🔤 Multilingual and i18n support tool for Jekyll Blogs

🔤 Polyglot

Polyglot is a fast, painless, open-source internationalization plugin for Jekyll blogs. Polyglot is easy to set up and use with any Jekyll project, and it scales to the languages you want to support. With fallback support for missing content, automatic url relativization, and powerful SEO tools, Polyglot allows any multi-language jekyll blog to focus on content without the cruft.


Jekyll doesn't provide native support for multi-language blogs. This plugin was modeled after the jekyll-multiple-languages-plugin, whose implementation I liked, but execution I didn't.


Add jekyll-polyglot to your Gemfile if you are using Bundler:

group :jekyll_plugins do
   gem "jekyll-polyglot"

Or install the gem manually by doing gem install jekyll-polyglot and specify the plugin using _config.yml:

  - jekyll-polyglot


In your _config.yml file, add the following preferences

languages: ["en", "sv", "de", "fr"]
default_lang: "en"
exclude_from_localization: ["javascript", "images", "css", "public"]
parallel_localization: true

These configuration preferences indicate

  • what i18n languages you wish to support
  • what is your default "fallback" language for your content
  • what root level files/folders are excluded from localization, based on if their paths start with any of the excluded regexp substrings. (this is different from the jekyll exclude: [ .gitignore ] ; you should exclude files and directories in your repo you dont want in your built site at all, and exclude_from_localization files and directories you want to see in your built site, but not in your sublanguage sites.)
  • whether to run language processing in parallel or serial

The optional lang_from_path: true option enables getting page language from the first or second path segment, e.g de/first-one.md, or _posts/zh_Hans_HK/use-second-segment.md , if the lang frontmatter isn't defined.

How To Use It

When adding new posts and pages, add to the YAML front matter:

lang: sv

or whatever appropriate I18n language code the page should build for. And you're done. Ideally, when designing your site, you should organize files by their relative urls.

You can see how the live Polyglot website configures and supports multiple languages, and examples of community language contributions.

Polyglot works by associating documents with similar permalinks to the lang specified in their frontmatter. Files that correspond to similar routes should have identical permalinks. If you don't provide a permalink for a post, make sure you are consistent with how you place and name corresponding files:


Organized names will generate consistent permalinks when the post is rendered, and Polyglot will know to build separate language versions of the website using only the files with the correct lang variable in the front matter.

In short:

  • Be consistent with how you name and place your posts files
  • Always give your pages permalinks in the frontmatter
  • Don't overthink it, :wink:

New in 1.8.0

Whenever page_id frontmatter properties are used to identify translations, permalink information for the available languages is available in permalink_lang. This is useful in order to generate language menus and even localization meta information without redirects!

Sample code for meta link generation:

{% for lang in site.languages %}
  {% capture lang_href %}{{site.baseurl}}/{% if lang != site.default_lang %}{{ lang }}/{% endif %}{% if page.permalink_lang[lang] != '/' %}{{page.permalink_lang[lang]}}{% endif %}{% endcapture %}
  <link rel="alternate" hreflang="{{ lang }}" {% static_href %}href="{{ lang_href }}"{% endstatic_href %} />
{% endfor %}

New in 1.7.0

Optionally, for those who may want different URLs on different languages, translations may be identified by specifying a page_id in the frontmatter.

If available, Polyglot will use page_id to identify the page, and will default to the permalink otherwise.

As an example, you may have an about page located in /about/ while being in /acerca-de/ in Spanish just by changing the permalink and specifying a page_id that will link the files as translations:

title: About
permalink: /about
lang: en
page_id: about
This is us!
title: Acerca de
permalink: /acerca-de
lang: es
page_id: about
Estos somos nosotros!

Additionally, if you are also using the jekyll-redirect-from plugin, pages coordinated this way will automatically have redirects created between pages. So /es/about will automatically redirect to /es/acerca-de and /acerca-de can redirect to /about. If you use this approach, be sure to also employ a customized redirect.html.

Fallback Language Support

Lets say you are building your website. You have an /about/ page written in english, german and swedish. You are also supporting a french website, but you never designed a french version of your /about/ page!

No worries. Polyglot ensures the sitemap of your english site matches your french site, matches your swedish and german sites too. In this case, because you specified a default_lang variable in your _config.yml, all sites missing their languages' counterparts will fallback to your default_lang, so content is preserved across different languages of your site.

Relativized Local Urls

No need to meticulously manage anchor tags to link to your correct language. Polyglot modifies how pages get written to the site so your french links keep visitors on your french blog.

title: au sujet de notre entreprise
permalink: /about/
lang: fr
Nous sommes un restaurant situé à Paris . [Ceci est notre menu.](/menu/)


<header class="post-header">
  <h1 class="post-title">au sujet de notre entreprise</h1>

<article class="post-content">
  <p>Nous sommes un restaurant situé à Paris . <a href="/fr/menu/">Ceci est notre menu.</a></p>

Notice the link <a href="/fr/menu/">... directs to the french website.

Even if you are falling back to default_lang page, relative links built on the french site will still link to french pages.

Relativized Absolute Urls

If you defined a site url in your _config.yaml, Polyglot will automatically relativize absolute links pointing to your website directory:

lang: fr
Cliquez [ici]({{site.url}}) pour aller à l'entrée du site.


<p>Cliquez <a href="https://mywebsite.com/fr/">ici</a> pour aller à l'entrée du site.

Disabling Url Relativizing

New in 1.4.0 If you dont want a href attribute to be relativized (such as for making a language switcher), you can use the block tag:

{% static_href %}href="..."{% endstatic_href %}
<a {% static_href %}href="/about"{% endstatic_href %}>click this static link</a>

that will generate <a href="/about">click this static link</a> which is what you would normally use to create a url unmangled by invisible language relativization.

