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Javascript Internationalization

Websites are available to the world…but that won’t matter if your audience can’t read your message. I’m spending some time looking at tools for javascript internationalization, commonly referred to as i18n (because 18 characters are replaced).

If you haven’t heard of this issue, check out the Wikipedia article.

If you’re not sure how complicated the issue is, here’s a list of the pluralization rules for different languages.

If you’re a coder, here’s what you need to know, at a minimum

If you like stackoverflow, here’s what they’re discussion on the issue.

Here are the tools I’m currently looking at – after sifting through a dozen or so options:

  • Javascript gettext
    simple, based on GNU gettext, which is the classic pattern
    about 3 years old
  • Jed
    “Gettext Style i18n for Modern JavaScript Apps”
    Made by a coder of Modernizr
    Doesn’t graceful handle a missing translation as per StackOverflow 
  • JavaScript Internationalisation
    A bit old, but still interesting pattern. Very readable code using a “_” function
    Checking in with author if he’s still using the pattern
  • i18next
    Looks like this approaches complete
    Uses JSON resource files
  • i18njs
    Works with Rails translations
  • jsperanto
    requires JQuery
    Similar to Rails
    better featured than other jquery options

Other links:

 

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