Paraglide JS

Paraglide JS

A fully configurable JavaScript i18n library that integrates within your framework.

Watch the demo of Paraglide JS

#Simple, adaptable, and tiny i18n library for JS

Get started instantly with the following command:

npx @inlang/paraglide-js@latest init

#Features

#Treeshaking

Treeshaking gives us superpowers. With it, each page of your app only loads the messages that it actually uses. Incremental loading like this would usually take hours of manual tweaking to get right. With Paraglide-JS you get it for free. Say goodbye to huge bundles.

#Getting started

#1. Initialize paraglide-js

You can initialize paraglide-js by running the following command in your terminal:

npx @inlang/paraglide-js@latest init

This will:

  1. Install the necessary dependencies
  2. Call the Paraglide compiler in your build script
  3. Set up any necessary configuration files

#2. Set up an adapter (optional)

Adapters are framework specific integrations for Paraglide. If you are using a framework, using an adapter is recommended (but not required). If you don't use a framework, you can skip this step.

#Alternatively, you can write your own adapter

#Usage

Running your build script will generate a src/paraglide folder. This folder contains all the code that you need to use paraglide-js. Throughout this guide, you will see imports from ./paraglide/*. These are all to this folder.

Tip: If you are using a bundler, you can set up an alias to ./src/paraglide to make the imports shorter. We recommend $paraglide/*

#Using Messages

The compiled messages are placed in ./paraglide/messages.js. You can import them all with import * as m from "./paraglide/messages". Don't worry, your bundler will only bundle the messages that you actually use.

// m is a namespace that contains all messages of your project
// a bundler like rollup or webpack only bundles
// the messages that are used
import * as m from "./paraglide/messages.js"
import { setLanguageTag } from "./paraglide/runtime.js"

// use a message
m.hello() // Hello world!

// message with parameters
m.loginHeader({ name: "Samuel" }) // Hello Samuel, please login to continue.

// change the language
setLanguageTag("de")

m.loginHeader({ name: "Samuel" }) // Hallo Samuel, bitte melde dich an, um fortzufahren.

If you want to dynamically choose between a set of messages, you can create a record of messages and index into it. Note that this will not be tree-shaken by your bundler.

import * as m from "./paraglide/messages.js"

const season = {
	spring: m.spring,
	summer: m.summer,
	autumn: m.autumn,
	winter: m.winter,
}

const msg = season["spring"]() // Hello spring!

Paraglide JS provides several exports from ./paraglide/runtime.js:

VariableDescription
sourceLanguageTagThe source language tag of the project
availableLanguageTagsAll language tags of the current project
type AvailableLanguageTagAn Type representing a valid language tag
languageTag()Returns the language tag of the current user
setLanguageTag()Sets the language tag of the current user
onSetLanguageTag()Registers a listener that is called whenever the language tag changes
isAvailableLanguageTag() Checks if a value is a valid language tag

#Setting the language

You can set the current language tag by calling setLanguageTag(). Any subsequent calls to either languageTag() or a message function will return the new language tag.

import { setLanguageTag } from "./paraglide/runtime.js"
import * as m from "./paraglide/messages.js"

setLanguageTag("de")
m.hello() // Hallo Welt!

setLanguageTag("en")
m.hello() // Hello world!

The language tag is global, so you need to be careful with it on the server to make sure multiple requests don't interfere with each other. That's why we recommend using an adapter for your framework. Adapters integrate with the framework's lifecycle and ensure that the language tag is managed correctly.

## Adding Languages

You can define which languages you want to support in ./project.inlang/settings.json. Just edit the languageTags array.

// project.inlang/settings.json
{
	"languageTags": ["en", "de"]
}

#Reacting to a language change

You can react to a language change by registering a callback using onSetLanguageTag(). This function is called whenever the language tag changes.

import { setLanguageTag, onSetLanguageTag } from "./paraglide/runtime.js"
import * as m from "./paraglide/messages.js"

onSetLanguageTag((newLanguageTag) => {
	console.log(`The language changed to ${newLanguageTag}`)
})

setLanguageTag("de") // The language changed to de
setLanguageTag("en") // The language changed to en

There are a few things to know about onSetLanguageTag():

  • You can only register one listener. If you register a second listener it will throw an error.
  • It shouldn't be used on the server.

The main use case for onSetLanguageTag() is to trigger a rerender of your app's UI when the language changes. Again, if you are using an adapter this is handled for you.

#Forcing a language

It's common that you need to force a message to be in a certain language, especially on the server and during tests. You can do this by passing an options object to the message function as a second parameter.

import * as m from "./paraglide/messages.js"
const msg = m.hello({ name: "Samuel" }, { languageTag: "de" }) // Hallo Samuel!

#Usage with a Bundler

We provide bundler plugins to make it easier to use Paraglide with a bundler. If you are using one of these bundlers, we recommed using the corresponding plugin.

