Simple internationalization (i18n) package for Dart and Flutter.

Build Status pub package open source


  • AngularDart
  • Flutter hot reload
  • deferred loading of translations
  • social distancing
  • null safety


Turn this YAML file:


  save: Save
  load: Load
  welcome(String name): "Hello $name!"
  logout: Logout

Into these generated Dart classes:

class ExampleMessages {
    const ExampleMessages();
    ButtonExampleMessages get button => ButtonExampleMessages(this);
    UsersExampleMessages get users => UsersExampleMessages(this);
class ButtonExampleMessages {
    final ExampleMessages _parent;
    const ButtonExampleMessages(this._parent);
    String get save => "Save";
    String get load => "Load";
class UsersExampleMessages {
    final ExampleMessages _parent;
    const UsersExampleMessages(this._parent);
    String get logout => "Logout";
    String welcome(String name) => "Hello $name!";

... and use them in your code - plain and simple.

ExampleMessages m = ExampleMessages();
// outputs: Hello World!

Package is an extension (custom builder) for build_runner (Dart standard for source generation) and it can be used with Flutter, AngularDart or any other type of Dart project.

i69n: 51 points simpler than your standard i18n!

  • The official Dart/Flutter approach to i18n seems to be ... complicated and kind of ... heavyweight.
  • I would like my messages to be checked during compile time. Is that message really there?
  • Key to the localized message shouldn't be just some arbitrary String, it should be a getter method!
  • And if the message takes some parameters, it should be a method which take those parameters!

How to use with Flutter

Create YAML file with your messages, for example:


  done: Done
  ok: OK
  create: Create an invoice
  delete: Delete this invoice    

Add translations for different languages:

lib/messages/foo_cs.i69n.yaml (_cs = Czech translation)

  done: Hotovo
  # ok is the same and Foo_cs extends Foo.
  create: Vytvořit fakturu
  delete: Smazat fakturu

Add build_runner as a dev_dependency and i69n as a dependency to pubspec.yaml:

    sdk: flutter
  i69n: any

  build_runner: any
    sdk: flutter

Open a terminal and in the root of your Flutter project run:

flutter packages pub run build_runner watch --delete-conflicting-outputs

... and keep it running. Your message classes will appear next to YAML files and will be rebuilt automatically each time you change the source YAML.

For one-time (re)build of your messages run:

flutter packages pub run build_runner build --delete-conflicting-outputs

Import generated messages and use them:

import 'packages:my_app/messages/foo.i69n.dart'


Foo m = Foo();
return Text(;

... or ...

import 'packages:my_app/messages/foo_cs.i69n.dart'

Foo m = Foo_cs(); // Notice: Foo_cs extends Foo
return Text(;

How to use with AngularDart

You are using webdev tool already, so you just need to add i69n as a dependency and that's all.

Parameters and pluralization

The implementation is VERY straightforward, which allows you to do all sorts of crazy stuff:

  create: Create invoice
  delete: Delete invoice
  help: "Use this function
  to generate new invoices and stuff.
  count(int cnt): "You have created $cnt ${_plural(cnt, one:'invoice', many:'invoices')}."
  _apples(int cnt): "${_plural(cnt, one:'apple', many:'apples')}"
  count(int cnt): "You have eaten $cnt ${_apples(cnt)}."

Now see the generated classes:

class ExampleMessages {
    const ExampleMessages();
    InvoiceExampleMessages get invoice => InvoiceExampleMessages(this);        
    ApplesExampleMessages get apples => ApplesExampleMessages(this);
class InvoiceExampleMessages {
    final ExampleMessages _parent;
    const InvoiceExampleMessages(this._parent);
    String get create => "Create invoice";
    String get help => "Use this function to generate new invoices and stuff. Awesome!";
    String get delete => "Delete invoice";
    String count(int cnt) => "You have created $cnt ${_plural(cnt, one:'invoice', many:'invoices')}.";

class ApplesExampleMessages {
    final ExampleMessages _parent;
    const ApplesExampleMessages(this._parent);
    String _apples(int cnt) => "${_plural(cnt, one:'apple', many:'apples')}";
    String count(int cnt) => "You have eaten $cnt ${_apples(cnt)}.";

See how you can reuse the pluralization of _apples(int cnt)? (!!!)

