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1.6.6 • Public • Published


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Transliteration / slugify module for node.js, browser, Web Worker, ReactNative and CLI. It provides the ability to transliterate UTF-8 characters into corresponding pure ASCII; so they can be safely displayed, used as URL slugs or file names.





npm install transliteration --save
import { transliterate as tr, slugify } from 'transliteration';
tr('你好, world!'); // Ni Hao , world!
slugify('你好, world!'); // ni-hao-world



<script src=""></script>


# Install bower if not already installed 
# npm install bower -g 
bower install transliteration
  <script src="bower_components/transliteration/transliteration.min.js"></script> 
    transl('你好, world!'); // Ni Hao , world!
    slugify('你好, world!'); // ni-hao-world

Browser support

transliteration has a good browser compatibility with all major browsers (including IE 6-8 if used with es5-shim).


npm install transliteration -g
transliterate 你好 # Ni Hao 
slugify 你好 # ni-hao 
echo 你好 | slugify -S # ni-hao 


import { transliterate, slugify } from 'transliteration/src/main/browser';

Change log

1.7.0 (breaking)

bower support is dropped. Please use CDN or a js bundler like webpack.


Added support for TypeScript. #77

1.5.0 (breaking)

Since version 1.5.0, transliteration module requires minimum node version v6.0.

1.0.0 (breaking)

Please note that the code has been entirely refactored since version 1.0.0. Be careful when you plan to upgrade from v0.1.x or v0.2.x to v1.0.x


  • The options parameter of transliterate now is an Object (In 0.1.x it's a string unknown).
  • Added transliterate.config and slugify.config.
  • Unknown string will be transliterated as [?] instead of ?.
  • In the browser, global variables have been changed to window.transl and windnow.slugify. Other global variables are removed.


transliterate(str, [options])

Transliterates the string str and return the result. Characters which this module doesn't recognise will be defaulted to the placeholder from the unknown argument in the configuration option, defaults to [?].

Options: (optional)

  /* Unicode characters that are not in the database will be replaced with `unknown` */
  unknown: '[?]', // default: [?]
  /* Custom replacement of the strings before transliteration */
  replace: { source1: target1, source2: target2, ... }, // Object form of argument
  replace: [[source1, target1], [source2, target2], ... ], // Array form of argument
  /* Strings in the ignore list will be bypassed from transliteration */
  ignore: [str1, str2] // default: []


Bind options globally so any following calls will be using optoinsObj by default. If optionsObj argument is omitted, it will return current default option object.

transliterate.config({ replace: [['你好', 'Hello']] });
transliterate('你好, world!'); // Result: 'Hello, world!'. This equals transliterate('你好, world!', { replace: [['你好', 'Hello']] });


import { transliterate as tr } from 'transliteration';
tr('你好,世界'); // Ni Hao , Shi Jie
tr('Γεια σας, τον κόσμο'); // Geia sas, ton kosmo
tr('안녕하세요, 세계'); // annyeonghaseyo, segye
tr('你好,世界', { replace: {: 'You'}, ignore: [''] }) // You 好, Shi Jie
tr('你好,世界', { replace: [['', 'You']], ignore: [''] }) // You 好, Shi Jie (option in array form)
// or use configurations
tr.config({ replace: [['', 'You']], ignore: [''] });
tr('你好,世界') // You 好, Shi Jie
// get configurations

slugify(str, [options])

Converts Unicode string to slugs. So it can be safely used in URL or file name.

Options: (optional)

  /* Whether to force slags to be lowercased */
  lowercase: false, // default: true
  /* Separator of the slug */
  separator: '-', // default: '-'
  /* Custom replacement of the strings before transliteration */
  replace: { source1: target1, source2: target2, ... },
  replace: [[source1, target1], [source2, target2], ... ], // default: []
  /* Strings in the ignore list will be bypassed from transliteration */
  ignore: [str1, str2] // default: []

If options is not provided, it will use the above default values.


