@shopify/react-i18n
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7.11.0 • Public • Published

@shopify/react-i18n

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i18n utilities for React handling translations, formatting, and more.

Installation

yarn add @shopify/react-i18n

Usage

Code Sandbox Example

<I18nContext.Provider /> and I18nManager

This library requires a provider component which supplies i18n details to the rest of the app, and coordinates the loading of translations. Somewhere near the "top" of your application, render a I18nContext.Provider component. This component accepts an I18nManager as the value prop, which allows you to specify the following global i18n properties:

  • locale: the current locale of the app. This is the only required option.
  • fallbackLocale: the locale that your component’s will use in any of their fallback translations. This is used to avoid unnecessarily serializing fallback translations.
  • country: the default country to use for country-aware formatting.
  • timezone: the default timezone to use for timezone-aware formatting.
  • currency: the default currency to use for currency-aware formatting.
  • pseudolocalize: whether to perform pseudolocalization on your translations.
  • onError: a callback to use when recoverable i18n-related errors happen. If not provided, these errors will be re-thrown wherever they occur. If it is provided and it does not re-throw the passed error, the translation or formatting that caused the error will return an empty string. This function will be called with the error object.
  • interpolate: a regular expression to be used for interpolation of custom variable placeholder formats.
import {I18nContext, I18nManager} from '@shopify/react-i18n';

const locale = 'en';
const i18nManager = new I18nManager({
  locale,
  onError(error) {
    Bugsnag.notify(error);
  },
});

export default function App() {
  return (
    <I18nContext.Provider value={i18nManager}>
      {/* App contents */}
    </I18nContext.Provider>
  );
}

Internationalized components

Components must connect to the i18n context in order to get access to the many internationalization utilities this library provides. You can use the useI18n hook to access i18n in your component:

import React from 'react';
import {EmptyState} from '@shopify/polaris';
import {useI18n} from '@shopify/react-i18n';

export default function NotFound() {
  const [i18n] = useI18n();
  return (
    <EmptyState
      heading={i18n.translate('NotFound.heading')}
      action={{content: i18n.translate('Common.back'), url: '/'}}
    >
      <p>{i18n.translate('NotFound.content')}</p>
    </EmptyState>
  );
}

The hook also returns a ShareTranslations component. You can wrap this around a part of the subtree that should have access to this component’s translations.

Note: ShareTranslations is not guaranteed to re-render when your i18n object changes. If you render ShareTranslations inside of a component that might block changes to children, you will likely run into issues. To prevent this, we recommend that ShareTranslations should be rendered as a top-level child of the component that uses useI18n.

import React from 'react';
import {Page} from '@shopify/polaris';
import {useI18n} from '@shopify/react-i18n';

interface Props {
  children: React.ReactNode;
}

export default function ProductDetails({children}: Props) {
  const [i18n, ShareTranslations] = useI18n();
  return (
    <ShareTranslations>
      <Page title={i18n.translate('ProductDetails.title')}>{children}</Page>
    </ShareTranslations>
  );
}

@shopify/react-i18n also provides the withI18n decorator as a migration path towards the useI18n hook, or for use with class components. Unlike the hook version, components using the withI18n decorator always share their translations with the entire tree.

import React from 'react';
import {EmptyState} from '@shopify/polaris';
import {withI18n, WithI18nProps} from '@shopify/react-i18n';

export interface Props {}
type ComposedProps = Props & WithI18nProps;

class NotFound extends React.Component<ComposedProps> {
  render() {
    const {i18n} = this.props;

    return (
      <EmptyState
        heading={i18n.translate('NotFound.heading')}
        action={{content: i18n.translate('Common.back'), url: '/'}}
      >
        <p>{i18n.translate('NotFound.content')}</p>
      </EmptyState>
    );
  }
}

export default withI18n()(NotFound);

i18n

The provided i18n object exposes many useful methods for internationalizing your apps. You can see the full details in the i18n source file, but you will commonly need the following:

  • formatNumber(): formats a number in the latin numbering system according to the locale. You can optionally pass an as option to format the number as a currency or percentage; in the case of currency, the defaultCurrency supplied to the i18n I18nContext.Provider component will be used where no custom currency code is passed.
  • unformatNumber(): converts a localized number string to a number string parseable by JavaScript. Example: 123.456,45 => 123456.45
  • formatCurrency(): formats a number as a currency in the latin numbering system according to the locale. Its behaviour depends on the form: option.
    • if form: 'short' is given, then a possibly-ambiguous short form is used, consisting of the bare symbol if the currency has a symbol, or the ISO 4217 code if there is no symbol for that currency. Examples: CHF 1.25, €1.25, OMR 1.250, $1.25
    • if form: 'none' is given, the number will be formatted with currency rules but will not include a currency symbol or ISO code in the string. Examples: 1,234.56, 1 234,56
    • if form: 'explicit' is given, then the result will be the same as for short, but will append the ISO 4217 code if it is not already present
    • if form is omitted, or if form: 'auto' is given, then explicit will be selected if the currency option does not match the defaultCurrency, otherwise short is selected. If either currency or defaultCurrency is not defined then short is selected.
  • unformatCurrency(): converts a localized currency string to a currency string parseable by JavaScript. Example: € 1,25 => 1.25
  • formatPercentage(): formats a number as a percentage according to the locale. Convenience function that simply auto-assigns the as option to percent and calls formatNumber().
  • formatDate(): formats a date according to the locale. The defaultTimezone value supplied to the i18n I18nContext.Provider component will be used when no custom timezone is provided. Assign the style option to a DateStyle value to use common formatting options.
    • DateStyle.Long: e.g., Thursday, December 20, 2012
    • DateStyle.Short: e.g., Dec 20, 2012
    • DateStyle.Humanize: Adheres to Polaris guidelines for dates with times, e.g., Just now, 3 minutes ago, 4 hours ago, 10:35 am, Yesterday at 10:35 am, Friday at 10:35 am, or Dec 20 at 10:35 am, or Dec 20, 2012
    • DateStyle.Time: e.g., 11:00 AM
    • DateStyle.DateTime: Formats date and time separately and uses the translation string date.humanize.lessThanOneYearAway to format it according to this Polaris guideline, e.g. Jun 12, 2022 at 10:34 pm.
  • weekStartDay(): returns start day of the week according to the country.
  • getCurrencySymbol(): returns the currency symbol according to the currency code and locale.
  • formatName(): formats a name (first name and/or last name) according to the locale. e,g
    • formatName('John', 'Smith') will return John in Germany and Smith様 in Japan
    • formatName('John', 'Smith', {full: true}) will return John Smith in Germany and SmithJohn in Japan
  • abbreviateName(): takes a name (first and last name) and returns a language appropriate abbreviated name, or will return formatName if it is unable to find a suitable abbreviation. For example, "John Smith" would be abbreviated to "JS", whereas "Ren Tanaka" (Japanese "健 田中") would be abbreviated with the last name "田中". You may also pass an optional idealMaxLength parameter, which gives the maximum allowable abbreviation length when trying to abbreviate a name in the Korean language (default 3 characters). In Korean, if the first name is longer than this length, the method will instead return the first character of the first name.
  • abbreviateBusinessName(): Takes a business name and returns a language appropriate abbreviated name, or will return the input name if it is unable to find a suitable abbreviation. For example, "Shopify" would be abbreviated to "Sho", whereas the japanese business name "任天堂" would be abbreviated "任天堂". You may also pass an optional idealMaxLength parameter, which gives the maximum allowable abbreviation length when trying to abbreviate a name.
  • ordinal(): formats a number as an ordinal according to the locale, e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
  • hasEasternNameOrderFormatter(): returns true when an eastern name order formatter corresponding to the locale/language exists.
  • numberSymbols(): returns an object specifying the current locale's decimal and thousand symbols. Example: For the es-ES locale the output would be { decimalSymbol: ',', thousandSymbol: '.' }
  • identifyScripts(): This method provides the ability to identify the scripts used in a block of text. For example: identifyScript('The quick brown fox jumps') => ['Latin'] and identifyScript('日本語がわかります。') => ['Han', 'Hiragana']

Most notably, you will frequently use i18n’s translate() method. This method looks up a key in translation files that you supply based on the provided locale. This method is discussed in detail in the next section.

Translations

The most commonly-used feature of the @shopify/react-i18n library is looking up translations. In this library, translations are provided for the component that need them, and are available for ancestors of the component. This allows applications to grow while keeping translations manageable, makes it clearer where to add new translations, and follows Shopify’s principle of isolation over integration by collocating translations with all other component assets.

Translations are serialized into files according to the React I18n schema.

Translations are provided using two keys in the withI18n decorator:

  • fallback: a translation file to use when translation keys are not found in the locale-specific translation files. These will usually be your English translations, as they are typically the most complete.
  • translations: a function which takes the locale and returns one of: nothing (no translations for the locale), a dictionary of key-value translation pairs, or a promise of one of the above. The translations function can also throw and react-i18n will handle the situation gracefully. Alternatively, you can pass an object where the keys are locales, and the values are either translation dictionaries, or promises for translation dictionaries. In situations where translations throws or is not provided, the translations from fallback will be used.

We recommend that you co-locate your translation files in a ./translations directory and that you include an en.json file (schema specification) in that directory as your fallback. We give preferential treatment to this structure via a babel plugin that will automatically fill in the arguments to useI18n/ withI18n for you.

