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Version: 2.0.0-alpha.73

i18n - Introduction

It is easy to translate a Docusaurus website with its internationalization (i18n) support.

Goals#

It is important to understand the design decisions behind the Docusaurus i18n support.

For more context, you can read the initial RFC and PR.

i18n goals#

The goals of the Docusaurus i18n system are:

  • Simple: just put the translated files in the correct filesystem location
  • Flexible translation workflows: use Git (monorepo, forks, or submodules), SaaS software, FTP
  • Flexible deployment options: single, multiple domains, or hybrid
  • Modular: allow plugin authors to provide i18n support
  • Low-overhead runtime: documentation is mostly static and does not require a heavy JS library or polyfills
  • Scalable build-times: allow building and deploying localized sites independently
  • Localize assets: an image of your site might contain text that should be translated
  • No coupling: not forced to use any SaaS, yet integrations are possible
  • Easy to use with Crowdin: multiple Docusaurus v1 sites use Crowdin, and should be able to migrate to v2
  • Good SEO defaults: we set useful SEO headers like hreflang for you
  • RTL support: locales reading right-to-left (Arabic, Hebrew, etc.) are supported and easy to implement
  • Default translations: classic theme labels are translated for you in many languages

i18n non-goals#

We don't provide support for:

  • Automatic locale detection: opinionated, and best done on the server
  • Translation SaaS software: you are responsible to understand the external tools of your choice
  • Translation of slugs: technically complicated, little SEO value

Translation workflow#

Overview#

Overview of the workflow to create a translated Docusaurus website:

  1. Configure: declare the default locale and alternative locales in docusaurus.config.js
  2. Translate: put the translation files at the correct filesystem location
  3. Deploy: build and deploy your site using a single or multi-domain strategy

Translation files#

You will have to work with 2 kind of translation files.

Markdown files#

This is the main content of your Docusaurus website.

Markdown and MDX documents are translated as a whole, to fully preserve the translation context, instead of splitting each sentence as a separate string.

JSON files#

JSON is used to translate:

  • your React code: using the <Translate> component
  • your theme: the navbar, footer
  • your plugins: the docs sidebar category labels

The JSON format used is called Chrome i18n:

{  "myTranslationKey1": {    "message": "Translated message 1",    "description": "myTranslationKey1 is used on the homepage"  },  "myTranslationKey2": {    "message": "Translated message 2",    "description": "myTranslationKey2 is used on the FAQ page"  }}

The choice was made for 2 reasons:

Translation files location#

The translation files should be created at the correct filesystem location.

Each locale and plugin has its own i18n subfolder:

website/i18n/<locale>/<pluginName>/...
note

For multi-instance plugins, the path is website/i18n/<locale>/<pluginName>-<pluginId>/....

Translating a very simple Docusaurus site in French would lead to the following tree:

website/i18n└── fr    ├── code.json    │    ├── docusaurus-plugin-content-blog    │   └── 2020-01-01-hello.md    │    ├── docusaurus-plugin-content-docs    │   ├── current #    │   │   ├── doc1.md    │   │   └── doc2.mdx    │   └── current.json    │    └── docusaurus-theme-classic        ├── footer.json        └── navbar.json

The JSON files are initialized with the docusaurus write-translations CLI command.

The code.json file is extracted from React components using the <Translate> API.

info

Notice that the docusaurus-plugin-content-docs plugin has a current subfolder and a current.json file, useful for the docs versioning feature.

Each content plugin or theme is different, and define its own translation files location: