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Message Distribution

Now that you've declared your messages, extracted them, sent them to your translation vendor and they have given you back the translated JSON of the same format, it's time to talk about how to distribute & consume the translated JSON.

Compiling Messages#

Let's take the example from Message Extraction, assuming we are working with the French version and the file is called lang/fr.json:

"hak27d": {
"defaultMessage": "Panneau de configuration",
"description": "title of control panel section"
"haqsd": {
"defaultMessage": "Supprimer l'utilisateur {name}",
"description": "delete button"
"19hjs": {
"defaultMessage": "nouveau mot de passe",
"description": "placeholder text"
"explicit-id": {
"defaultMessage": "Confirmez le mot de passe",
"description": "placeholder text"

We can use @formatjs/cli to compile this into a react-intl consumable JSON file:

Add the following command to your package.json scripts:

"scripts": {
"compile": "formatjs compile"

and execute with npm:

npm run compile -- lang/fr.json --ast --out-file compiled-lang/fr.json
Parsing messages into AST

We recommending compiling your messages into AST as it allows us to skip parsing them during runtime. This makes your app more performant.

Translation Management System (TMS) Integration#

If your TMS/vendor has a different JSON format you can specify a custom formatter with --format <formatFile> that converts that into Record<string,string> so @formatjs/cli can understand. For example:

If your vendor accepts the format like

"[id]": {
"string": "[message]",
"comment": "[description]"

you can run

npm run compile -- lang/fr.json --ast --out-file compiled-lang/fr.json --format formatter.js

where formatter.js is:

exports.compile = function (msgs) {
const results = {}
for (const [id, msg] of Object.entries(msgs)) {
results[id] = msg.string
return results

In the future we will provide formatters that work with popular TMSes by default.


While every application has a separate distribution pipeline, the common theme is the ability to map a locale to its translation file. In this example we'll assume your pipeline can understand dynamic import:

import * as React from 'react'
import * as ReactDOM from 'react-dom'
import {IntlProvider} from 'react-intl'
function loadLocaleData(locale: string) {
switch (locale) {
case 'fr':
return import('compiled-lang/fr.json')
return import('compiled-lang/en.json')
function App(props) {
return (
<MainApp />
async function bootstrapApplication(locale, mainDiv) {
const messages = await loadLocaleData(locale)
ReactDOM.render(<App locale={locale} messages={messages} />, mainDiv)