If you provide any of the above options, you must also provide an id key, which gives the library a way to store the translation dictionary. If you're using the babel plugin, this id will the automatically generated based on the relative path to your component from your project's root directory.

Here’s the example above with component-specific translations:

import React from 'react';
import {EmptyState} from '@shopify/polaris';
import {useI18n} from '@shopify/react-i18n';

import en from './translations/en.json';
import fr from './translations/fr.json';

export default function NotFound() {
  const [i18n] = useI18n({
    id: 'NotFound',
    fallback: en,
    translations(locale) {
      if (locale === 'en') {
        return en;
      } else if (locale === 'fr') {
        return fr;
      }
    },
  });

  return (
    <EmptyState
      heading={i18n.translate('NotFound.heading')}
      action={{content: i18n.translate('NotFound.action'), url: '/'}}
    >
      <p>{i18n.translate('NotFound.content')}</p>
    </EmptyState>
  );
}
// NotFound/components/en.json
{
  "NotFound": {
    "heading": "Page not found",
    "action": "Back",
    "content": "The page you were looking for could not be found. Please check the web address for errors and try again."
  }
}

As shown above, we recommend scoping the translation file to the name of the component to prevent potential naming conflicts resulting from typos in the keys you use.

A few other details are worth noting about translation loading and lookup:

  • Your translations function can be called several times for a given locale. If, for example, the locale is en-CA, your function will be called with en-CA and en, which allows you to load country-specific variations for translations.
  • The i18n object supplied to a given component can reference translations at any level of depth using a keypath (for example, NotFound.heading in the code above). It can also reference translations in parent components; use this to include common translations around a component that contains most of your application.
  • When translate is called, it looks up translations in the following order: explicit translations provided by the component’s translations function, then translations from the fallback for the component, then the same process in every parent component, from bottom to top, that are also connected with i18n.
  • In the case of asynchronous translations, your component will only be able to look up translations from its (and ancestors’) fallback translation dictionaries until the translations have loaded.
Replacements

Replacements can be provided as key-value pairs following the translation key. Your translations should reference the relevant key names, surrounded by a single set of curly braces:

// Assuming a dictionary like:
// {
//   "MyComponent": {
//     "details": "See {link}"
//   }
// }

i18n.translate('MyComponent.details', {link: <Link />});

Replacements can be plain strings or React elements. When a React element is found, the resulting value will be a ReactNode, which can be used as the children of other React components.

Custom replacements format

If the translation source uses a different placeholder format, like Shopify's themes locale files, use the interpolate options of the I18nManager to enable the format you need, using either one of the provided regular expression like MUSTACHE_FORMAT or providing your own custom one.

{
  "general": {
    "details": "See {{ link }}" // Mustache format
  }
}
import {I18nManager, MUSTACHE_FORMAT} from '@shopify/react-i18n';

const i18nManager = new I18nManager({
  interpolate: MUSTACHE_FORMAT, // enable the custom format
  // ...and other options
});
i18n.translate('general.details', {link: <Link />});
Dynamic translation keys

For dynamically-generated translation keys, you can use the scope option to specify a partial keypath against which the key is looked up:

// Assuming a dictionary like:
// {
//   "MyComponent": {
//     "option": {
//       "valueOne": "One",
//       "valueTwo": "Two"
//     }
//   }
// }

i18n.translate(key, {scope: 'MyComponent.option'});

// or

i18n.translate(key, {scope: ['MyComponent', 'option']});

It may be necessary to check dynamic keys. You can use the translationKeyExists method to do so:

const keyExists = i18n.translationKeyExists(key);

if (keyExists) {
  return i18n.translate(key, {scope: ['MyComponent', 'option']});
}
Pluralization

@shopify/react-i18n handles pluralization similarly to Rails’ default i18n utility (with some minor differences). react-i18n then looks up the plural form using Intl.PluralRules and, within the keypath you have specified for the translation, will look up a nested translation matching the plural form.

Cardinal Pluralization

Cardinal pluralization lookups use the value of the count replacement to choose the correct string:

// Assuming a dictionary like:
{
  "MyComponent": {
    "searchResult": {
      "one": "{count} widget found",
      "other": "{count} widgets found"
    }
  }
}

i18n.translate('MyComponent.searchResult', {count: searchResults});

By default, {count} will be automatically formatted as a number. If you want to format the variable differently, you can simply pass it in another variable.

// Assuming a dictionary like:
{
  "MyComponent": {
    "searchResult": {
      "one": "{unformattedCount} widget found",
      "other": "{unformattedCount} widgets found"
    }
  }
}

i18n.translate('MyComponent.searchResult', {
  count: searchResults,
  unformattedCount: searchResults,
});

We also recommend to have the {count} replacement in all of your keys as some languages can use the key one when the count is 0, for example. See MDN docs on Localization and Plurals.

