Javascript – Best practice javascript and multilanguage

internationalizationjavascript

what is the best practice for multilanguage website using DOM Manipulating with javascript? I build some dynamic parts of the website using javascript. My first thought was using an array with the text strings and the language code as index. Is this a good idea?

Best Solution

When I've built multi-lingual sites before (not very large ones, so this might not scale too well), I keep a series of "language" files:

  • lang.en.js
  • lang.it.js
  • lang.fr.js

Each of the files declares an object which is basically just a map from key word to language phrase:

// lang.en.js
lang = {
    greeting : "Hello"
};

// lang.fr.js
lang = {
    greeting : "Bonjour"
};

Dynamically load one of those files and then all you need to do is reference the key from your map:

document.onload = function() {
    alert(lang.greeting);
};

There are, of course, many other ways to do this, and many ways to do this style but better: encapsulating it all into a function so that a missing phrase from your "dictionary" can be handled gracefully, or even do the whole thing using OOP, and let it manage the dynamic including of the files, it could perhaps even draw language selectors for you, etc.

var l = new Language('en');
l.get('greeting');