These plugins make sure to rerun the compile script whenever you build your project. That way you don't need to modify your build script in package.json. If you are using a bundler with a dev-server, like Vite, the plugins also make sure to rerun the compile script whenever your messages change.

#Playground

You can find many examples for how to use paraglide on codesandbox, or in our GitHub repository.

#Architecture

Inlang Paraglide JS leverages a compiler to emit vanilla JavaScript functions.

The emitted functions are referred to as "message functions". By emitting message functions, inlang Paraglide JS eliminates a whole class of edge cases while also being simpler, faster, and more reliable than other i18n libraries. The compiled runtime contains less than 50 LOC (lines of code) and is less than 300 bytes minified & gzipped.

paraglide JS architecture

Inlang Paraglide-JS consists of four main parts:

PartDescription
CompilerCompiles messages into tree-shakable message functions
MessagesThe compiled tree-shakable message functions
RuntimeA runtime that resolves the language tag of the current user
Adapter(optional) An adapter that adjusts the runtime for different frameworks

#Compiler

The compiler loads an inlang project and compiles the messages into tree-shakable and typesafe message functions.

#Example

Input

// messages/en.json
{
  "hello": "Hello {name}!",
  "loginButton": "Login"
}

Output

// src/paraglide/messages/en.js

/**
 * @param {object} params
 * @param {string} params.name
 */
export const hello = (params) => `Hello ${params.name}!`

/** ... */
export const loginButton = () => "Login"

#Messages

The compiled messages are importable as a namespace import (import * as m).

The namespace import ensures that bundlers like Rollup, Webpack, or Turbopack can tree-shake the messages that are not used.

#Example

Three compiled message functions exist in an example project.

// src/paraglide/messages.js

/** ... */
export const hello = (params) => `Hello ${params.name}!`

/** ... */
export const loginButton = () => "Login"

/** ... */
export const loginHeader = (params) => `Hello ${params.name}, please login to continue.`

Only the message hello is used in the source code.

// src/my-code.js
import * as m from "../paraglide/messages.js"

console.log(m.hello({ name: "Samuel" }))

The bundler tree shakes (removes) loginButton and loginHeader and only includes hello in the output.

// dist/my-code.js
const hello = (params) => `Hello ${params.name}!`

console.log(hello({ name: "Samuel" }))

#Writing an Adapter

Paraglide can be adapted to any framework or environment by calling setLanguageTag() and onSetLanguageTag().

The following example adapts Paraglide-JS to a fictitious metaframework like NextJS, SolidStart, SvelteKit, or Nuxt.

The goal is to provide a high-level understanding of how to adapt Paraglide to a framework. Besides this example, we recommend viewing the source-code of available adapters. In general, only two functions need to be called to adapt Paraglide to a framework:

  1. setLanguageTag() can be used to set a getter function for the language tag. The getter function can be used to resolve server-side language tags or to resolve the language tag from a global state management library like Redux or Vuex.
  2. onSetLanguageTag() can be used to trigger side-effects such as updating the UI, or requesting the site in the new language from the server.
import { setLanguageTag, onSetLanguageTag } from "../paraglide/runtime.js"
import { isServer, request, render } from "@example/framework"

// On a server, the language tag needs to be resolved on a
// per-request basis. Hence, we need to pass a getter
// function () => string to setLanguageTag.
//
// Most frameworks offer a way to access the current
// request. In this example, we assume that the language tag
// is available in the request object.
if (isServer) {
	setLanguageTag(() => request.languageTag)
}
// On a client, the language tag could be resolved from
// the document's html lang tag.
//
// In addition, we also want to trigger a side-effect
// to request the site if the language changes.
else {
	setLanguageTag(() => document.documentElement.lang)

	//! Make sure to call `onSetLanguageTag` after
	//! the initial language tag has been set to
	//! avoid an infinite loop.

	// route to the page in the new language
	onSetLanguageTag((newLanguageTag) => {
		window.location.pathname = `/${newLanguageTag}${window.location.pathname}`
	})
}

// render the app
render((page) => (
	<html lang={request.languageTag}>
		<body>{page}</body>
	</html>
))

#Community

We are grateful for all the support we get from the community. Here are just a few of the comments we've received over the last few weeks. Of course we are open to and value criticism as well. If you have any feedback, please let us know directly on GitHub

#Roadmap

Of course, we're not done yet! We plan on adding the following features to Paraglide JS in the upcoming weeks:

#Talks

#Working with Translators

Paraglide JS is part of the inlang ecosystem, so it integrates nicely with all the other inlang compatible tools. If you are working with translators and/or designers you will find the following tools useful:

  • Fink - An Online UI for editing translations. Changes made in Fink are committed to a translation branch or submitted via pull request.
  • Parrot - A Figma Plugin for previewing translations right in your Figma designs. This avoids any layout issues that might occur due to different text lengths in different languages.

#Pricing

Publisher

inlang

inlang

License

Apache-2.0

Pricing

free

Recommended to use with: