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This is a simple i18next backend to be used in Node.js, in the browser and for Deno. It will load resources from a backend server using the XMLHttpRequest or the fetch API.

Get a first idea on how it is used in this i18next crash course video.

It's based on the deprecated i18next-xhr-backend and can mostly be used as a drop-in replacement.

Why i18next-xhr-backend was deprecated?


If you don't like to manage your translation files manually or are simply looking for a better management solution, take a look at i18next-locize-backend. The i18next backed plugin for 🌐 locize ☁️.

To see i18next-locize-backend in a working app example, check out:


Make sure you set the debug option of i18next to true. This will maybe log more information in the developer console.

Seeing failed http requests, like 404?

Are you using a language detector plugin that detects region specific languages you are not providing? i.e. you provide 'en' translations but you see a 'en-US' request first?

This is because of the default load option set to 'all'.

Try to set the load option to 'languageOnly'

  load: 'languageOnly',
  // other options

Getting started

Source can be loaded via npm or downloaded from this repo.

There's also the possibility to directly import it via a CDN like jsdelivr or unpkg or similar.

# npm package
$ npm install i18next-http-backend

Wiring up:

import i18next from 'i18next';
import HttpApi from 'i18next-http-backend';


for Deno:

import i18next from 'https://deno.land/x/i18next/index.js'
import Backend from 'https://deno.land/x/i18next_http_backend/index.js'


for plain browser:

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/i18next-http-backend@1.3.1/i18nextHttpBackend.min.js"></script>
<!-- an example can be found in example/jquery/index.html -->
  • As with all modules you can either pass the constructor function (class) to the i18next.use or a concrete instance.
  • If you don't use a module loader it will be added to window.i18nextHttpBackend

Backend Options

  // path where resources get loaded from, or a function
  // returning a path:
  // function(lngs, namespaces) { return customPath; }
  // the returned path will interpolate lng, ns if provided like giving a static path
  // the function might return a promise
  // returning falsy will abort the download
  // If not used with i18next-multiload-backend-adapter, lngs and namespaces will have only one element each,
  // If used with i18next-multiload-backend-adapter, lngs and namespaces can have multiple elements
  //   and also your server needs to support multiloading
  //      /locales/resources.json?lng=de+en&ns=ns1+ns2
  //   Adapter is needed to enable MultiLoading https://github.com/i18next/i18next-multiload-backend-adapter
  //   Returned JSON structure in this case is
  //   {
  //    lang : {
  //     namespaceA: {},
  //     namespaceB: {},
  //     ...etc
  //    }
  //   }
  loadPath: '/locales/{{lng}}/{{ns}}.json',

  // path to post missing resources, or a function
  // function(lng, namespace) { return customPath; }
  // the returned path will interpolate lng, ns if provided like giving a static path
  // note that this only works when initialized with { saveMissing: true }
  // (see https://www.i18next.com/overview/configuration-options)
  addPath: '/locales/add/{{lng}}/{{ns}}',

  // parse data after it has been fetched
  // in example use https://www.npmjs.com/package/json5
  // here it removes the letter a from the json (bad idea)
  parse: function(data) { return data.replace(/a/g, ''); },

  // parse data before it has been sent by addPath
  parsePayload: function(namespace, key, fallbackValue) { return { key: fallbackValue || "" } },

  // parse data before it has been sent by loadPath
  // if value returned it will send a POST request
  parseLoadPayload: function(languages, namespaces) { return undefined },

  // allow cross domain requests
  crossDomain: false,

  // allow credentials on cross domain requests
  withCredentials: false,

  // overrideMimeType sets request.overrideMimeType("application/json")
  overrideMimeType: false,

  // custom request headers sets request.setRequestHeader(key, value)
  customHeaders: {
    authorization: 'foo',
    // ...
  // can also be a function, that returns the headers
  customHeaders: () => ({
    authorization: 'foo',
    // ...

  requestOptions: { // used for fetch, can also be a function (payload) => ({ method: 'GET' })
    mode: 'cors',
    credentials: 'same-origin',
    cache: 'default'

  // define a custom request function
  // can be used to support XDomainRequest in IE 8 and 9
  // 'options' will be this entire options object
  // 'url' will be passed the value of 'loadPath'
  // 'payload' will be a key:value object used when saving missing translations
  // 'callback' is a function that takes two parameters, 'err' and 'res'.
  //            'err' should be an error
  //            'res' should be an object with a 'status' property and a 'data' property containing a stringified object instance beeing the key:value translation pairs for the
  //            requested language and namespace, or null in case of an error.
  request: function (options, url, payload, callback) {},

  // adds parameters to resource URL. 'example.com' -> 'example.com?v=1.3.5'
  queryStringParams: { v: '1.3.5' },

  reloadInterval: false // can be used to reload resources in a specific interval (milliseconds) (useful in server environments)

Options can be passed in:

preferred - by setting options.backend in i18next.init:

import i18next from 'i18next';
import HttpApi from 'i18next-http-backend';

  backend: options,

on construction:

import HttpApi from 'i18next-http-backend';
const HttpApi = new HttpApi(null, options);

via calling init:

import HttpApi from 'i18next-http-backend';
const HttpApi = new HttpApi();
HttpApi.init(null, options);


To properly type the backend options, you can import the HttpBackendOptions interface and use it as a generic type parameter to the i18next's init method, e.g.:

import i18n from 'i18next'
import HttpBackend, { HttpBackendOptions } from 'i18next-http-backend'

    backend: {
      // http backend options

    // other i18next options

Gold Sponsors

From the creators of i18next: localization as a service - locize.com

A translation management system built around the i18next ecosystem - locize.com.


With using locize you directly support the future of i18next.

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