About this App

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302 2nd St
Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
40.674386 – 73.984783

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Using i18next to translate React.js application

Today we would like to take you into world of translations. Why? Because nowadays big amount of websites is written at least in two languages.


  • react-i18next – an internationalization addon for reactjs, based on i18next.
  • i18next – internationalization framework.
  • i18next-xhr-backend – loads resources from a backend server using xhr.


In this example we will create translations for polish language. You should remember that text wrote in „t” function will be read as default, so if you want to create website with two languages then you only need to create one translation. Mostly default values are wrote in english. Another main thing is that translations are sensitive to big letters so is better to write in lowercase and then use CSS.


In this file we need to add provider that allows to have translate function in our components.

import { I18nextProvider } from 'react-i18next';
import i18n from './i18n';

const content = (
  <I18nextProvider i18n={i18n}>

In this code, i18n is imported. This file should contains configuration for our translations, especially method that allows to load „locales” into our app.


So how we can use power of translations? At first we need to add @translate(['translation']), with its import import { translate } from 'react-i18next';, into our component. This brings an opportunity to use t-function.

Second we need function that will handle changing our languages.

setLang = (code)=> {
  cookies.set('translations-example', code);
  console.log('Language set to ' + code);

And now main dish – how to use t-function. It is very simple you need only access properties, take t-function (const { t } = this.props;) and use it like that: {t('internationalization')}.

Simple, isn’t it?

Preparing translations

But how we manage translations? In hardest way we can manually create them. But for what? As programmers we prefer to use automatized solutions – and because of that we love Gulp.

In big systems programmers aren’t responsible for translating them. This should be work of qualified translators. But they won’t create json files for our purpose. We send them a .pot files, which can be loaded into editors like Poedit. After translations ends we receiving .po files, which can be automatically converted to json.

All this conversions can be done by Gulp:

gulp.task('pot', function () {
  return gulp.src(['example/frontend/**/*.jsx'])
      plugins: [
        ['babel-gettext-plugin', {
          functionNames: {
            't': ['msgid']
          fileName: 'locales/raw/template.pot'

gulp.task('po2json', function () {
  return gulp.src(['locales/**/*.po'])
    .pipe(po2json({ format: 'mf' }))
    .pipe(flatten({ includeParents: 0 }))