next-export-i18n
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3.0.0 • Public • Published

next-export-i18n v3 written over a night scene of a New York City'S street covered in multi-language neon signs

next-export-i18n v3 Build Status

TL;DR: This npm module provides a simple, reactive client-side javascript solution for project internationalization (i18n) using next export/config: export for Next.js' app router.

Use v3 with the app router

Version 3 of the module supports the app router exclusively. Because next-export-i18n works with actual static exported pages, it operates exclusively on the client side. Therefore, you can only use it in client components. You must add the "use client" directive on top of the file.

Install it on your command line by running npm install --save-dev next-export-i18n.

If you're migrating from the pages directory to the approuter, look at the `migration guide.

Use v2 with the pages directory

To use next-export-i18n with Next.js' traditional pages directory, use the latest version of the major version 2. We'll update this branch with new features. To install it, use the semver range ^2. The complete npm command would be: npm install --save-dev next-export-i18n@^2

Quick Start

To add the next-export-i18n, follow a few basic steps.

  1. Run yarn add next-export-i18n or npm install next-export-i18n.
  2. Create a top-level-folder i18n and Add your JSON translation files similar to the listings below
{
  "headline": "City: Paris",
  "link": {
    "text": "Top 10 Bistros in Paris ",
    "href": "/paris-bistros"
  }
}

File: ./i18n/translations.en.json

{
  "headline": "Stadt: Paris",
  "link": {
    "text": "Die 10 besten Bistros in Paris ",
    "href": "/paris-bistros"
  }
}

File: ./i18n/translations.de.json

  1. Create the i18n/index.js, and use require to add your translation files. Use the configuration object to customize next-export-i18n to your liking.
var en = require("./translations.en.json");
var de = require("./translations.de.json");

const i18n = {
  translations: {
    en,
    de,
  },
  defaultLang: "en",
  useBrowserDefault: true,
  // optional property will default to "query" if not set
  languageDataStore: "query" || "localStorage",
};

module.exports = i18n;

File: ./i18n/index.js

  1. Add the translation hook useTranslation and the LanguageSwitchercomponent to your code. Then, add the reactive translations using the t() function. Next-export-i18n updates them automatically immediately when you change the language through the LanguageSwitcher component.

If you choose the query param (the default method) to store your language selection, remember that every internal link requires the search parameter lang on the href' attribute. By adding this, we tell the destination which language to render. The linked page would fall back to the default language without the search parameter. To simplify this, you can use the LinkWithLocalecomponent which automatically adds thelang-parameter to each link while preserving all search parameters you've added to the URL (see ?share=social` in the example listing).

Look at the listing below for an example implementation.

"use client"

import {
  useTranslation, 
  LanguageSwitcher, 
  LinkWithLocale
} from "next-export-i18n";

export default function Component({}) {
  const { t } = useTranslation();
  
  return (
    <div>
    <header>
      <nav>
        <LanguageSwitcher lang="de">Deutsch</LanguageSwitcher>
        <LanguageSwitcher lang="en">English</LanguageSwitcher>
      </nav>
      </header>
      <main>
      <h1>t('headline')</h1>
      <LinkWithLocale href={t("link.href")}>
        {t("link.text")}
      </LinkWithLocale>
    </main>
    </div>
  );

File: ./component.js

The Usecase for next-export-i18n

Since v10.0.0 Next.js already has support for internationalized (i18n) routing out-of-the-box. You can provide a list of locales, a default and domain-specific locales, and Next.js automatically handles the routing. It streamlines the touring and locale parsing for nearly all existing l18n library solutions available for Next.js such as react-intl, react-i18next, lingui, rosetta, next-intl.

Unfortunately, Next.js i18n-routing does not supports next export.

Note that Internationalized Routing does not integrate with next export as next export does not leverage the Next.js routing layer. Hybrid Next.js applications that do not use next export are fully supported.

This means that none of the i18n-libraries (utilizing the built-in i18n-routing) can support fully static sites generated with next export.

Wait, what is happening here? They explicitly mention support for server-side rendering!

react-i18next is optimally suited for server-side rendering

https://react.i18next.com

To complement this, next-i18next provides the remaining functionality – management of translation content and components/hooks to translate your React components – while fully supporting SSG/SSR, multiple namespaces, code-splitting, etc.

https://github.com/isaachinman/next-i18next

They all support pre-rendered sites which are served with Next.js - whereas next export creates a truly static page which can be served with any webserver (e.g. nginx, apache, etc.).

For the different types of pre-rendering in Next.js, take a look at my article The two and a half + one flavours of Next.js's pre-rendering , which explains and summarizes the different options.

next-export-i18n overview

With next-export-i18n, you can add true reactive client-side internationalization to your static-generated projects.

Documentation

You can configure next-export-i18n to match the needs of your project.

The useTranslation hook

The interface for the i18n-content is similar to react-i18next/next-i18next; identical to them, we add the translated content through the t(key.to.translation) function that we receive from the useTranslation-hook.

Let's look at a simple example:

"use client"
import {useTranslation} from "next-export-i18n";

export default function Component({}) {
  const { t } = useTranslation();
  const translatedHeadline = t('headline');
  return (
    <h1>{translatedHeadline}</h1>
  );
}

File: component.js

Translation Files

You must provide a JSON file in the ./i18n subfolder for each language. Below is an example listing of how they could look like.

{
  "headline": "City: Paris",
  "link": {
    "text": "Top 10 Bistros in Paris ",
    "href": "/paris-bistros"
  } 
}

_File: ./i18n/translations.en.json

If you prefer a more readable format, you can use yaml files and convert them to the required JSON format during the build step. A common library for that would be yamljs.

Please remember not to use dots in your JSON property names. The module uses the dots to determine link keys; for example: t("link.headline") refers to the translated content string "City: Paris"

The module renders the key back to the site in case the key is not part of the language files to indicate and remind you of missing translations.

The Configuration File i18n/index.js

Let's look at an example configuration file i18n/index.js.

// First, we load all translation files.
var en = require("./translations.en.json");
var de = require("./translations.de.json");

// Then we need to set up our configuration;
// Here, we add the translations under the particular 
// language key and then configuring the module.
const i18n = {
  translations: {
    en: en.i18n,
    de: de.i18n,
  },
  defaultLang: "de",
  languageDataStore: "localStorage",
  useBrowserDefault: true,
};

File: ./i18n/index.js

The Configuration Options

Next-export-i18n has only a few important configuration options. Let's look at them in detail.

defaultLang

A string, for Example: "en" We use the defaultLang property to set the default language. Remember, this language key needs to be available in your translation configuration.

languageDataStore

Either "localStorage" or "query" With the configuration property languageDataStore, you tell next-export-i18n to either add a query parameter (default) lang to your URLs or store the selected language in the browser's localStorage.

useBrowserDefault

Either true or false If you use true, we use the browser's language instead of the configuration's defaultLang to determine the default language setting. Remember that next-export-i18n considers only the primary subtag, e.g., en-US from the will be read as en and will use the translations you added under ènin the i18n/index.js`file.

The LinkWithLocale Component

When you use the query param (default) to store your language selection, every internal link requires the search parameter lang on the `href' attribute. Otherwise, the destination will not show the content in the selected language; instead, the application will fall back to the default language.

You can use the LinkWithLocale component to automatically add the lang-parameter to each link while preserving all search parameters you've added to the URL (see ?share=social in the example listing). Look at the listing below for an example implementation.

"use client"

import {LinkWithLocale} from 'next-export-i18n';

export default function Component({ }) {
  return (
    <LinkWithLocale href="/paris-sights?share=social">
      Link to /paris-sights
    </LinkWithLocale>
  );
}

File: component.js

The LanguageSwitcher Component

Next-export-i18n provides a convenient out-of-the-box to switch between the available languages. It preserves an existing search parameter on the current URL, and you can use the [data-language-switcher] and [data-is-current="true"] to style the component.

Look at the listing below for an example implementation.

"use client"

import {LanguageSwitcher} from 'next-export-i18n';

export default function Component({ }) {
  return (
    <nav>
      <LanguageSwitcher lang="de">Deutsch</LanguageSwitcher>
      <LanguageSwitcher lang="en">English</LanguageSwitcher>
    </nav>
  );
}

File: component.js

Working With Template Strings

Let's say we want to display a username or set the number of top locations depending on the number of locations we receive from an API. For those kinds of dynamic text, you can add a moustache template in the translation.json strings and update them dynamically.

Let's look at an example implementation where we replace the fixed number 10 in the string Top 10 Bistros in Paris with a dynamic number.

{
  "headline": "City: Paris",
  "link": {
    "text": "Top {{count}} Bistros in Paris ",
    "href": "/paris-bistros"
  }
}

File: translation.json

"use client"
import {useTranslation} from "next-export-i18n";

export default function Component({}) {
  const { t } = useTranslation();
  const numberOfItems = 10;
  const translatedContent = t('link.text', { count: numberOfItems }))
  // translatedContent will be "Top 10 Bistros in Paris"
  return (
    <h1>{translatedContent}</h1>
  );
}

File: component.js

Example page

We have an example implementation at next-export-i18n-example.vercel.app and its source code at github: https://github.com/martinkr/next-export-i18n-example to showcase next-export-i18n and to give you an example of how to use the module.

Statically Exporting Your Project

Next.js v14.0.0 replaces the next export command with the configuration setting "output": "export". Add this to the next.config.js in your application's root directory. The listing below shows a stripped down minimal example.

/** @type {import('next').NextConfig} */
const nextConfig = {
  output: 'export'
}

File: ./next.config.js Run the export command below:

npm run build
# or
yarn build

Then, you can use npx serve ./out to see your exported project in your web browser or deploy the ./out directory to your existing web server.

Tech Stack

  • next.js: >= 13.0.0
  • react.js: >=18.0.0
  • jest: ^27.5.1
  • typescript: ^4.9.5

License

It is licensed under the MIT license. MIT - http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php

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