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Benjamin Delespierre
Benjamin Delespierre

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How to add basic localization to your HTML page with just jQuery

I want basic translation on my single, static HTML page but I don't want to import no complex JS lib... What do I do?

Very simple my friend

HTML structure

<html lang="en">
    <p lang="en">English please!</p>
    <p lang="fr">Hon hon croissant baguette!</p>
    <button type="button" lang="fr" data-toggle="lang" data-lang="en">English</button>
    <button type="button" lang="en" data-toggle="lang" data-lang="fr">Français</button>
    <script src="jquery.js"></script>
    <script src="language.js"></script>
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Go get jQuery here. If you don't want it I think you can make your own vanilla version of the script below.

The JS script

$('[data-toggle="lang"]').click(function(event) {
  $('html').attr('lang', $(this).attr('data-lang'));

// auto-detect the best lang setting
const params = new URLSearchParams(;

if (params.has('lang')) {
  $('html').attr('lang', params.get('lang'));
} else if (navigator.language.match(/^(en|fr)/)) {
  $('html').attr('lang', navigator.language.substr(0, 2))
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That's it. The HTML will now respond to the lang attribute in the <html> tag. You can control it adding ?lang=fr to the URL or let the browser decide with navigator.language.


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