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🈂️ Translate text on node.js and the browser with promises
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Convert text to different languages on Node.js and the browser. Flexible package and powerful back-end using Google (default) or Yandex:

// async/await. Options can be a language name (ISO 639)
const text = await translate('Hello world', 'es');
console.log(text);  // Hola mundo

// Promises with .then(). Options can also be an object
translate('こんにちは世界', { from: 'ja', to: 'es' }).then(text => {
  console.log(text);  // Hola mundo

Getting started

This package can be used in Node.js and on the browser. For the browser we are using fetch, so you might want to polyfill it depending on the browsers you support.

To use it in node.js first install it:

npm install translate

Then import it to use it:

const translate = require('translate'); // Old school
import translate from 'translate';      // New wave

To use it in the browser download the main translate.min.js file and include it:

<script src="translate.min.js"></script>

Or use the awesome Jsdelivr CDN:

<script src=""></script>

After including translate the usage is similar for both Node.js and the browser.


The first parameter is the string that you want to translate. Right now only a single string of text is accepted.

The second parameter is the options. It accepts either a String of the language to translate to or a simple Object with these options:

  • to: the string of the language to translate to. It can be in any of the two ISO 639 (1 or 2) or the full name in English like Spanish. Defaults to en.
  • from: the string of the language to translate to. It can be in any of the two ISO 639 (1 or 2) or the full name in English like Spanish. Also defaults to en.
  • cache: a Number with the milliseconds that each translation should be cached. Leave it undefined to cache it indefinitely (until a server/browser restart).
  • engine: a String containing the name of the engine to use for translation. Right now it defaults to google. Read more in the engine section.
  • key: the API Key for the engine of your choice. Read more in the engine section.


// Translate from English (default) to Spanish (specified)
const foo = await translate('Hello world', 'es');

// Same as this:
const bar = await translate('Hello world', { to: 'es' });

On both to and from defaulting to en: while I am Spanish and was quite tempted to set this as one of those, English is the main language of the Internet and the main secondary language for those who have a different native language. This is why most of the translations will happen either to or from English.

Default options

You can change the default options for anything by calling the root library and the option name:

translate.from = 'es';

This can be applied to any of the options enumerated above.


Several translating engines are available to translate your text:

To get the API Key you will be signing some contract with these services; it's your responsibility to follow these and we are not liable if you don't as explained in our MIT License.

Once you get the API key and if you are only going to be using one engine (very likely), we recommend setting this globally for your whole project:

// ... include translate

translate.engine = 'google';
translate.key = 'YOUR-KEY-HERE';

// ... use translate()

If you are in Node.js, this likely comes from an environment variable:

// ... include translate

translate.engine = 'google';
translate.key = process.env.TRANSLATE_KEY;

// ... use translate()

To pass it per-translation, you can add it to your arguments:

translate('Hello world', { to: 'en', engine: 'google', key: 'YOUR-KEY-HERE' });


Working with Promises and specially with async/await reduces Callback Hell. To see it in action, first you'll need an async function. Then put your await calls inside:

// Browser; jQuery for demonstration purposes
$('#translate').submit(async e => {
  const text = $('.text').text();
  const spanish = await translate(text, { to: 'es' });

// Node.js; example for demonstration purposes
const route = async ctx => {
  const spanish = await translate(ctx.body, { to: 'es' });
  return send(spanish);

Authors and thanks

Current package and development: Francisco Presencia

Original package and idea: Andrew Lunny (alunny), Marak Squires, Google

Testing in Internet Explorer supported by BrowserStack:

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