Bind options globally so any following calls will be using optoinsObj by default. If optionsObj argument is omitted, it will return current default option object.

slugify.config({ replace: [['你好', 'Hello']] });
slugify('你好, world!'); // Result: 'hello-world'. This equals slugify('你好, world!', { replace: [['你好', 'Hello']] });


import { slugify } from 'transliteration';
slugify('你好,世界'); // ni-hao-shi-jie
slugify('你好,世界', { lowercase: false, separator: '_' }); // Ni_Hao_Shi_Jie
slugify('你好,世界', { replace: {你好: 'Hello', 世界: 'world'}, separator: '_' }); // hello_world
slugify('你好,世界', { replace: [['你好', 'Hello'], ['世界', 'world']], separator: '_' }); // hello_world (option in array form)
slugify('你好,世界', { ignore: ['你好'] }); // 你好shi-jie
// or use configurations
slugify.config({ lowercase: false, separator: '_' });
slugify('你好,世界'); // Ni_Hao_Shi_Jie
// get configurations

Usage in browser

transliteration can be loaded as an AMD / CommonJS module, or as global variables (UMD).

When using it in the browser, by default it will create global variables under window object:

transl('你好, World'); // window.transl
// or
slugify('Hello, 世界'); // window.slugify

If the variable names conflict with other libraries in your project or you prefer not to use global variables, use noConfilict() before loading libraries which contain the conflicting variables.:

Load the library globally

var tr = transl.noConflict();
console.log(transl); // undefined
tr('你好, World'); // Ni Hao , World
var slug = slugify.noConfilict();
slug('你好, World'); // ni-hao-world
console.log(slugify); // undefined

Usage in command line

➜  ~ transliterate --help
Usage: transliterate <unicode> [options]

  --version      Show version number                                                       [boolean]
  -u, --unknown  Placeholder for unknown characters                        [string] [default: "[?]"]
  -r, --replace  Custom string replacement                                     [array] [default: []]
  -i, --ignore   String list to ignore                                         [array] [default: []]
  -S, --stdin      Use stdin as input                                     [boolean] [default: false]
  -h, --help     Show help                                                                 [boolean]

  transliterate "你好, world!" -r 好=good -r          Replace `,` into `!` and `world` into
  "world=Shi Jie"                                     `shijie`.
                                                      Result: Ni good, Shi Jie!
  transliterate "你好,世界!" -i 你好 -i ,           Ignore `你好` and `,`.
                                                      Result: 你好,Shi Jie !
                                                      Result: 你好,world!
➜  ~ slugify --help
Usage: slugify <unicode> [options]

  --version        Show version number                                                     [boolean]
  -l, --lowercase  Use lowercase                                           [boolean] [default: true]
  -s, --separator  Separator of the slug                                     [string] [default: "-"]
  -r, --replace    Custom string replacement                                   [array] [default: []]
  -i, --ignore     String list to ignore                                       [array] [default: []]
  -S, --stdin      Use stdin as input                                     [boolean] [default: false]
  -h, --help       Show help                                                               [boolean]

  slugify "你好, world!" -r 好=good -r "world=Shi     Replace `,` into `!` and `world` into
  Jie"                                                `shijie`.
                                                      Result: ni-good-shi-jie
  slugify "你好,世界!" -i 你好 -i ,                 Ignore `你好` and `,`.
                                                      Result: 你好,shi-jie


Currently, transliteration uses 1 to 1 character map (from Unicode to Latin) under the hood. It is the simplest way to implement, but it has some limitations when dealing with polyphonic characters and languages which share overlapped character sets. It does not work well in some specific languages when the same characters can be transliterated differently when they are placed at different places. Some of the issues are listed below:

  • Chinese: Polyphonic characters are not always transliterated correctly. Alternative: pinyinlite.

  • Japanese: With transliteration, most Japanese Kanji characters are transliterated to Chinese Pinyin because of their overlapping of characters in Unicode. Also there are many polyphonic characters. without doing a word splitting or word mapping, it's impossible to transliterate Kanji accurately. Alternative: kuroshiro.

  • Thai: Currently it is not working. There seems no working open source project I can directly copy code from. I found some articles explaining the how to transliterate Thai though. I would appreciate if anyone who is interested implementing it can lend a hand. See: #67.

  • Cylic Cylic characters are overlapped between a few languages. The result might be inaccurate in some specific languages, for example Bulgarian.

If you there's any other issues, please raise a ticket.

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