Tolk is a web interface for doing i18n translations packaged as an engine for Rails 2.3 applications
Ruby JavaScript
Latest commit 4bfb894 May 15, 2012 @dhh Update README
Failed to load latest commit information.
app Distinguish simplified and traditional Chinese. Oct 25, 2010
config Moved search actions into their own controller and fixed display of s… Apr 21, 2010
db Dont try to remove non existing index May 9, 2010
doc First init Oct 29, 2008
lib Don’t downcase the locale name so that names like pt-BR can be imported. Apr 23, 2010
log Ignore logs and db Oct 29, 2008
public Increased width of columns on home page. Oct 25, 2010
script First init Oct 29, 2008
tasks Add rake tolk:html_keys for finding html phrases without _html postfix Apr 29, 2010
test Updated test fixtures for previous commit. Sep 20, 2010
vendor Vendor will_paginate Apr 9, 2010
.gitignore Revive Tolk Apr 7, 2010
MIT-LICENSE MIT License Apr 8, 2010
README Update README May 15, 2012


This is the original repo. A maintained version is being kept at


Tolk is a Rails engine designed to facilitate the translators doing the dirty work of translating your application to other languages.

* Installation & Setup

To install :

  $ script/plugin install git://

To setup :

  1) Generate tolk migration and migrate your database :

  $ script/generate tolk_migration
  $ rake db:migrate

  2) Setup Tolk assets by creating a symlink to tolk/public/tolk inside your application's public directory :

  $ cd public
  $ ln -s ../vendor/plugins/tolk/public/tolk tolk

  And you're all set!

* Usage

Tolk treats I18n.default_locale as the master source of strings to be translated. If you want the master source to be different from I18n.default_locale, you can override it by setting Tolk::Locale.primary_locale_name. Developers are expected to make all the changes to the master locale file ( en.yml by default ) and treat all the other locale.yml files as readonly files.

As tolk stores all the keys and translated strings in the database, you need to ask Tolk to update it's database from the primary yml file :

  $ rake tolk:sync
The above will fetch all the new keys from en.yml and put them in the database. Additionally, it'll also get rid of the deleted keys from the database and reflect updated translations - if any.

If you already have data in your non primary locale files, you will need to import those to Tolk as a one time thing :

  $ rake tolk:import

Upon visiting - you will be presented with different options like creating new locale or providing translations for the existing locales. Once done with translating all the pending strings, you are can write back the new locales to filesystem :

  $ rake tolk:dump_all

This will generate yml files for all non primary locales and put them in #{Rails.root}/config/locales/ directory by default.

You can use the dump_all method defined in Tolk::Locale directly and pass directory path as the argument if you want the generated files to be at a different location :

  $ script/runner "Tolk::Locale.dump_all('/Users/lifo')"

You can even download the yml file using Tolk web interface by appending '.yml' to the locale url. E.g

* Authentication

If you want to authenticate users who can access Tolk, you need to provide <tt>Tolk::ApplicationController.authenticator</tt> proc. For example :

  # config/initializers/tolk.rb
  Tolk::ApplicationController.authenticator = proc {
    authenticate_or_request_with_http_basic do |user_name, password|
      user_name == 'translator' && password == 'transpass'

Authenticator proc will be run from a before filter in controller context.

* Handling blank and non-string values

Tolk speaks YAML for non strings values. If you want to enter a nil values, you could just enter '~'. Similarly, for an Array value, you could enter :

- Sun
- Mon

And Tolk will take care of generating the appropriate entry in the YAML file.