Modeltranslation Python Django
==0.5 2.6 - 2.7 1.5
2.5 - 2.7 1.3 - 1.4
==0.4 2.5 - 2.7 1.3 - 1.4
<=0.3 2.4 - 2.7 1.0 - 1.4

Using Pip

$ pip install django-modeltranslation

Using the Source

Get a source tarball from pypi, unpack, then install with:

$ python install


As an alternative, if you don’t want to mess with any packaging tool, unpack the tarball and copy/move the modeltranslation directory to a path listed in your PYTHONPATH environment variable.


To setup the application please follow these steps. Each step is described in detail in the following sections:

  1. Add the modeltranslation app to the INSTALLED_APPS variable of your project’s
  2. Configure your LANGUAGES in
  3. Create a in your app directory and register TranslationOptions for every model you want to translate.
  4. Sync the database using syncdb (note that this only applies if the models registered in the did not have been synced to the database before. If they did - read further down what to do in that case.


Required Settings

The following variables have to be added to or edited in the project’s


Make sure that the modeltranslation app is listed in your INSTALLED_APPS variable:



The LANGUAGES variable must contain all languages used for translation. The first language is treated as the default language.

The modeltranslation application uses the list of languages to add localized fields to the models registered for translation. To use the languages de and en in your project, set the LANGUAGES variable like this (where de is the default language):

gettext = lambda s: s
    ('de', gettext('German')),
    ('en', gettext('English')),


The gettext lambda function is not a feature of modeltranslation, but rather required for Django to be able to (statically) translate the verbose names of the languages using the standard i18n solution.


Modeltranslation does not enforce the LANGUAGES setting to be defined in your project. When it isn’t present, it defaults to Django’s global LANGUAGES setting instead, and that are quite a number of languages!

Advanced Settings

Modeltranslation also has some advanced settings to customize its behaviour.


New in version 0.3.

Default: None

To override the default language as described in LANGUAGES, you can define a language in MODELTRANSLATION_DEFAULT_LANGUAGE. Note that the value has to be in settings.LANGUAGES, otherwise an ImproperlyConfigured exception will be raised.




New in version 0.5.


By default modeltranslation will fallback to the computed value of the DEFAULT_LANGUAGE. This is either the first language found in the LANGUAGES setting or the value defined through MODELTRANSLATION_DEFAULT_LANGUAGE which acts as an override.

This setting allows for a more fine grained tuning of the fallback behaviour by taking additional languages into account. The language order is defined as a tuple or list of language codes.



Using a dict syntax it is also possible to define fallbacks by language. A default key is required in this case to define the default behaviour of unlisted languages.


MODELTRANSLATION_FALLBACK_LANGUAGES = {'default': ('en', 'de'), 'fr': ('de',)}


Each language has to be in the LANGUAGES setting, otherwise an ImproperlyConfigured exception is raised.


New in version 0.4.

Default: () (empty tuple)

Modeltranslation uses an autoregister feature similiar to the one in Django’s admin. The autoregistration process will look for a file in the root directory of each application that is in INSTALLED_APPS.

The setting MODELTRANSLATION_TRANSLATION_FILES is provided to extend the modules that are taken into account.






Modeltranslation up to version 0.3 used a single project wide registration file which was defined through MODELTRANSLATION_TRANSLATION_REGISTRY = '<PROJECT_MODULE>.translation'. For backwards compatibiliy the module defined through this setting is automatically added to MODELTRANSLATION_TRANSLATION_FILES. A DeprecationWarning is issued in this case.


Default: () (empty tuple)

New in version 0.3.

Modeltranslation supports the fields listed in the Supported Fields Matrix. In most cases subclasses of the supported fields will work fine, too. Unsupported fields will throw an ImproperlyConfigured exception.

The list of supported fields can be extended by defining a tuple of field names in your




This just prevents modeltranslation from throwing an ImproperlyConfigured exception. Any unsupported field will most likely fail in one way or another. The feature is considered experimental and might be replaced by a more sophisticated mechanism in future versions.


Default: False

New in version 0.5.

This setting controls if the Multilingual Manager should automatically populate language field values in its create method, so that these two statements can be considered equivalent:

News.objects.create(title='-- no translation yet --', _populate=True)

News.objects.create(title='-- no translation yet --')


Default: settings.DEBUG

New in version 0.4.

Used for modeltranslation related debug output. Currently setting it to False will just prevent Django’s development server from printing the Registered xx models for translation message to stdout.