This document describes the internationalisation features of Wagtail and how to create multi-lingual sites.

Wagtail uses Django’s Internationalisation framework so most of the steps are the same as other Django projects.

Wagtail admin translations

The Wagtail admin backend has been translated into many different languages. You can find a list of currently available translations on Wagtail’s Transifex page. (Note: if you’re using an old version of Wagtail, this page may not accurately reflect what languages you have available).

If your language isn’t listed on that page, you can easily contribute new languages or correct mistakes. Sign up and submit changes to Transifex. Translation updates are typically merged into an official release within one month of being submitted.

Change Wagtail admin language on a per user basis

New in version 1.10.

Logged-in users can set their preferred language from /admin/account/. By default, Wagtail provides a list of languages that have a >= 90% translation coverage. It is possible to override this list via the WAGTAILADMIN_PERMITTED_LANGUAGES setting.

In case there is zero or one language permitted, the form will be hidden.

If there is no language selected by the user, the LANGUAGE_CODE wil be used.

Changing the primary language of your Wagtail installation

The default language of Wagtail is en-us (American English). You can change this by tweaking a couple of Django settings:

If there is a translation available for your language, the Wagtail admin backend should now be in the language you’ve chosen.

Creating sites with multiple languages

You can create sites with multiple language support by leveraging Django’s translation features.

This section of the documentation will show you how to use Django’s translation features with Wagtail and also describe a couple of methods for storing/retrieving translated content using Wagtail pages.

Enabling multiple language support

Firstly, make sure the USE_I18N Django setting is set to True.

To enable multi-language support, add django.middleware.locale.LocaleMiddleware to your MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES:



This middleware class looks at the user’s browser language and sets the language of the site accordingly.

Serving different languages from different URLs

Just enabling the multi-language support in Django sometimes may not be enough. By default, Django will serve different languages of the same page with the same URL. This has a couple of drawbacks:

  • Users cannot change language without changing their browser settings
  • It may not work well with various caching setups (as content varies based on browser settings)

Django’s i18n_patterns feature, when enabled, prefixes the URLs with the language code (eg /en/about-us). Users are forwarded to their preferred version, based on browser language, when they first visit the site.

This feature is enabled through the project’s root URL configuration. Just put the views you would like to have this enabled for in an i18n_patterns list and append that to the other URL patterns:

# mysite/

from django.conf.urls import include, url
from django.conf.urls.i18n import i18n_patterns
from django.conf import settings
from django.contrib import admin

from wagtail.wagtailadmin import urls as wagtailadmin_urls
from wagtail.wagtaildocs import urls as wagtaildocs_urls
from wagtail.wagtailcore import urls as wagtail_urls

urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^django-admin/', include(,

    url(r'^admin/', include(wagtailadmin_urls)),
    url(r'^documents/', include(wagtaildocs_urls)),

urlpatterns += i18n_patterns(
    # These URLs will have /<language_code>/ appended to the beginning

    url(r'^search/$', '', name='search'),

    url(r'', include(wagtail_urls)),

You can implement switching between languages by changing the part at the beginning of the URL. As each language has its own URL, it also works well with just about any caching setup.

Translating templates

Static text in templates needs to be marked up in a way that allows Django’s makemessages command to find and export the strings for translators and also allow them to switch to translated versions on the when the template is being served.

As Wagtail uses Django’s templates, inserting this markup and the workflow for exporting and translating the strings is the same as any other Django project.


Translating content

The most common approach for translating content in Wagtail is to duplicate each translatable text field, providing a separate field for each language.

This section will describe how to implement this method manually but there is a third party module you can use, wagtail modeltranslation, which may be quicker if it meets your needs.

Duplicating the fields in your model

For each field you would like to be translatable, duplicate it for every language you support and suffix it with the language code:

class BlogPage(Page):

    title_fr = models.CharField(max_length=255)

    body_en = StreamField(...)
    body_fr = StreamField(...)

    # Language-independent fields don't need to be duplicated
    thumbnail_image = models.ForeignKey('wagtailimages.image', ...)


We only define the French version of the title field as Wagtail already provides the English version for us.

Organising the fields in the admin interface

You can either put all the fields with their translations next to each other on the “content” tab or put the translations for other languages on different tabs.

See Customising the tabbed interface for information on how to add more tabs to the admin interface.

Accessing the fields from the template

In order for the translations to be shown on the site frontend, the correct field needs to be used in the template based on what language the client has selected.

Having to add language checks every time you display a field in a template, could make your templates very messy. Here’s a little trick that will allow you to implement this while keeping your templates and model code clean.

You can use a snippet like the following to add accessor fields on to your page model. These accessor fields will point at the field that contains the language the user has selected.

Copy this into your project and make sure it’s imported in any files that contain a Page with translated fields. It will require some modification to support different languages.

from django.utils import translation

class TranslatedField(object):
    def __init__(self, en_field, fr_field):
        self.en_field = en_field
        self.fr_field = fr_field

    def __get__(self, instance, owner):
        if translation.get_language() == 'fr':
            return getattr(instance, self.fr_field)
            return getattr(instance, self.en_field)

Then, for each translated field, create an instance of TranslatedField with a nice name (as this is the name your templates will reference).

For example, here’s how we would apply this to the above BlogPage model:

class BlogPage(Page):

    translated_title = TranslatedField(
    body = TranslatedField(

Finally, in the template, reference the accessors instead of the underlying database fields:

{{ page.translated_title }}

{{ page.body }}