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This application provides a collection of URL-related utilities for multi-lingual projects.

Project description


This application provides a collection of URL-related utilities for multi-lingual projects.


  • Localizable URLs - the same page can have a different url in a different language. (eg /products/ can be /produits/ in French)

  • Language-in-Path - a replacement for Django’s language cookie that makes URLs language-specific by storing the language code in the URL path.

  • Language-in-Domain - a replacement for Django’s language cookie that makes URLs language-specific by mapping each domain for the site onto a language.


  • Add transurlvania to INSTALLED_APPS in your settings file

  • Add the following middlewares to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES in your settings file:

    • transurlvania.middleware.URLCacheResetMiddleware (must be before the SessionMiddleware)

    • transurlvania.middleware.URLTransMiddleware (must be before the

      CommonMiddleware in order for APPEND_SLASH to work)

  • Add transurlvania.context_processors.translate to TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS.


Localizing URLs

Replace the usual:

from django.conf.urls.defaults import *


from transurlvania.defaults import *

You will need the ugettext_noop function if you want to mark any URL patterns for localization:

from django.utils.translation import ugettext_noop as _

To make an URL pattern localizable, first ensure that it is in the url(...) form, then wrap the URL pattern itself in a gettext function call:

url(_(r'^about-us/$'), 'about_us', name='about_us'),

Now, when you next run the makemessages management command, these URL patterns will be collected in the .po file along with all the other localizable strings.


  • because the strings in the po file are not raw strings, some regex characters will be escaped, so the URL patterns are sometimes less readable

  • When providing a translation for a URL pattern that includes regex elements, ensure that the translation contains the same regex elements, otherwise the pattern matching behaviour may vary from language to language.

Localizing get_absolute_url

Any language-aware models that define get_absolute_url should decorate it with permalink_in_lang, from transurlvania.decorators so that the returned URLs will be properly translated to the language of the object. permalink_in_lang accepts the same tuple values as permalink except that the language code to be used for the URL should be inserted between the name of the view or URL and the view_args parameter:

def get_absolute_url(self):
    ('name_of_view_or_url', self.language, (), {})

Making URLs Language-Specific

transurlvania provides two ways for making URLs language-specific, meaning that the URL itself will indicate what language to use when generating the response.

Language in Path

  • Add transurlvania.middleware.LangInPathMiddleware to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES after LocaleMiddleware.

  • Make these changes to your root URL conf module:

    • If you haven’t already done so, replace from django.conf.urls.defaults import * with from transurlvania.defaults import *.

    • Replace the call to patterns that populates the urlpatterns variable with a call to lang_prefixed_patterns.

    • To handle requests to the root URL itself (“/”) or any URLs you wish to keep outside of the language prefixing, declare the URL patterns as normal inside a call to patterns and append the result to the urlpatterns variable.

    Here’s an example of what a root URLconf might look like before adding language prefixing:

    from django.contrib import admin
    from django.utils.translation import ugettext_noop as _
    from transurlvania.defaults import *
    urlpatterns = patterns('example.views',
        url(r'^$', 'home'),
        url(r'^admin/', include(,
        url(_(r'^about-us/$'), 'about_us', name='about_us'),

    And here’s what it would look like after it’s been converted:

    from django.contrib import admin
    from django.utils.translation import ugettext_noop as _
    from transurlvania.defaults import *
    urlpatterns = lang_prefixed_patterns('example.views',
        url(r'^$', 'home'),
        url(r'^admin/', include(,
        url(_(r'^about-us/$'), 'about_us', name='about_us'),
    urlpatterns += patterns('example.views',
        url(r'^$', 'language_selection_splash'),

Language in Domain

  • Add transurlvania.middleware.LangInDomainMiddleware to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES after LocaleMiddleware.

  • Add MULTILANG_LANGUAGE_DOMAINS to the project’s settings module.

    This settings should be a dictionary mapping language codes to two-element tuples, where the first element is the domain for that language, and the second element is the name of the site this represents.


        'en': ('', 'English Site'),
        'fr': ('', 'French Site')

Language Switching

Django’s language switching view is incompatible with transurlvania’s techniques for setting site language using the URL. transurlvania provides its own language switching tools that make it possible to link directly to the loaded page’s alternate-language equivalent.

The main requirement for this functionality is that transurlvania.middleware.URLTransMiddleware is in MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES, and transurlvania.context_processors.translate is in TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS. With these installed you can then use the this_page_in_lang template tag to get the URL for the page currently being viewed in the language requested.

So, {% this_page_in_lang "fr" %} would return the URL to the French version of the page being displayed.

The language switching code has two schemes for determining the URL to use:

1. If there’s a variable named object in the context, and that variable implements a method named get_translation, the switcher will call the method with the requsted language, call get_absolute_url on what’s returned and then use that URL for the translation.

2. If the first method fails, the switcher will call transurlvania’s reverse_for_language function using the view name and the parameters that were resolved from the current request.

There are cases where neither of these schemes will work such as when the object isn’t named object, or when the same view is used by multiple URLs. In those cases, you can use the decorators provided by the translators module to decorate the view and change which URL look-up scheme is used. You can also define your own look-up schemes.

Language Based Blocking

The BlockLocaleMiddleware will block non-admins from accessing the site in any language listed in the BLOCKED_LANGUAGES setting in the settings file.

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