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Node translator with plural forms support. Works also in browser (for example with simq).

This package is compatible with translator for PHP.


Unfortunately I don't have any more time to maintain this repository :-(

Don't you want to save me and this project by taking over it?

sad cat


$ npm install translator

Dictionary files

This translator supposed to be translator working with key -> translation principe. For easier manipulation, you can have many smaller dictionaries for smaller group of translations.

These dictionaries are json files with language code on the beginning. Below is example of few files.


There we have got three dictionaries, two for homepage and one for about page, but these names are totally up to you.


Here is example of /app/lang/homepage/promo/ dictionary.

    "title": "Promo box",
    "description": "some description",
    "text": "and some really long text",
    "someOtherTextToDisplay": "other boring text"

This is the most simple example of dictionary (and most stupid). Again these translation's names are up to you.


When you have got your dictionaries, you can setup translator and start using it.

var Translator = require('translator');
var translator = new Translator('./app/lang');

translator.language = 'en';

var message = translator.translate('');		// output: and some really long text

Relative paths to dictionaries can not be used in browser.

You have to set language, and base directory path. Translator using require function for loading dictionaries, so it not depends on fs module and can be used also on browser.

Then you can begin with translating. You can see that messages to translate are paths to your dictionary files but with dots instead of slashes and without language code.

Plural forms

There is already registered 138 plural forms and you can find list of them on this site. If you will miss some language, wrote issue or register it by your own.

First you have to set plural forms rule for language which you want to use. This is little javascript code which will be called every time, you want to use plural forms and will decide which plural form should be used.

    'en',				// language code
    2,					// total count of plural forms for this language
    '(n===1) ? 0 : 1'	// decision code. In "n" variable is count of items and it says that if it is 1 item, first (0) form will be used, otherwise second form

For comparing, here is example of czech plural forms.

    '(n===0) ? 2 : ((n===1) ? 0 : ((n>=2 && n<=4) ? 1 : 2))'

Now we have to add plural forms to our dictionary. (/app/lang/homepage/promo/

    "cars": [
        "1 car",
        "%count% cars"

%count% will be automatically replaced with count of items. Again for comparing czech version. (/app/lang/homepage/promo/

    "cars": [
        "1 auto",
        "%count% auta",
        "%count% aut"

And now you can finally use it.

var message = translator.translate('', 2);		// output: 2 cars


%count% is the base example of replacements, but you can create others. For example you can set replacement for %site% and then it will be automatically changed to name of your site, so if you will change it in future, you will change it only in one place.


    "info": "web site name: %site%"


translator.addReplacement('site', '');

var message = translator.translate('');		// output: web site name:

This is example of persistent replacements, but you can create independent replacements for each translation.


    "info": "display some random variable: %something%"


var message = translator.translate('', null, {		// output: display some random variable: 2 books
    something: '2 books'

if you do not need to pass any count (like in example above), you can remove second argument (null).

var message = translator.translate('', {		// output: display some random variable: 2 books
    something: '2 books'

In names of translations

These replacements can be used also in message names. This is quite useful when you have got for example different user roles with different translations. Then you can set replacement with name role and save these translations into different directories.


    "title": "Page for admin"


    "title": "Page for normal user"


translator.addReplacement('role', user.getRole());

Filters (eg. markdown)

If you want some special formatting in your translations (for example markdown syntax or others) you can add filter which will automatically transform all successfully translated messages.

translator.addFilter(function(message) {
    return message.split('').reverse().join('');

console.log(translator.translate('homepage.title'));		// output is reversed title in homepage dictionary

List of translations

Sometimes you may want to display list of texts but don't want to create translations with these names: item1, item2, item3 and so on. What if you will want to add some other? This is not the good idea.

But you can create lists in your dictionary and translator will return array of translations.


    "someList": [
        ["1st item"],
        ["2nd item"],
        ["3rd item"],
        ["4th item"]


var messages = translator.translate('dictionary.someList');		// output: [ 1st item, 2nd item, 3rd item, 4th item ]

And you can also use it with plural forms.


    "fruits": [
            "1 orange",
            "%count% oranges"
            "1 banana",
            "%count% bananas"


var messages = translator.translate('dictionary.fruits', 6);		// output: [ 6 oranges, 6 bananas ]

Accessing exact item

var message = translator.translate('dictionary.someList[0]');		// output: 1st item

Shorter syntax

If your list contains just singular forms translations, you can use shorter syntax for it.

