Quick start

Install needed dependencies

We expect you having an existing react application - if not give create-react-app a try.

Install both react-i18next and i18next packages:

npm install react-i18next i18next --save

Why do you need i18next package? i18next is the core that provides all translation functionality while react-i18next gives some extra power for using with react.

Do you directly want to see an example?

Check out this basic react example with a browser language-detector and a http backend to load translations from.

Do you like to read a more complete step by step tutorial?

Configure i18next

Create a new file i18n.js beside your index.js containing following content:

import i18n from "i18next";
import { initReactI18next } from "react-i18next";

// the translations
// (tip move them in a JSON file and import them,
// or even better, manage them separated from your code: https://react.i18next.com/guides/multiple-translation-files)
const resources = {
  en: {
    translation: {
      "Welcome to React": "Welcome to React and react-i18next"
  fr: {
    translation: {
      "Welcome to React": "Bienvenue à React et react-i18next"

  .use(initReactI18next) // passes i18n down to react-i18next
    lng: "en", // language to use, more information here: https://www.i18next.com/overview/configuration-options#languages-namespaces-resources
    // you can use the i18n.changeLanguage function to change the language manually: https://www.i18next.com/overview/api#changelanguage
    // if you're using a language detector, do not define the lng option

    interpolation: {
      escapeValue: false // react already safes from xss

  export default i18n;

The file does not need to be named i18n.js, it can be any other filename. Just make sure you import it accordingly.

The interesting part here is by i18n.use(initReactI18next) we pass the i18n instance to react-i18next which will make it available for all the components via the context api.

Then import that in index.js:

import React, { Component } from "react";
import { createRoot } from 'react-dom/client';
import './i18n';
import App from './App';

// append app to dom
const root = createRoot(document.getElementById('root'));
  <App />

If you need to access the t function or the i18next instance from outside of a React component you can simply import your ./i18n.js and use the exported i18next instance:

import i18next from './i18n'


Also read about this here.

Translate your content

Using the hook

Using the hook in functional components is one of the options you have.

The t function is the main function in i18next to translate content. Read the documentation for all the options.

import React from 'react';

// the hook
import { useTranslation } from 'react-i18next';

function MyComponent () {
  const { t, i18n } = useTranslation();
  return <h1>{t('Welcome to React')}</h1>

Learn more about the hook useTranslation.

Using the HOC

Using higher order components is one of the most used method to extend existing components by passing additional props to them.

The t function is the main function in i18next to translate content. Read the documentation for all the options.

import React from 'react';

// the hoc
import { withTranslation } from 'react-i18next';

function MyComponent ({ t }) {
  return <h1>{t('Welcome to React')}</h1>

export default withTranslation()(MyComponent);

Learn more about the higher order component withTranslation.

Using the render prop

The render prop enables you to use the t function inside your component.

import React from 'react';

// the render prop
import { Translation } from 'react-i18next';

export default function MyComponent () {
  return (
        t => <h1>{t('Welcome to React')}</h1>

Learn more about the render prop Translation.

Using the Trans component

The Trans component is the best way to translate a JSX tree in one translation. This enables you to eg. easily translate text containing a link component or formatting like <strong>.

import React from 'react';
import { Trans } from 'react-i18next';

export default function MyComponent () {
  return <Trans><H1>Welcome to React</H1></Trans>

// the translation in this case should be
"<0>Welcome to React</0>": "<0>Welcome to React and react-i18next</0>"

Don't worry if you do not yet understand how the Trans component works in detail. Learn more about it here.

Next steps

Depending on your learning style, you can now read the more in-depth step by step guide and learn how to load translations using xhr or how to change the language.

Prefer having code to checkout? Directly dive into our examples:

Would you like to visually check the progress state of your translations?

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