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jQuery-i18n is a jQuery plugin for doing client-side translations in javascript. It is based heavily on javascript i18n that almost doesn't suck by Marko Samastur, and is licensed under the MIT license.


You'll need to download the jQuery library, and include it before jquery.i18n.js in your HTML source. See the examples folder for examples.

This library is also available as a bower component under the name jquery-i18n.


Before you can do any translation you have to initialise the plugin with a 'dictionary' (basically a property list mapping keys to their translations).

var myDictionary = {
  "some text":      "a translation",
  "some more text": "another translation"

Once you've initialised it with a dictionary, you can translate strings using the $.i18n._() function, for example:

$('div#example').text($.i18n._('some text'));

or using $('selector')._t() function

$('div#example')._t('some text');

If you'd like to switch languages, you can unload the current dictionary and load a new one:



It's straightforward to pass dynamic data into your translations. First, add %s in the translation for each variable you want to swap in :

var myDictionary = {
  "wildcard example": "We have been passed two values : %s and %s."

Next, pass values in sequence after the dictionary key when you perform the translation :

$('div#example').text($.i18n._('wildcard example', 100, 200));


$('div#example')._t('wildcard example', 100, 200);

This will output We have been passed two values : 100 and 200.

Because some languages will need to order arguments differently to english, you can also specify the order in which the variables appear :

var myDictionary = {
  "wildcard example": "We have been passed two values : %2$s and %1$s."

$('div#example').text($.i18n._('wildcard example', 100, 200));

This will output: We have been passed two values: 200 and 100.

If you need to explicitly output the string %s in your translation, use %%s :

var myDictionary = {
  "wildcard example": "I have %s literal %%s character."

$('div#example').text($.i18n._('wildcard example', 1));

This will output: I have 1 literal %%s character.

Identifying missing translations

When loading the dictionary, you can pass a second missingPattern parameter, which will be used to format any missing translations.

$.i18n.load({ a_key: 'translated string' }, "{{ %s }}");
// The following line will output '{{ another_key }}'

This allows you scan for the given pattern to identify missing translations.

Building From Scratch

Use npm install to install the dependencies, and grunt to run the build.

Change history

  • Version 1.1.2 (2017-08-11) : Add an unload() method to clear the dictionary, support passing a missingPattern when loading the dictionary (thanks to briantani).
  • Version 1.1.1 (2014-01-05) : Use html() instead of text() when rendering translations.
  • Version 1.1.0 (2013-12-31) : Use grunt, update printf implementation, setDictionary is now load (thanks to ktmud).
  • Version 1.0.1 (2013-10-11) : Add bower support.
  • Version 1.0.0 (2012-10-14) : 1.0 release - addition of a test suite (huge thanks to alexaitken), plus a major cleanup.

Bug Reports

If you come across any problems, please create a ticket and we'll try to get it fixed as soon as possible.


Once you've made your commits:

  1. Fork jquery-i18n
  2. Create a topic branch - git checkout -b my_branch
  3. Push to your branch - git push origin my_branch
  4. Create a Pull Request from your branch
  5. That's it!


Dave Perrett :: :: @daveperrett


Copyright (c) 2010 Dave Perrett. See License for details.