add Nepali script in a supplementary media file which is then fed into the survey but I am receiving an error along the lines of "ODK cannot create folder for media file" when I try to download the survey from my aggregate server.

This works fine however when I do this with all latin characters in the media file.

Is there any way around this? Why is it happening if ODK supports UTF-8 character sets?


Hi Stuart,

By download the survey do you mean "get form" on ODK Collect or "export data" from ODK Aggregate? Would it be possible to share a non-sensitive sample of the media file?

Off the top of my head having worked with burmese alphabet I would say that these characters can be used as labels and entered as data but cannot be used in file names, column headers or referenced in certain ways in your xlsform. It may be necessary to attach the form and media file in order to troubleshoot.

Best regards,

Hi Noel,

I mean "get form" on ODK Collect. ODK Aggregate accepts the XLSform and media file with Nepali characters without issue.

I'll work on an example for review.



media_file.csv (74 Bytes) survey.xlsx (9.8 KB)

This simple survey is of the same format as my own.

I do not believe it will load onto ODK Collect from Aggregate.



Hi Noel,

Sorry to pester but have you have a chance to look at what I attached? I'd like to have an answer for my team before Christmas.

Kind regards,


No problem, I tried your form (on kobo as i dont have an odk aggregate server handy today) and it worked fine. I dont think it would be any different with od aggregate.

The attached files though does not contain any non-latin characters, I'm wondering if you made an error when saving the file though and that is why. its an easy thing to do with excel and reults in the non-latin characters being replaced by question marks so potentially my successful test is misleading if thats what has happened.

unfortunately it might be necessary to have a media file with the correct Nepali characters in order to properly recreate the errors you're getting.

Apologies, I did upload the wrong thing. media_file.xlsx (9.5 KB)

Here is the media file, saved in xlsx format because csv doesn't seem to like it on my machine.

Would you mind trying again?

Also, I wasn't aware that kobotoolbox could upload files with added media files?


I tried again and it worked great, Nepali script showed up on the screen and everything. Please see attached form (I added a note to see the calculation result if you select number 3 in the first question). I suspect you may have formatting issues in your csv file, please see the one I have attached. If you open it in Notepad++ it looks good but if you open it in excel it looks terrible and believe it or not, thats how you know its working :slight_smile:

I can also confirm that you can have attached media files in KOBO. You need to deploy your form, go to the form settings, scroll down to the bottom and in a couple of seconds a box normally appears which allows you to upload your csv.

I hope that all works for you and youre able to get your form finished in time for Christmas!

survey.xlsx (9.4 KB) media_file.csv (88 Bytes)