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 package:

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.

Configure i18next

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

import i18n from "i18next";
import { reactI18nextModule } from "react-i18next";
// the translations
// (tip move them in a JSON file and import them)
const resources = {
en: {
translation: {
"Welcome to React": "Welcome to React and react-i18next"
}
}
};
i18n
.use(reactI18nextModule) // passes i18n down to react-i18next
.init({
resources,
lng: "en",
keySeparator: false, // we do not use keys in form messages.welcome
interpolation: {
escapeValue: false // react already safes from xss
}
});
export default i18n;

The interesting part here is by i18n.use(reactI18nextModule) 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 ReactDOM from "react-dom";
import './i18n';
import App from './App';
// append app to dom
ReactDOM.render(
<App />,
document.getElementById("root")
);

Translate your content

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 in i18next the main function to translate content for all the options read the documentation.

import React from 'react';
// the hoc
import { withNamespaces } from 'react-i18next';
function MyComponent ({ t }) {
return <h1>{t('Welcome to React')}</h1>
}
export default withNamespaces()(myComponent);

Learn more about the higher order component withNamespaces.

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 { NamespacesConsumer } from 'react-i18next';
export default function MyComponent () {
return (
<NamespacesConsumer>
{
t => <h1>{t('Welcome to React')}</h1>
}
</NamespacesConsumer>
)
}

Learn more about the render prop NamespacesConsumer.

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 learn type you now could 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 our examples: