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Nuxt 3 integration

We will introduce Vue I18n integration for Nuxt 3.

The following is a tutorial on setting up a Nuxt 3 application from the initial configuration.

NOTICE

This Nuxt3 application is set up in this tutorial doesn't support advanced i18n, such as URL (routing), SEO with head tag, and lang attribute in htmltag.

To support for Nuxt 3 & Nuxt Bridge in nuxtjs/i18n is currently under development with Nuxt community. See the about GitHub Discussion is here

If you go through this tutorial, you can learn how to integrate Vue I18n with Nuxt plugin.

Requirements

Node.js requirement for this tutorial is the same environment as Nuxt 3.

Please check here for Node.js version of Nuxt 3.

Example codes

You can get the code for the tutorial below on examples/frameworks/nuxt3.

Setup vue-i18n on Nuxt 3 Application

We will now set up the initial environment for using Vue I18n with Nuxt 3.

Create Nuxt 3 application

Run the following command to create a Nuxt 3 application:

npx nuxi init nuxt3-app-vue-i18n

We will have run the above command, it will be created Nuxt 3 initial project with the following directory structure:

cd nuxt3-app-vue-i18n
tree -L 1
.
├── README.md
├── app.vue
├── nuxt.config.ts
├── package.json
└── tsconfig.json

Install Vue I18n

Install Vue I18n with the following command:

npm install --save-dev vue-i18n

Setup Nuxt plugin

We will set up the Nuxt plugin.

Create a plugins directory as follows:

mkdir plugins

Next, create a Nuxt plugin file to implement for setting up Vue I18n.

touch plugins/i18n.ts

When we have created it, edit it with the below codes:

import { createI18n } from 'vue-i18n'

export default defineNuxtPlugin(({ vueApp }) => {
  const i18n = createI18n({
    legacy: false,
    globalInjection: true,
    locale: 'en',
    messages: {
      en: {
        hello: 'Hello, {name}!'
      }
    }
  })

  vueApp.use(i18n)
})

We aim to set up Vue I18n in the implementation here.

Configure up locale resources to localize a Nuxt 3 application is described in the next section.

Run the Nuxt 3 application

Let's see if Vue I18n works with Nuxt 3.

We will edit app.vue of the setup Nuxt 3 application as follows:

 <template>
   <div>
-   <NuxtWelcome />
+   <h1>{{ $t('hello', { name: 'vue-i18n' }) }}</h1>
   </div>
 </template>

We have edited and saved, run the following command to run the Nuxt 3 application at local:

npm run dev

After we will run the command and access to http://localhost:3000, you can see the display similar to the following:

Nuxt3 setup

Localize your Nuxt 3 application

So far we have been able to integrate Vue I18n into our Nuxt 3 application. Next, we will implement language switching and import locale resources from outside.

By implementing language switching, we can i18n our Nuxt 3 application. Also, when we will be separating locale resources from the source code and externalizing them, we can be localized in a separate workflow using the Localization service.

In the following sections, we will work on Nuxt 3 applications that support English, French, and Japanese.

Add language switching

We will add language switching feature to app.vue as follows:

 <template>
   <div>
     <h1>{{ $t('hello', { name: 'vue-i18n' }) }}</h1>
+    <form>
+      <label for="locale-select">{{ $t('language') }}: </label>
+      <select id="locale-select" v-model="$i18n.locale">
+        <option value="en">en</option>
+        <option value="fr">fr</option>
+        <option value="ja">ja</option>
+      </select>
+    </form>
   </div>
 </template>

Language switching is implemented using the select element on form. The value of each option is defined as the value of the locale code, which will be explained later in the externalization of locale resources.

The value of each option defines the value of the locale code, which will be explained later in the externalization of locale resources.

Externalize locale resources

We will define the locale resources as externalizing.

There are several file formats for resources supported by Vue I18n, so we will use the json format in here.

