Simple jQuery Translation / Localization for your projects
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Latest commit e4492b0 Aug 17, 2013
Failed to load latest commit information.
demo Version 1.1 Jan 20, 2013
.gitignore Minor fixes Jun 9, 2012
MIT-LICENSE.txt Version 1.1 Jan 20, 2013
jqueryTranslator.js Merging PR #4 Aug 17, 2013
jqueryTranslator.min.js Merging PR #4 Aug 17, 2013 Version 1.1 Jan 20, 2013
translator.jquery.json Version 1.1 Jan 20, 2013


jqueryTranslator is a jQuery plugin which allows developers to translate a static web site easily.

  1. It first loads asynchronously the translation files you supply to the plugin. It can be a string or an array of them.

  2. Then, it translates the element based on the user's browser language. The plugin is able to translate the text of the element or change attributes, or even both!

  3. Finally, if you supply a callback, it will be executed over every element to be translated.

Now you can see a demo.

Usage & Documentation

Just include one of the plugin files in your file.

Use the "data-translate" attribute on DOM elements you want to be translated

    <h1 data-translate="hello"> Hello! </h1>
    <img data-translate="img" alt="This is an image!" src="someimage.jpg" />

The "hello" and "img" words serve as sort of key so it's easier to locate the translation.

Create a JSON language file with the translations:


      "hello": "Hola!"
      "img" : "Esto es una imagen!"

Call the plugin!


In-depth explanation and Documentation

The first argument the plugin receives, is the package that it has to load. You may have different packs for different parts of the website (header, dialogs, etc);

You can load more than one package like this:

    $("[data-translate]").jqTranslate(['index', 'header', 'footer']);

If the language of the user's browser is "es", the plugin will try to load:

  • index-es.json
  • header-es.json
  • footer-es.json

If the language also has a country code, like "es-MX", the plugin will ALSO try to load the following:

  • index-es-MX.json
  • header-es-MX.json
  • footer-es-MX.json

This can provide you more customization for different regions. Unfortunately, most of current browsers (desktop) only have the language portion though mobile ones use to have both.


An object containing parameters. Please, note that all parameters are optional.

asyncLangLoad (boolean): Whether if the language should be loaded asynchronously or syncrhonously. Default: true (asynchronously)

cache (boolean): Whether if the language packages should be cached or not. Default: true

defaultLang (string): The default language of the Application, this language won't be loaded. Default: null

fallbackLang (string): String that sets a fallback language to load in case it can't load the user language. Default: null

forceLang (string): String that forces the language for the script, forgetting the user's language. Default: null

path (string): This is the default path of the translation files. Useful if you want to locate your files in a separated folder. Default: null

onComplete (function): Callback function triggered when a DOM element has been translated. this will point to the element.Default: null

skip (array of strings): An array containing all the languages you want to avoid the translation. Default: empty array


Here are some advanced tricks you can use and some extra info.

First, let's see how the plugin reacts to the elements:

input : It first checks if it's a placeholder and, if it is, it translates it. If it doesn't it will change the input value to one supplied.

optgroup : Get their label attribute translated

img : Get their alt attribute translated

default : Get their HTML replaced.

Changing multiple attributes for each element

If the key for a given value contains nested values, it will try change them all. Please, have in mind that you are responsible of supplying the correct attributes. For example:


      "hello": "Hola!"
      "img" : {
      	"text" : "Esto es una imagen!",
      	"src" : "linktootherimage.jpg"

The text attribute will replace the normal behaviour and will follow the aforementioned rules to translate the element. The remaining attributes will be directly changed on the element.


How can I translate my jQuery Mobile application?

Using jQuery Mobile 1.1 and further

      $("[data-translate]").jqTranslate('index', { asyncLangLoad: false });

Pre jQM 1.1

      $("[data-translate]").jqTranslate('index', { asyncLangLoad: false });

Where #home is the ID of the page.

Also, have in mind that you may need to refresh the page element in order to be displayed correctly. Please, head to the jQuery Mobile documentation to have more info about those methods.

My page isn't being translated!

The most common cause of this, is because the JSON package isn't valid. To check it, please use some kind of validation service such as JSONLint.


You are invited to contribute code and make suggestions to this project. If you're interested in contributing, please fork the repository, make your changes, and send a pull-request.

Also, consider submitting your own's language localization and I'll include them in the demo page!

Learn more about how to fork and pull-requests.

Credits & Licensing

Dual licensed under the GPL ( and MIT ( licenses.

Written by Antonio Laguna (@Belelros) Please use it, and contribute changes.

Based on Jim Garvin's Localisation jQuery plugin.