[Solved]-Django: How to add Chinese support to the application


You will need to use lower case for your locale language codes for it to work properly. i.e. use

    ('zh-cn', u'简体中文'), # instead of 'zh-CN'
    ('zh-tw', u'繁體中文'), # instead of 'zh-TW'

See the language codes specified in https://code.djangoproject.com/browser/django/trunk/django/conf/global_settings.py. You will see that it uses zh-tw instead of zh-TW.

Finally, the language directories storing the *.po and *.mo files in your locales folder needs to be named zh_CN and zh_TW respectively for the translations to work properly.


For Django 1.7 and up, you’ll need to do the following:

zh-hans in your config, and make sure that your directory is named zh_Hans.

And for traditional Chinese:

zh-hant in your config, and your directory should be named zh_Hant.

Here is an example of how the auth contributor package lays out its translations in the locale directory: https://github.com/django/django/tree/master/django/contrib/auth/locale

Basically, for our Chinese language codes, the - is replaced with a _, and the first letter of the second work is capitalized.

Source code for this logic is here: https://github.com/django/django/blob/7a42cfcfdc94c1e7cd653f3140b9eb30492bae4f/django/utils/translation/init.py#L272-L285

and just to be thorough, here is the method:

def to_locale(language, to_lower=False):
    Turns a language name (en-us) into a locale name (en_US). If 'to_lower' is
    True, the last component is lower-cased (en_us).
    p = language.find('-')
    if p >= 0:
        if to_lower:
            return language[:p].lower() + '_' + language[p + 1:].lower()
            # Get correct locale for sr-latn
            if len(language[p + 1:]) > 2:
                return language[:p].lower() + '_' + language[p + 1].upper() + language[p + 2:].lower()
            return language[:p].lower() + '_' + language[p + 1:].upper()
return language.lower()

Note that en-us is turned into en_US, based on the source code above, because us is 2 characters or less.


I had the same problem [Django-1.6.1] and solved it by renaming the locale directories for Chinese from zh-cn (or zh_cn) to zh_CN (underscore and uppercase CN).

Strangely enough Django requires a “zh-cn” as LANGUAGE_CODE or url with an i18n_pattern respectively.

Non-documented goodness btw.

Hope that helps.


Not sure if you were able to resolve this later, but the problem is with the language directory names in the locale directory. This happens with all languages with a dash in their short-code. The solution is to rename the Chinese directories by replacing the dashes with underscores:

zh-cn –> zh_cn
zh-tw –> zh_tw

Hope this helps.


In .po file, add zh-cn or zh-tw in “Language: \n”, which becomes “Language: zh-en\n” or “Language: zh-tw\n”

Compile the messages and runserver again.

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