Learn how to easily translate your Next.js Firebase Makerkit SaaS into multiple languages with our guide. Optimize your app and reach a wider audience.

Most strings in the Makerkit template's application use next-18n, a library to translate your application into multiple languages. Thanks to this library, we can store all the application's text in json files for each supported language.

For example, if you are serving your application in English and Spanish, you'd have the following files:

  • English translation files at /public/locales/en/{file}.json
  • Spanish translation files at /public/locales/es/{file}.json

There are valid reasons to use translation files, even if you are not planning on translating your application, such as:

  1. it's easier to search and replace text
  2. tidier render functions
  3. easy update path if you do decide to support a new language

Adding new languages

By default, Makerkit uses English for translating the website's text. All the files are stored in the files at /public/locales/en.

Adding a new language is very simple:

  1. Translation Files: First, we need to create a new folder, such as /public/locales/es, and then copy over the files from the English version and start translating files.
  2. Next.js i18n config: We need to also add a new language to the Next.js configuration at next-i18next.config.js. Simply add your new language's code to the locales array.

The configuration will look like the below:

const config = { i18n: { defaultLocale: DEFAULT_LOCALE, locales: [DEFAULT_LOCALE, 'es'], }, fallbackLng: { default: [DEFAULT_LOCALE], }, localePath: resolve('./public/locales'), };

Setting the default Locale

To set the default locale, simply update the environment variable DEFAULT_LOCALE stored in .env.

So, open the .env file, and update the variable:


Using the Language Switcher component

The Language switcher component will automatically retrieve and translate the languages listed in your configuration.

When the user changes language, it will update the URL to reflect the user's preferences and rerender the application with the selected language.

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NB: The language selector is not added to the application by default; you will need to import it where you want to place it.

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