Skip to main content

Linguo is a Django application that provides the ability to have multilingual models.

Project description


Linguo is a Django application that provides the ability to have multilingual models (ie. translatable fields on models). This means that you can have fields on a model with different values for different languages.

It does this by creating additional columns for each language and using accessors to make it transparent to you.


  • Automatically retrieves translated values in the current active language.
  • Supports filtering and ordering on translatable fields.
  • Can support ModelForms for translatable models that automatically save values to the active language.
  • Supports latest version of Django (1.3)
  • Comprehensive tests


Subclass MultilingualModel and specify the fields to be translated in the Meta class translate property:

from linguo.models import MultilingualModel
from linguo.managers import MultilingualManager

class Product(MultilingualModel):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255, verbose_name=_('name'))
    description = models.TextField(verbose_name=_('description'))
    price = models.FloatField(verbose_name=_('price'))

    objects = MultilingualManager()

    class Meta:
        # name and description are translatable fields
        translate = ('name', 'description')

MultilingualManager allows you to transparently perform filtering and ordering on translatable fields (more on this below).

Assuming your LANGUAGES settings looks like this …

    ('en', ugettext('English')),
    ('fr', ugettext('French')),

Behind the scenes, linguo will add columns for each additional language:

class Product(MultilingualModel):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255, verbose_name=_('name'))
    name_fr = models.CharField(max_length=255, verbose_name=_('name (French)'))

    description = models.TextField(verbose_name=_('description'))
    description_fr = models.TextField(verbose_name=_('description (French)'))

    price = models.FloatField(verbose_name=_('price'))


Then, you can do this:

Create a product: It automatically sets the values for the current active language.

product = Product.objects.create(
    name='English Name',
    description='English description',

Create a translation for that product.

    name='French Name', description='French description'
# You don't have to specify price, because it is not a translatable field

# We're going to assume that the product we created has id=1
product = Product.objects.get(id=1)
-> 'English Name'

-> 'English description'

If we switch languages, it will automatically retrieve the corresponding translated values.


product = Product.objects.get(id=1)
-> 'French Name'

-> 'French description'

We can also retrieve translations for a specific language, regardless of what language we are in.


product_in_en = Product.objects.get(id=1)
product_in_fr = product_in_en.get_translation(language='fr')

The product and its translation have the same id since they are the same object. ==
-> True

But they have different names (since name is a translatable field)
-> 'English Name'
-> 'French Name'

Non-translated fields will have the same value regardless of the language we are operating in.

-> 10.0

-> 10.0

Querying the database

Filtering and ordering work as you would expect it to. It will filter/order in the language you are operating in. You need to use MultilingualManager on the model in order for this feature to work.

Product.objects.filter(name='French Name').order_by('name')

If you need to do cross-language querying, you can do this:

Product.objects.filter(name='English Name', name_fr='French Name'
).order_by('name', 'name_fr')

ModelForms for Multilingual models

ModelForms work transparently in the sense that it automatically saves the form data to the current active language.

But by default, a ModelForm for a Multlingual model will contains all the fields for every language (eg. name, name_fr, etc.). Typically this is not what you want. You just need to specify the fields attribute so that it doesn’t generate separate fields for each language.

class ProductForm(forms.ModelForm):
    class Meta:
        fields = ('name', 'description', 'price',)
        model = Product

The template output and field names for the form will be the same regardless of the language you are operating in.

When saving the form, it will automatically save the form data to the fields in the current active language.

translation.activate('fr') # Activate French

data = {'name': 'French Name', 'description': 'French Description', 'price': 37}
form = ProductForm(data=data)

new_product_fr =
-> 'French Name'

-> 'French Description'

-> 37.0

# Other languages will not be affected

new_product_en = new_product_fr.get_translation(language='en')
-> ''

-> ''

-> 37
 # Of course, non-translatable fields will have a consistent value


1. You just need to ensure linguo is in your PYTHONPATH so that you can import MultilingualModel and MultilingualManager. You can use distutils to have it installed into your Python packages folder (python install).

2`. Ensure the LANGUAGES setting contains all the languages for your site.

It is highly recommended that you use south ( so that changes to your model can be migrated using automatic schema migrations. This is because linguo creates new fields on your model that are transparent to you. See the section below on “Behind The Scenes” for more details.

Adding new languages

  • Append the new language to the LANGUAGES setting.
    • You should avoid changing the primary language (ie. the first language in the list). If you do that, you will have to migrate the data in that column.
  • If using south, perform an automatic schemamigration:
    ./ schemamigration <app-name> --auto
  • If NOT using south, examine the schema change by running:
    ./ sql <app-name>

    You’ll have to manually write the SQL statement to alter the table .

Running the tests

./manage test tests --settings=linguo.tests.settings

Behind The Scenes (How It Works)

For each field marked as translatable, linguo will create additional database fields for each additional language.

For example, if you mark the following field as translatable …

name = models.CharField(_('name'), max_length=255)

class Meta:
    translate = ('name',)

… and you have three languages (en, fr, de). Your model will have the following db fields:

name = models.CharField(_('name'), max_length=255) # This is for the FIRST language "en"
name_fr = models.CharField(_('name (French)'), max_length=255) # This is for "fr"
name_de = models.CharField(_('name (German)'), max_length=255) # This is for "de"

On the instantiated model, “name” becomes a property that appropriately gets/sets the values for the corresponding field that matches the language we are working with.

For example, if the current language is “fr” …

product = Product() = "test" # --> sets name_fr

… this will set product.name_fr (not

Database filtering works because MultingualQueryset rewrites the query.

For example, if the current language is “fr”, and we run the following query …


… it will be rewritten to be …



This app was developed by Zach Mathew at Trapeze Media.

See the AUTHORS file for full list of contributors.


This app is licensed under the BSD license. See the LICENSE file for details.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for django-linguo, version 1.2.3
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size django-linguo-1.2.3.tar.gz (18.1 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing Datadog Datadog Monitoring Facebook / Instagram Facebook / Instagram PSF Sponsor Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Huawei Huawei PSF Sponsor Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Salesforce Salesforce PSF Sponsor Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page