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Localization in ASP.NET MVC 4

Well, I think it’s about time I update the localization post I have on my blog, so many people sent me message saying it is overly complicated or outdated and I completely agree with them, I wrote the thing early 2009!

This solution is what I use in many project, it might not be the best solution but it works for me and if it works for you, good otherwise there are plenty of outer good solutions out there that might work for you – such as this one. If you are looking for something with multi locale content from a database this post is not for you. {put a link to something which would be good here}

Lets go away from the ordinary 2 languages website, this one is going to 5 locales, french, english, spanish, portuguese and japanese to play with a different character set! So lets do this, here’s what we need to do:

  1. Create an MVC 4 project.
  2. Create a mechanism to tell the website in which language we want to display.
  3. Create user interface components to allow for language switching.
  4. Create a controller action to handle language switching.
  5. Create resources files and localize views.
  6. Friendly localized URLs for SEO
  7. Localization of models.
  8. Form validation.

1. Create an MVC 4 project.

Lets fire up Visual Studio and create a new MVC 4 project. For simplicity, I will use the Internet Application template and because it is awesome I will use Razor.

Create project

 2. Create a mechanism to tell the website in which language we want to display.

I will do this in Global.asax file under the Application_AcquireRequestState event.

protected void Application_AcquireRequestState(object sender, EventArgs e)
    var handler = Context.Handler as MvcHandler;
    var routeData = handler != null ? handler.RequestContext.RouteData : null;
    var routeCulture = routeData != null ? routeData.Values["culture"].ToString() : null;
    var languageCookie = HttpContext.Current.Request.Cookies["lang"];
    var userLanguages = HttpContext.Current.Request.UserLanguages;

    // Set the Culture based on a route, a cookie or the browser settings,
   // or default value if something went wrong
   var cultureInfo = new CultureInfo(
       routeCulture ?? (languageCookie != null
          ? languageCookie.Value
          : userLanguages != null
              ? userLanguages[0]
              : "en")

    Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture = cultureInfo;
    Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture =    CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture(cultureInfo.Name);

3. Create user interface components to allow for language switching.

There is many solution to do this, I simply created a drop down menu with a link for each language.


language ui

4. Create a controller action to handle language switching.

All we need to do here is update the language cookie with the user selected culture, once this is done we will redirect to the user to his previous location.

This code will reside in the Home controller.

public ActionResult ChangeCulture(string lang)
    var langCookie = new HttpCookie("lang", lang) { HttpOnly = true };
    return RedirectToAction("Index", "Home", new {culture = lang});

5. Create resources files and localize views

We will not be using the special folder App_GlobalResources or App_LocalResources, you can find out why here. Instead we will create a Resources folder in the project. Create the following resources files:

  • English: Home.resx
  • French:
  • Spanish:
  • Portuguese:
  • Japanese: Home.ja.resx

The generated code for these is private by default, we will need to change that so they are public, we will also give them a custom namespace for easy access. Select the files and open the property window, the properties should be as follows:

Build Action: Embedded Resource
Custom Tool: PublicResXFileCodeGenerator
Custom Tool Namespace: Resources



6. Friendly localized URL for SEO

This part is already managed in step 2. All we need to do now is handle requests with the culture in them, to do so we need to modify the default route to include the culture.

    name: "Default",
    url: "{culture}/{controller}/{action}/{id}",
    defaults: new { culture = "en", controller = "Home", action = "Index", id =      UrlParameter.Optional }

7. Localization of models.

I will write about this at a later time.

8. Form validation.

This too..

This entry was posted on Friday, January 20th, 2006 at 10:06 pm and is filed under ASP.NET, Globalization. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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