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Translate ActiveRecord object attributes without the use of additional models.

Changes from 1.* to 2.*

serial_translator will now store all translations in JSON format per default rather than in YAML. However, it is still able to read YAML serialized translations and will convert them in the background.


Add it to your Gemfile:

gem 'serial_translator'


Add a *_translations column to your table, e.g. title_translations.

class AddTitleTranslationsToBlogPosts < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def change
    add_column :blog_posts, :title_translations, :text

In your model, call #serial_translator_for.

class BlogPost < ActiveRecord::Base
  serial_translator_for :title
  # [...]

Now you can read and write title_translations or title_#{locale} or title(locale).

blog_post =
blog_post.title_translations = { de: 'Hallo Welt', en: 'Hello world' }
blog_post.title_en # => "Hello world"
blog_post.title(:en) # => "Hello world"
blog_post.translated_locales # => [:de, :en]

Setting or getting the field name without specifying a locale defaults to the current locale.

I18n.locale = :de
blog_post.title # => "Hallo Welt"
blog_post.title = 'Hey'
blog_post.title_translations # => { de: 'Hey', en: 'Hello world' }

So if you add a title field to a BlogPost form it will work on the title in the user’s locale by default. You can override this by setting the record’s #current_translation_locale.

Add length or presence validations if you want. They will use the same localization keys for error messages as the standard length and presence validations.

class BlogPost < ActiveRecord::Base
  validates :title, serial_translator_presence: true
  validates :text,  serial_translator_length: { minimum: 100 }


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request