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Simple filesystem-based i18n support for derby, a node.js MVC framework. It is planned to support interpolation and plurals in the near future.

Getting Started

Install in your app directory

npm install derby-i18n

Add locale files

By default, derby-i18n looks for locales in locales/[language-code]/[app-name].json. For example, if you have an app called "blog", and your app supports english, you'll have locale files at locales/en/blog.json. Heres a sample blog.json file to get you started:

	"title": "JKN"
    "article": {
    	"published_on": "Published on the",
    	"meta": "Read more and comment"

Localize your app object

In your app.js, you'll need to call derby-i18n's localize method on your app:

var derby = require('derby'),
	i18n = require('derby-i18n'),
	app = i18n.localize(derby.createApp(module), {
		availableLocales: ['en', 'ja'],
  		urlScheme: 'path'

There are a number of options available for localize, but if you don't pass it any options it will assume you just want English. This is really simple way to build in support for other languages from the beginning!

Localize your views

derby-i18n adds a few view helpers for you to use, including:

  • t(key)

    Returns the translation for the given key. For example, to display the published_on key in the above locale file, you would do {{t("article.published_on")}}.

    Support is planned for pluralization and interpolation in the near future.

  • localizedPath(path)

    If using the path urlScheme, this will return the given path with /[locale]/ prepended to it - for example /en/ for the English locale. If not using the path urlScheme, nothing happens. This is useful for making sure your URLs are always pointing at the correct language.

derby-i18n also sets an _i18n field on your model:

model.set('_i18n', {
    locale: locale,
    language: language,
    region: region,
    namespace: o.ns

The locale attribute includes the region if it is supported, otherwise just the language. The namespace is just the name of your app (blog in the above example).


Configuration is accomplished by passing options to the localize call which wraps your app. The available options include:

  • urlScheme

    Currently, the only supported options are "path" and false. Support for "domain" is also planned.

    When set to "path", the first place to look for a locale is the first part of the current URL. For example, if the URL is /ja/ongaku/capsule, then your locale will be ja. Regions are also supported, for example /en-US.

    When set to false, URLs will be ignored as a source of locale information.

  • availableLocales

    An array containing the available locales for your app. Defaults to ["en"].

    This should mirror the locales available in your /locales directory. If a locale is requested in a URL and isn't in this list, a 404 exception will be thrown.

  • checkHeader

    If true, the http accept-language header will be checked for a locale in the case that one isn't available in the URL. If the language-region combination is available, that will be used. Failing that, if a locale is defined for the same language without a region attached, that will be used. Otherwise the default locale is used.

  • defaultLocale

    The locale which will be chosen if one can't be found in the URL or headers. Defaults to the first locale in the availableLocales option.

  • forceScheme

    When urlScheme is "path", URLs which don't match this regex will have the locale prepended to the URL in a redirect. URLs which do match it and don't contain a locale will 404. By default, matches everything over than /.

  • backend

    Defaults to a filesystem backend, but it should be possible to create others, like one based on the MongoDB store.


  • Nate Smith and Brian Noguchi6 - creators of derby
  • Jan Mühlemann, creator of i18next (which derby-i18n has borrowed from in places)


i18n support for derby.js




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