# Globalization in ASP.NET MVC using Smart internationalization for ASP.NET

# Basic configuration and setup

  1. Add the I18N nuget package (opens new window) to your MVC project.
  2. In web.config, add the i18n.LocalizingModule to your <httpModules> or <modules> section.
<!-- IIS 6 -->
  <add name="i18n.LocalizingModule" type="i18n.LocalizingModule, i18n" />

<!-- IIS 7 -->
    <add name="i18n.LocalizingModule" type="i18n.LocalizingModule, i18n" />

  1. Add a folder named "locale" to the root of your site. Create a subfolder for each culture you wish to support. For example, /locale/fr/.
  2. In each culture-specific folder, create a text file named messages.po.
  3. For testing purposes, enter the following lines of text in your messages.po file:
#: Translation test
msgid "Hello, world!"
msgstr "Bonjour le monde!"

  1. Add a controller to your project which returns some text to translate.
using System.Web.Mvc;

namespace I18nDemo.Controllers
    public class DefaultController : Controller
        public ActionResult Index()
            // Text inside [[[triple brackets]]] must precisely match
            // the msgid in your .po file.
            return Content("[[[Hello, world!]]]");

  • Run your MVC application and browse to the route corresponding to your controller action, such as [http://localhost:[yourportnumber]/default](http://localhost:%5Byourportnumber%5D/default).
    Observe that the URL is changed to reflect your default culture, such as
  • 1. Replace `/en/` in the URL with `/fr/` (or whatever culture you've selected.) The page should now display the translated version of your text. 1. Change your browser's language setting to prefer your alternate culture and browse to `/default` again. Observe that the URL is changed to reflect your alternate culture and the translated text appears. 1. In web.config, add handlers so that users cannot browse to your `locale` folder.
    <!-- IIS 6 -->
        <add path="*" verb="*" type="System.Web.HttpNotFoundHandler"/>
    <!-- IIS 7 -->
        <remove name="BlockViewHandler"/>
       <add name="BlockViewHandler" path="*" verb="*" preCondition="integratedMode" type="System.Web.HttpNotFoundHandler"/>

    # Remarks

    Smart internationalization for ASP.NET page (opens new window)

    The benefit of this approach is that you don't have to clutter controllers and other classes with code to look up values from .resx files. You simply surround text in [[[triple brackets.]]] (The delimiter is configurable.) An HttpModule looks for a translation in your .po file to replace the delimited text. If a translation is found, the HttpModule substitutes the translation. If no translation is found, it removes the triple brackets and renders the page with the original untranslated text.

    .po files are a standard format for supplying translations for applications, so there are a number of applications available for editing them. It's easy to send a .po file to a non-technical user so that they can add translations.