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The glue between django-modeltranslation and wagtail

Project description

Keep-it-simple glue between django-modeltranslation and Wagtail.


  • Field-based translation for Wagtail using django-modeltranslation

  • TODO Makes translated fields easily accessible to the Wagtail admin.

  • Sensible to the currently activated language.

  • The Page model isn’t modified (no migrations added to Wagtail), translations of title, seo_title and search_description are local to the translated models.

How to use

You create Wagtail models and activate them with a <yourapp>.translation module, just like you would with any other modeltranslation-based model.

In Wagtail, it’s the active language that decides what language you are editing in your translated model.

For instance, navigating to /en/wagtail/pages/add/<yourapp>/<yourmodel>/<ptr_id>/ will create a new page in English.

Drawback: There is currently no UI for the translation workflow. This means that users have to know that they need to switch /en/ with /fr/ in the URL path after creating an English entry to edit it in French.

When to use this

Actually, you might not want to use this! Consider carefully to use wagtail-modeltranslation as it has substantially improved by not hard-copying django-modeltranslation anymore.

If you need to have 1:1 translation for Pages or Snippets in Wagtail, you could use django-modeltranslation. However, wagtail-modeltranslation is a complex project that patches a lot of external code and therefore often breaks with the latest versions of Wagtail.

If you only need freeform translation (when pages in the page-tree aren’t translated 1:1 but translations exist independently from one another), look no further than either Wagtail’s built-in simple_translation or wagtail-localize.


Originally, I was using wagtail-modeltranslation. The project has been sparsely maintained, but more seriously, it was monkey-patching Wagtail and using a hard-copy of the modeltranslation codebase instead of a dependency reference to django-modeltranslation. The latter has now been restored, which as lowered the motivation for this project.

A few years later, I returned to use wagtail-modeltranslation but once again found myself spending way too much time understanding non-merged PRs etc. To be fair, the project has been maintained in the meantime, but it was lacking behind and I couldn’t figure out what to do to use it with the latest version of Wagtail.

This project introduces a bit of naming hell. But remember it like this: django-modeltranslation-wagtail has wagtail at the end because it depends on django-modeltranslation, which depends on django.

Using django-modeltranslation or wagtail-modeltranslation?

Switching is easy!

Since this project is directly based on django-modeltranslation, the creation of fields in the database and django migrations remains the same. In case you are switching, just revisit your files and change the imports to point to modeltranslation_wagtail.

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