These are managed separately from the directories managed by Nuxt 3 by creating locales directories as follows:

mkdir locales

Then, We will have created a file defining locale resources for English, French, and Japanese as follows:

touch locales/en.json # for english
touch locales/fr.json # for french
touch locales/ja.json # for japanese

And more then, We will have saved each created locale resource file for each language as follows:

For english at locales/en.json:

{
  "hello": "Hello, {name}!",
  "language": "Language"
}

For french at locales/fr.json:

{
  "hello": "Bonjour, {name}!",
  "language": "Langue"
}

For japanese at locales/ja.json:

{
  "hello": "こんにちは、{name}!",
  "language": "言語"
}

Import locale resources

We will import locale resources that is defined in the locales directory for use with Vue I18n.

And then, change plugins/i18n.ts as follows:

 import { createI18n } from 'vue-i18n'
+import en from '../locales/en.json'
+import fr from '../locales/fr.json'
+import ja from '../locales/ja.json'
 
 export default defineNuxtPlugin(({ vueApp }) => {
   const i18n = createI18n({
     legacy: false,
     globalInjection: true,
     locale: 'en',
     messages: {
-      en: {
-        hello: "Hello, {name}!"
-      }
+      en,
+      fr,
+      ja
     }
   })
 
   vueApp.use(i18n)
 })

It’s set locale resources for each imported language to messages option, so you can manage locale resources with separating from code in the locales directory. It also facilitates integration with the localization service.

Let's run npm run dev to see if the fixes so far work. When we will have run the command and have be access to http://localhost:3000, you can see the display similar to the following:

Setup i18n on Nuxt3

Your Nuxt 3 application is now ready for basic internationalization!

Optimize with @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n

So far, you have been able to use Vue I18n to support language switching for your Nuxt 3 application. Also, by externalizing the locale resources, you have separated them from the code, making it easier to manage locale resources and integrate with the localization service.

However, as described in the Optimization, your Nuxt 3 application prepared so far is not optimized for bundle size.

Since Vue I18n v9, the message compiler allows pre-compiling of locale resources for improved performance, but has not yet been optimized for that performance.

Finally, we would to introduce with you @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n a Vue I18n to optimize performance.

Install @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n

npm install --save-dev @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n

Configure Nuxt config

Configure nuxt.config.ts like the below:

 import { defineNuxtConfig } from 'nuxt'
+import { resolve, dirname } from 'node:path'
+import { fileURLToPath } from 'url'
+import VueI18nVitePlugin from '@intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n/vite'
 
 // https://v3.nuxtjs.org/api/configuration/nuxt.config
 export default defineNuxtConfig({
+  vite: {
+    plugins: [
+      VueI18nVitePlugin({
+        include: [
+          resolve(dirname(fileURLToPath(import.meta.url)), './locales/*.json')
+        ]
+      })
+    ]
+  }
 })

The bundler for Nuxt 3 is vite by default. So we will use the vite option here for optimization.

In vite.plugins, the plugin for @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n is configured. As an option for this plugin, the include option specifies locale resources in json format placed in the locales directory. This allows @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n to pre-compile locale resources at bundle time using Vue I18n message compiler internally. This improves the translation performance of Vue I18n and consequently the rendering performance of Nuxt 3 applications.

Inside of bundling with optimization

When you have finished the setup, let’s run npm run dev to check it out!

When you will access to http://localhost:3000, the behavior of the Nuxt 3 application remains the same, but there is a change in the bandwidth of the Nuxt 3 application.

The following is a comparison of bundle sizes measured in the network tab of devtools with and without @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n:

Reduce bundle size

The area highlighted in blue is the code bundled by vite.

By setting up this plugin, the plugin will internally set up a Vue I18n module that is runtime-only. Specifically, vite config resolve.alias, set the vue-i18n alias to use only the Vue I18n runtime (vue-i18n/dist/vue-i18n.runtime.esm-bundler.js). This setting reduces the bundle size since the message compiler used by Vue I18n is not included.

About details, see @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n docs

Also, you can see the changing in the bandling of locale resources.

Code for locale resources, depending on whether or not the @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n plugin to vite.plugins is set. Below:

Pre-compile

Without the @intlify/unplugin-vue-i18n plugin to vite.plugins, locale resources are bundled as json, but with this plugin set, locale resources are converted from json to JavaScript code for bandwidth.

Vue I18n just call the functions! if the locale resource is a function, since it has already been compiled.

In this tutorial, the Nuxt 3 application is small, so we can not enough experience the performance of this optimization, but as the application gets larger, it will benefit from it.

Released under the MIT License.