How to Implement i18n in a Rails App Using AI

Updated on July 03, 2024

Code Generation
Lucas Carlson Cloved by Lucas Carlson and ChatGPT 4o
How to Implement i18n in a Rails App Using AI

In today’s globalized world, having a multi-language supported application is almost a necessity. Integrating internationalization (i18n) in your Rails app can significantly enhance its user experience by catering to a diverse audience. But implementing i18n can be a challenging task, especially when dealing with different locales and ensuring proper translations. This is where cloving—integrating human creativity and intuition with AI capabilities—can make the process much smoother.

Understanding Cloving

Cloving combines human intuition and creativity with AI’s analytical prowess to achieve common goals. It’s not just about using AI tools; it’s about creating a symbiotic relationship where human and machine strengths are leveraged to solve problems more effectively.

In this blog post, we will explore how integrating AI, specifically GPT, can help you efficiently implement i18n in a Rails application. Let’s cover the practical steps, tips, and best practices for incorporating i18n using AI.

1. Generating Translation Files

Creating translation files can be tedious, especially for apps with extensive text. GPT can assist by generating these files based on your application’s content.

Let’s say you want to create a translation file for the Spanish locale. Provide GPT with the relevant keys and values that need translation.

Generate a YAML file for Spanish translations in a Rails application with the following keys: 
- hello:
  - world: "Hello, World!"
- goodbye: "Goodbye"

GPT will generate the following translation file snippet:

    world: "¡Hola, Mundo!"
  goodbye: "Adiós"

This way, you save time and ensure consistency in your translation files.

2. Automating View Translation

Applying translations throughout your views can be error-prone. GPT can help by suggesting how to replace plain text with translation keys.

Suppose you have a Rails view that contains hardcoded text like:

<h1>Welcome to MyApp</h1>
<p>Sign up today to get started.</p>

You can prompt GPT:

How can I convert the following view to use i18n in Rails?
<h1>Welcome to MyApp</h1>
<p>Sign up today to get started.</p>

GPT will provide:

<h1><%= t('welcome.title', default: 'Welcome to MyApp') %></h1>
<p><%= t('welcome.description', default: 'Sign up today to get started.') %></p>

And it will also suggest updating your translation files accordingly:

    title: "Welcome to MyApp"
    description: "Sign up today to get started."

3. Example: Extracting Text from an .erb.html File

One of the potent uses of GPT is extracting text components automatically from existing view files. This can save a significant amount of time.

Suppose you have an .erb.html file named home.html.erb with the following content:

<h1>Welcome to Our Platform</h1>
<p>Explore our features and sign up today to enhance your experience.</p>
<button>Get Started</button>

To extract the text for i18n, you can paste the content into GPT with a prompt:

Extract the text components from the following .erb.html file for i18n in Rails:
<h1>Welcome to Our Platform</h1>
<p>Explore our features and sign up today to enhance your experience.</p>
<button>Get Started</button>

GPT will provide:

<h1><%= t('home.welcome_header', default: 'Welcome to Our Platform') %></h1>
<p><%= t('home.features_promo', default: 'Explore our features and sign up today to enhance your experience.') %></p>
<button><%= t('home.get_started_button', default: 'Get Started') %></button>

Along with the necessary translation file updates in home.yml:

    welcome_header: "Welcome to Our Platform"
    features_promo: "Explore our features and sign up today to enhance your experience."
    get_started_button: "Get Started"

4. Ensuring Consistent Translations Across the App

Keeping your translations consistent is crucial for user experience. GPT can help you identify similar terms and suggest consistent translations.

You might have multiple keys that need to be translated in a similar fashion. Describe your need to GPT:

Suggest consistent translations for these keys for a Rails i18n file:
- button.submit: "Submit"
- button.send: "Send"
- button.upload: "Upload"

GPT might suggest:

    submit: "Submit"
    send: "Send"
    upload: "Upload"

GPT can confirm that the translations are contextually appropriate and consistent across your app.

5. Generating Locale Switchers

Implementing a locale switcher on your site is essential for a multi-language app. GPT can provide you with snippets to integrate a locale switcher in Rails.

You want to add a language switcher to your Rails application. Prompt GPT:

How can I add a locale switcher dropdown to my Rails app layout?

GPT can provide you with a view snippet:

<select onChange="window.location.href=this.value;">
  <% I18n.available_locales.each do |locale| %>
    <option value="<%= url_for(locale: locale) %>" <%= 'selected' if I18n.locale == locale %>>
      <%= locale.to_s.titleize %>
  <% end %>

6. Reviewing Translations for Quality

Ensuring high-quality translations is crucial for user engagement. You can leverage GPT to review and suggest improvements for your translations.

You can ask GPT to review the following translations:

Review and improve these Spanish translations for better user engagement:
    world: "Hola Mundo"
  goodbye: "Adios"

GPT might suggest:

    world: "¡Hola, Mundo!"
  goodbye: "Adiós"


Implementing i18n in your Rails app can be streamlined significantly through cloving—embedding the capabilities of AI tools like GPT with human creativity. This synergistic approach can help you automate translation file generation, enforce consistency, create locale switchers, and ensure high-quality translations. Embrace cloving to enhance your Rails app with robust internationalization support.

Bonus Follow-Up Prompts

Here are a few extra bonus prompts you could use to refine your i18n implementation with GPT:

How can I configure GitHub to ensure that translations are automatically reviewed for consistency?

And another.

Suggest factories for generating i18n test data in RSpec.

And one more.

What other GPT prompts can help with maintaining translation files efficiently?

By leveraging these examples and suggestions, you can efficiently implement and maintain i18n in your Rails applications, significantly improving your development workflow.

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