Combine with a html minifier for a polished and production ready website.

Exclusive site language generation

New in 1.4.0

If you want to control which languages a document can be generated for, you can specify lang-exclusive: [ ] frontmatter. If you include this frontmatter in your post, it will only generate for the specified site languages.

For Example, the following frontmatter will only generate in the en and fr site language builds:

lang-exclusive: ['en', 'fr']

Localized site.data

There are cases where you may want to have a list of key: value pairs of translated content. For example, instead of creating a complete separate file for each language containing the layout structure and localized content, you can create a single file with the layout that will be shared among pages, and then create a language-specific file with the localized content that will be used.

To do this, you can create a file like _data/:lang/strings.yml, one for each language, and Polyglot will bring those keys under site.data[:lang].strings. For example, suppose you have the following files:


hello: "Hello"
  morning: "Good morning"
  evening: "Good evening"


hello: "Olá"
  morning: "Bom dia"
  evening: "Boa noite"

You can use the site.data to access the localized content in your layouts and pages:

<p>{{ site.data[site.active_lang].strings.hello }}, {{ site.data[site.active_lang].strings.greetings.morning }}</p>

For more information on this matter, check out this post.

Localized collections

To localize collections, you first have to properly define the collection in your _config.yml file. For example, if you have a collection of projects, you can define it like this:

    output: true
    permalink: /:collection/:title/

Note that the permalink definition here is important. Then, you can create a file for each language in the _projects directory, and Polyglot will bring those files under site.projects. For more information, check the related discussion #188.

How It Works

This plugin makes modifications to existing Jekyll classes and modules, namely Jekyll::StaticFile and Jekyll::Site. These changes are as lightweight and slim as possible. The biggest change is in Jekyll::Site.process. Polyglot overwrites this method to instead spawn a separate process for each language you intend to process the site for. Each of those processes calls the original Jekyll::Site.process method with its language in mind, ensuring your website scales to support any number of languages, while building all of your site languages simultaneously.

Jekyll::Site.process is the entry point for the Jekyll build process. Take care whatever other plugins you use do not also attempt to overwrite this method. You may have problems.

(:polyglot, :post_write) hook

New in 1.8.0 Polyglot issues a :polyglot, :post_write hook event once all languages have been built for the site. This hook runs exactly once, after all site languages been processed:

Jekyll::Hooks.register :polyglot, :post_write do |site|
  # do something custom and cool here!

Machine-aware site building

New in 1.5.0

Polyglot will only start builds after it confirms there is a cpu core ready to accept the build thread. This ensures that jekyll will build large sites efficiently, streamlining build processes instead of overloading machines with process thrash.

Writing Tests and Debugging

:wave: I need assistance with modern ruby best practices for test maintenance with rake and rspec. If you got the advice I have the ears.

Tests are run with bundle exec rake. Tests are in the /spec directory, and test failure output detail can be examined in the rspec.xml file.


This plugin stands out from other I18n Jekyll plugins.

  • automatically corrects your relative links, keeping your french visitors on your french website, even when content has to fallback to the default_lang.
  • builds all versions of your website simultaneously, allowing big websites to scale efficiently.
  • provides the liquid tag {{ site.languages }} to get an array of your I18n strings.
  • provides the liquid tag {{ site.default_lang }} to get the default_lang I18n string.
  • provides the liquid tag {{ site.active_lang }} to get the I18n language string the website was built for. Alternative names for active_lang can be configured via config.lang_vars.
  • provides the liquid tag {{ I18n_Headers https://yourwebsite.com/ }} to append SEO bonuses to your website.
  • provides the liquid tag {{ Unrelativized_Link href="/hello" }} to make urls that do not get influenced by url correction regexes.
  • provides site.data localization for efficient rich text replacement.
  • a creator that will answer all of your questions and issues.

SEO Recipes

Jekyll-polyglot has a few spectacular Search Engine Optimization techniques to ensure your Jekyll blog gets the most out of its multilingual audience. Check them out!

Sitemap generation

See the example sitemap.xml and robots.txt for how to automatically generate a multi-language sitemap for your page and turn it in for the SEO i18n credit.


Currently supports Jekyll 3.0 , and Jekyll 4.0

  • Windows users will need to disable parallel_localization on their machines by setting parallel_localization: false in the _config.yml
  • In Jekyll 4.0 , SCSS source maps will generate improperly due to how Polyglot operates. The workaround is to disable the CSS sourcemaps. Adding the following to your config.yml will disable sourcemap generation:
      sourcemap: never


Please! I need all the support I can get! 🙏

But for real I would appreciate any code contributions and support. This started as an open-source side-project and has gotten bigger than I'd ever imagine! If you have something you'd like to contribute to jekyll-polyglot, please open a PR!


These are talented and considerate software developers across the world that have lent their support to this project. Thank You! ¡Gracias! Merci! Danke! 감사합니다! תודה רבה! Спасибо! Dankjewel! 谢谢!Obrigado!

Other Websites Built with Polyglot

Feel free to open a PR and list your multilingual blog here you may want to share:

2.0 Roadmap

    • site language: portuguese Brazil pt-BR
    • site language: portuguese Portugal pt-PT
    • site language: arabic ar
    • site language: japanese ja
    • site language: russian ru
    • site language: dutch nl
    • site language: korean ko
    • site language: hebrew he
    • site language: chinese China zh-CN
    • site language: chinese Taiwan zh-TW
    • get whitelisted as an official github-pages jekyll plugin
    • update CI provider

Copyright (c) Samuel Volin 2023. License: MIT