Internationalization (i18n)

Localizing strings in WTForms is a topic that frequently comes up. In WTForms, the majority of messages that are transmitted are provided by you, the user. However, there is support for translating some of the built-in messages in WTForms (such as errors which occur during data coercion) so that the user can make sure the user experience is consistent.

Translating user-provided messages

This is not actually any specific feature in WTForms, but because the question is asked so frequently, we need to address it here: WTForms does -not- translate any user-provided strings.

This is not to say they can’t be translated, but that it’s up to you to deal with providing a translation for any passed-in messages. WTForms waits until the last moment (usually validation time) before doing anything with the passed in message (such as interpolating strings) thus giving you the opportunity to e.g. change your locale before validation occurs, if you are using a suitable “lazy proxy”.

Here’s a simple example of how one would provide translated strings to WTForms:

from somelibrary import ugettext_lazy as _
from wtforms import Form, StringField, IntegerField, validators as v

class RegistrationForm(Form):
    name = StringField(_('Name'), [v.InputRequired(_('Please provide your name'))])
    age = IntegerField(
        [v.NumberRange(min=12, message=_('Must be at least %(min)d years old.'))]

The field label is left un-perturbed until rendering time in a template, so you can easily provide translations for field labels if so desired. In addition, validator messages with format strings are not interpolated until the validation is run, so you can provide localization there as well.

Translating built-in messages

There are some messages in WTForms which are provided by the framework, namely default validator messages and errors occurring during the processing (data coercion) stage. For example, in the case of the IntegerField above, if someone entered a value which was not valid as an integer, then a message like “Not a valid integer value” would be displayed.

Using the built-in translations provider

WTForms now includes a basic translations provider which uses the stdlib gettext module to localize strings based on locale information distributed with the package. Localizations for several languages are included, and we hope that soon there will be more submitted.

To use the builtin translations provider, simply pass locale languages as locales in the meta section of the constructor of your form:

form = MyForm(request.form, meta={'locales': ['en_US', 'en']})

Alternately, if you are localizing application-wide you can define locales at meta-level in a subclass of Form:

class MyBaseForm(Form):
    class Meta:
        locales = ['es_ES', 'es']

Now simply have all your forms be a subclass of MyBaseForm and you will have all your default messages output in spanish.

Writing your own translations provider

For this case, we provide the ability to give a translations object on a subclass of Form, which will then be called to translate built-in strings.

An example of writing a simple translations object:

from mylibrary import ugettext, ungettext
from wtforms import Form

class MyTranslations(object):
    def gettext(self, string):
        return ugettext(string)

    def ngettext(self, singular, plural, n):
        return ungettext(singular, plural, n)

class MyBaseForm(Form):
    class Meta:
        def get_translations(self, form):
            return MyTranslations()

You would then use this new base Form class as the base class for any forms you create, and any built-in messages from WTForms will be passed to your gettext/ngettext implementations.

You control the object’s constructor, its lifecycle, and everything else about it, so you could, for example, pass the locale per-form instantiation to the translation object’s constructor, and anything else you need to do for translations to work for you.