    "-- myList": [
        "first item",
        "second item",
        "third item"

List of pairs

If you have got one list of for example titles or headlines and other list with texts for these titles, you can let this translator to automatically combine these two lists together into object.


    "titles": [
    "texts": [
        ["text for first title"]
        ["text for second title"]


translator.translatePairs('dictionary', 'titles', 'texts');


    first: 'text for first title',
    second: 'text for second title'

Translate whole array or object

When you have got some array, which you need to translate, you don't have to iterate through it yourself.

var messages = [

var result = translator.translateMap(messages);

This can be also used for literal objects.

If your array to translate contains translations just from one dictionary, you can set some kind of base path.

var messages = [

var result = translator.translateMap(messages, '');

Or use count for translations with plural forms.

var result = translator.translateMap(messages, 6);

Or with some replacements.

var result = translator.translateMap(messages, {type: 'book'});

Of course you can pass any argument you need, you only have to keep the right order of arguments (uses normalize-arguments):

translator.translateMap(arrayOrObjectToTranslate, countForPluralForms, objectWithReplacements, basePathString);

Temporary override language

There may be some cases when you need to get translations for different language.

var translator = new Translator('./app/lang');
translator.language = 'en';

var message = translator.translate('cs|homepage.title');

Now in message variable will be translation of homepage.title in czech language.

Access translate methods globally

Methods translate, translatePairs and translateMap can be accessible from everywhere globally. You just have to call method expand.



var title = _('homepage.title');

Expanded methods:

  • _: shortcut to translate method
  • _p: shortcut to translatePairs method
  • _m: shortcut to translateMap method

Comments in dictionaries

You can write some comments into your dictionaries. These comments has to be enclosed into #.

    "message": [
        "# this message will be displayed in home page #",
         "translation of message"

Or with lists:

    "list": [
        "# this is list of some items #",
            "# first item in list #",
            "# second item in list #",


Turning on cache will make loading your dictionaries faster. They don't need to be parsed in any way, because parsed version is already in cache.

This translator uses cache-storage package. Only synchronous storages from cache-storage can be used.

var FileSyncStorage = require('cache-storage/Storage/FileSyncStorage');

translator.setCacheStorage(new FileSyncStorage('./path/to/cache/directory'));

Caching in browser is supported only with simq.


$ npm test


  • 1.9.1

    • Move under Carrooi organization
    • Abandon package
  • 1.9.0

    • Added filters
  • 1.8.0

    • Updated dependencies
    • Created API [#7]
    • Expanding translate methods into global objects [#10]
    • Option for temporary overriding language [#9]
    • Added method hasTranslation [#8]
    • Creating translator from config file (for API)
    • Optimized tests
    • Tests for browser again works
    • Creating translator from relative path to dictionaries
  • 1.7.2

    • Bug with dictionaries in root
    • Updated dependencies
    • Better tests
    • Added info badges
  • 1.7.1

    • Tests were broken
    • Updated modules
  • 1.7.0

    • Removed version tag from dictionaries (bc break)
    • Better caching with simq in browser
    • Added tests for browser
    • Many optimizations
  • 1.6.1

  • 1.6.0

    • Refactoring tests
    • Optimized dependencies
    • Added method translateMap
  • 1.5.0

    • Accessing items from lists in translate method
    • Using chai instead of should for tests
  • 1.4.4

    • Translate method: can pass args as second argument
  • 1.4.3

    • Bug with cache in browser
  • 1.4.1 - 1.4.2

    • Optimized plural forms
  • 1.4.0

    • Support for comments in dictionaries
    • Shorter syntax for lists
    • Support for caching with cache-storage
    • Tests rewritten into coffee script
  • 1.3.1

    • Replacements in messages
  • 1.3.0

    • Added some tests
    • Added method translatePairs
  • 1.2.3

    • Added some test
    • Potential bug fix
    • Directory can be set in constructor
    • Some typos in readme
  • 1.2.2

    • Added just some keyword
    • New test reporter
  • 1.2.1

    • Added all other changes to changelog
  • 1.2.0

    • Created changelog list
    • Added tests
    • Tests can be run with npm test command
    • Repaired some bugs
  • 1.1.1

    • Prepared for tests
    • Removed forgotten debug code
  • 1.1.0

  • 1.0.2

    • Added MIT license
  • 1.0.1

    • Corrected some mistakes in readme
    • Removed unnecessary dependencies
  • 1.0.0

    • Initial commit

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