There are three functions you can use in your message:

String _plural(int count, {String zero, String one, String two, String few, String many, String other})

String _cardinal(int count, {String zero, String one, String two, String few, String many, String other})

String _ordinal(int count, {String zero, String one, String two, String few, String many, String other})

_plural and _cardinal do the same. I just felt that _plural sounds a little bit less scary and in most cases that's the one you need.

We need only two forms of the word "apple" in English. "Apple" (one) and "apples" (many). But in Czech, we need three:

  _apples(int cnt): "${_plural(cnt, one:'jablko', few: 'jablka', many:'jablek')}"

See also:

How to use generated classes

How to decide what translation to use (ExampleMessages_cs?, ExampleMessages_hu?) is up to you. The package simply generates message classes, that's all.

import 'exampleMessages.i69n.dart';
import 'exampleMessages_cs.i69n.dart' deferred as cs;

void main() async {
  ExampleMessages m = ExampleMessages();

  await cs.loadLibrary();
  m = cs.ExampleMessages_cs(); // see? ExampleMessages_cs extends ExampleMessages

Where and how to store instances of these message classes - again, up to you. I would consider ScopedModel for Flutter and registering messages instance into dependency injection in AngularDart.

But in this case a singleton would be acceptable also.

Customization and speacial features

Dynamic access using String keys

It's still useful to access your messages using the String keys in some cases. For example when the key of the message is composed dynamically at runtime, maybe like this:

var vehicleTypeMessageKey = "VehicleType.${data['type']'}";

You can access your messages like this:

print('Static:  ${m.generic.ok}');
print('Dynamic: ${m.generic['ok']}');
print('Or even: ${m['generic.ok']}');

In case the key doesn't exist, an exception is thrown:

throw Exception('Message $key doesn\'t exist in $this');

You can disable this behaviour by adding flag 'nothrow':

_i69n: nothrow
  done: Done
  ok: OK

This flag is inherited to the lower levels of messages structure.

In some rare cases you might want to 'disable' this map generation (maybe to enable better tree-shaking of unused messages?). In such case use a simple flag 'nomap':

  _i69n: nomap
  done: Done
  ok: OK             

No message in 'generic' message group will be accessible through the [] operator. Scope of the flag is very narrow - one message object in one file. Flag is not inherited into lower levels of messages and in most cases you want to repeat it in all translations files to make an impact.

Escaping special characters

i69n uses double quotes in generated source files. Unless you need to use double quotes in your string, you should be fine.

message: Let's go!
String get message => "Let's go!";

Only "\t", "\r" and "\n" characters are automatically escaped by i69n.

message: "Let's\ngo!" // quotes needed by YAML, \n is converted to new line by YAML
String get message => "Let's\ngo!"; // new line escaped by i69n -> result is the same string    

If you need to disable escaping, use "noescape" flag.

_i69n: noescape
message: Let's go!

Escaping the details of escaping

These are a few examples of more complicated strings in which you might need to add a backslash here and there:

problematic: "Hello \\\"world\\\"!"  
//                  ^^^ yes, tripple backslash

lessProblematic: 'Hello \"world\"!'
//                      ^ use single quotes in YAML, add only one backslash for Dart    

alsoProblematic(int count): "${_plural(count, zero:'didn\\'t find any tasks', other: 'found some tasks')}"
//                                                      ^ here

Please prefer single quotes inside pluralization functions.

But in most cases you will be fine. Just observe generated classes and maybe experiment a little bit.

More configuration flags

So far only 'noescape' and 'nomap'. If you need both, separate them with comma.

_i69n: noescape,nomap            

Custom pluralization

The package can correctly decide between 'one', 'few', 'many', etc. only for English and Czech (for now). But you can easily plug your own language, see example/main.dart and Czech and English implementation.

If you implement support for your language, please let me know, I'll gladly embed it into the package:


  • Current limitation: default language must be english
  • TODO: support custom imports


See example. Clone the package repository ( and run:

webdev serve example:8080


pub run build_runner serve example:8080

Now open the browser http://localhost:8080/ and watch the dev tools console.


Created by

See also: