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Multilang is a small translation library for translating database values for Active Support/Rails 4 using the Hstore datatype.

This project is a fork of artworklv/multilang with some remarkable differences:

  • Replaced YAML text fields in favor of Hstore fields.
  • The translation hash is no longer limited to locales in I18n.available_locales.
  • Support for Rails 3 and Rails 4.


Rails 3

The last version of the gem for the Rails 3 series is 0.4. You need configure the multilang gem inside your gemfile:

gem 'multilang-hstore'

Do not forget to run:

bundle install

Rails 4

Starting with version 1.0.0, this gem is intented to be used in Rails 4. If you are migrating an existing project from Rails 3, make sure you read Migrating to Rails 4.

You need configure the multilang gem inside your gemfile:

gem 'multilang-hstore', '~> 1.0.0'

Do not forget to run:

bundle install

Basic Usage

This is a walkthrough with all steps you need to setup multilang translated attributes, including model and migration.

We're assuming here you want a Post model with some multilang attributes, as outlined below:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  multilang :title


class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  multilang :title, :description, :required => true, :length => 100

The multilang translations are stored in the same model attributes (eg. title):

You may need to create migration for Post as usual, but multilang attributes should be in hstore type:

create_table(:posts) do |t|
  t.hstore :title

Thats it!

Now you are able to translate values for the attributes :title and :description per locale:

I18n.locale = :en
post.title = 'Multilang rocks!'
I18n.locale = :lv
post.title = 'Multilang rulle!'

I18n.locale = :en
post.title #=> Multilang rocks!
I18n.locale = :lv
post.title #=> Multilang rulle!

You may assign attributes through auto generated methods (this methods depend from I18n.available_locales):

I18n.available_locales #=> [:en. :lv]

post.title_en = 'Multilang rocks!'
post.title_lv = 'Multilang rulle!'

post.title_en #=>  'Multilang rocks!'
post.title_lv #=>  'Multilang rulle!'

You may use initialization if needed: => {:en => 'Multilang rocks!', :lv => 'Multilang rulle!'})

or => 'Multilang rocks!', :title_lv => 'Multilang rulle!')

Also, you may ise same hashes with setters:

post.title = {:en => 'Multilang rocks!', :lv => 'Multilang rulle!'} 

Attribute methods

You may get other translations via attribute translation method:

post.title.translation[:lv] #=> 'Multilang rocks!'
post.title.translation[:en] #=> 'Multilang rulle!'
post.title.translation.locales #=> [:en, :lv]

If you have incomplete translations, you can get translation from other locale:

post.title = {:en => 'Multilang rocks!', :lv => ''}
I18n.locale = :lv
post.title.any #=> 'Multilang rocks!'

The value from "any" method returns value for I18n.current_locale or, if value is empty, return value for I18n.default_locale, if it's empty too it searches through all locales. It takes searching order from I18n.available_locales array. If you don't need ANY value, you can also use current_or_default method like post.title.current_or_default (it searches value for current and default locales only).


Multilang has some validation features:

multilang :title, :length => 100  #define maximal length validator
multilang :title, :required => true #define requirement validator for all available_locales
multilang :title, :required => 1 #define requirement validator for 1 locale
multilang :title, :required => [:en, :es] #define requirement validator for specific locales
multilang :title, :format => /regexp/ #define validates_format_of validator


Test runs using a temporary database in your local PostgreSQL server:

Create a test database:

$ createdb multilang-hstore-test

Create the hstore extension:

psql -d multilang-hstore-test -c "CREATE EXTENSION IF NOT EXISTS hstore"

Create the role postgres if necessary:

$ createuser -s -r postgres 

Finally, you can run your tests:


Migrating to Rails 4

Migrating to Rails 4 and multilang-hstore 1.x is a very straightforward process.

Deprecated Dependencies

Rails 4 has built-in support for hstore datatype, so using any dependency to activerecord-postgres-hstore must be removed from your Gemfile:


Mass-assignment was deprecated in Rails 4, so it was in our gem. You will receive an error similar to this:

Multilang::Exceptions::DeprecationError: :accessible was deprecated starting multilang-hstore >= 1.0.0 which is intended for Rails >= 4.0.0. Check more info about the deprecation of mass-asignment in Rails 4

This basically means you are trying to use the option :accessible which is deprecated. Removing the option will solve the issue:


class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  multilang :title, :accessible=>true


class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  multilang :title

Bugs and Feedback



  • Copyright (c) 2012 - 2014 Bithavoc and Contributors -
  • Copyright (c) 2010 Arthur Meinart


Multilang is a small library for translating database values for Rails 4 and Postgresql hstore







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