Ordinal Pluralization

Ordinal pluralization lookups rely on the keys being nested under an ordinal key (i.e., being in an ordinal pluralization context), and use the value of the ordinal replacement to choose the correct string:

// Assuming a dictionary like:
{
  "MyComponent": {
    "searchResult": {
      "ordinal": {
        "one": "This is the {ordinal}st widget found",
        "two": "This is the {ordinal}nd widget found",
        "few": "This is the {ordinal}rd widget found",
        "other": "This is the {ordinal}th widget found",
      }
    }
  }
}

i18n.translate('MyComponent.searchResult', {ordinal: searchResultOrdinal});

By default, {ordinal} will be automatically formatted as a number. If you want to format the variable differently, you can simply pass it in another variable.

// Assuming a dictionary like:
{
  "MyComponent": {
    "searchResult": {
      "ordinal": {
        "one": "This is the {unformattedOrdinal}st widget found",
        "two": "This is the {unformattedOrdinal}nd widget found",
        "few": "This is the {unformattedOrdinal}rd widget found",
        "other": "This is the {unformattedOrdinal}th widget found",
      }
    }
  }
}

i18n.translate('MyComponent.searchResult', {
  ordinal: searchResultOrdinal,
  unformattedOrdinal: searchResultOrdinal,
});
Intl.PluralRules

As noted above, pluralization functionality depends on the Intl.PluralRules global. If this does not exist for your environment, we recommend including the intl-pluralrules polyfill or included import '@shopify/polyfills/intl'; from @shopify/polyfills.

Translation tree

If you need to access the subtree of your translations, you can use i18n.getTranslationTree to get all subtranslations:

// Assuming a dictionary like:
{
  "MyComponent": {
    "countries": {
      "CA": "Canada",
      "FR": "France",
      "JP": "Japan"
    }
  }
}

i18n.getTranslationTree('MyComponent.countries');
// Will return
// {
//   "CA": "Canada",
//   "FR": "France",
//   "JP": "Japan"
// }

Server

When rendering internationalized React apps on the server, you will want to extract the translations and rehydrate them on the client if any translations are loaded asynchronously. Not doing so would cause the server and client markup to differ, resulting in a full re-render.

We recommend you to use @shopify/react-html with @shopify/react-i18n-universal-provider to serialize the extracted translations and rehydrate them on the client.

import {
  Html,
  render,
  Serialize,
  HtmlContext,
  HtmlManager,
} from '@shopify/react-html/server';
import {I18nManager} from '@shopify/react-i18n';
import {extract} from '@shopify/react-effect/server';

function App({locale}: {locale?: string}) {
  return (
    <I18nUniversalProvider locale={locale}>
      {/* App contents */}
    </I18nUniversalProvider>
  );
}
const app = <App locale="en" />;

const htmlManager = new HtmlManager();
await extract(element, {
  decorate(app) {
    return (
      <HtmlContext.Provider value={htmlManager}>{app}</HtmlContext.Provider>
    );
  },
});

const html = render(<Html manager={htmlManager}>{app}</Html>);

FAQ

Why another i18n library? Why not just use <react-intl | react-i18next> etc?

These libraries are excellent, and we may well use parts of them under the hood for this project. However, we wanted to add a Shopify-specific layer that cleanly exposes some features we feel are non-negotiable:

  • Per-component management of translations, to avoid the ever-growing translation files that hurt our largest apps.
  • Asynchronous loading of translation files, so that we can scale the number of supported languages without increasing bundle sizes.
  • An API for translations that feels consistent with Rails’ default i18n utilities.
  • Exposing currency and datetime formatting utilities that automatically follow the Polaris conventions.

Additional details on why we built our own package, and on specifics of parts of this package’s API, are available in the original proposal.

How do I get this i18n library to work with React Native?

React Native does not support dynamic imports. By default, this library uses dynamic imports to asynchronously load translations.

You set the mode for the plugin to with-explicit-paths in order to enable asynchronous translation loading for React Native. This will signify to the plugin that explicit imports should be used instead of dynamic imports. You should use this mode if your application has a large amount of translations and locales. To read more about with-explicit-paths, go to with-explicit-paths.

You can also set the mode to from-dictionary-index so that imports happen synchronously. You should use this mode if your application has minimal translations in which asynchronously importing them using the with-explicit-paths mode can be more costly. To read more about from-dictionary-index, go to from-dictionary-index.

Note: For from-dictionary-index, you will need a script to generate index files:

const {
  generateTranslationDictionaries,
} = require('@shopify/react-i18n/generate-dictionaries');

const SUPPORTED_LOCALES = ['en'];

(async () => {
  await generateTranslationDictionaries(SUPPORTED_LOCALES, {
    fallbackLocale: 'en',
  });
})();

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