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Accessing Translated Fields Outside Views

Since the modeltranslation mechanism relies on the current language as it is returned by the get_language function care must be taken when accessing translated fields outside a view function.

Within a view function the language is set by Django based on a flexible model described at How Django discovers language preference which is normally used only by Django's static translation system.

When a translated field is accessed in a view function or in a template, it uses the django.utils.translation.get_language function to determine the current language and return the appropriate value.

Outside a view (or a template), i.e. in normal Python code, a call to the get_language function still returns a value, but it might not what you expect. Since no request is involved, Django's machinery for discovering the user's preferred language is not activated. For this reason modeltranslation adds a thin wrapper (modeltranslation.utils.get_language) around the function which guarantees that the returned language is listed in the LANGUAGES setting.

The unittests use the django.utils.translation.trans_real functions to activate and deactive a specific language outside a view function.