:abc: Polyglot

Gem Version Build Status

Polyglot is a fast, painless, open-source internationalization plugin for Jekyll blogs. Polyglot is easy to setup 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"]
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 folders are you excluding from localization
  • whether to run language processing in parallel or serial

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.

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 seperate 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:

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 vistors 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

If you don't want a url to be relativized, you can add a space explicitly into the href to prevents a url from being relativized by polyglot.

For example, the following urls will be relativized:


and the following urls will be left alone:

href=" http://mywebsite.com/about"
href=" /about"

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

Localized site.data

There are cases when site.data localization is required. For instance: you might need to localize _data/navigation.yml that holds "navigation menu". In order to localize it, just place language-specific files in _data/:lang/... folder, and Polyglot will bring those keys to the top level.

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 thread for each language you intend to process the site for. Each of those threads 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.


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 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 it's multilingual audience. Check them out!

Other Websites Built with Polyglot

let us know if you make a multilingual blog you want to share:


Currently supports Jekyll 3.0 . Windows users will need to disable parallel_localization on their machines by setting parallel_localization: false in the _config.yml

Copyright (c) Samuel Volin 2017. License: MIT