This repository contains the I18n ActiveRecord backend and support code that has been extracted from the I18n. It is fully compatible with Rails 3, 4 and 5


For Bundler put the following in your Gemfile:

  gem 'i18n-active_record', :require => 'i18n/active_record'

Next create a active record model named Translation with the Rails Generator. Your migration should look like this:

  class CreateTranslations < ActiveRecord::Migration
    def self.up
      create_table :translations do |t|
        t.string :locale
        t.string :key
        t.text   :value
        t.text   :interpolations
        t.boolean :is_proc, :default => false


    def self.down
      drop_table :translations

With this translation model you will be able to manage your translation, and add new translations or languages through it.

To load I18n::Backend::ActiveRecord into your Rails application, create a new file in config/initializers named locale.rb.

A simple configuration for your locale.rb could look like this:

  require 'i18n/backend/active_record'
  I18n.backend = I18n::Backend::ActiveRecord.new

A more advanced example (Thanks Moritz), which uses YAML files and ActiveRecord for lookups:

  require 'i18n/backend/active_record'

  Translation  = I18n::Backend::ActiveRecord::Translation

  if Translation.table_exists?
    I18n.backend = I18n::Backend::ActiveRecord.new

    I18n::Backend::ActiveRecord.send(:include, I18n::Backend::Memoize)
    I18n::Backend::Simple.send(:include, I18n::Backend::Memoize)
    I18n::Backend::Simple.send(:include, I18n::Backend::Pluralization)

    I18n.backend = I18n::Backend::Chain.new(I18n::Backend::Simple.new, I18n.backend)

You may also configure whether the ActiveRecord backend should use destroy or delete when cleaning up internally.

I18n::Backend::ActiveRecord.configure do |config|
  config.cleanup_with_destroy = true # defaults to false


You can now use I18n.t('Your String') to lookup translations in the database.

Missing Translations → Interpolations

The interpolations field in the Translations table is used by I18n::Backend::ActiveRecord::Missing to store the interpolations seen the first time this Translation was requested. This will help translators understand what interpolations to expect, and thus to include when providing the translations.

The interpolations field is otherwise unused since the “value” in Translation.value is actually used for interpolation during actual translations.


  • http://collectiveidea.com/blog/archives/2016/05/31/beyond-yml-files-dynamic-translations/


  • Sven Fuchs
  • Tim Maslyuchenko