gettext languages with plural rules

2.8.1 2021-07-14 15:03 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2021-10-14 15:41:27 UTC



gettext language list automatically generated from CLDR data

Static usage

To use the languages data generated from this tool you can use the bin/export-plural-rules command.

Export command line options

export-plural-rules supports the following options:

  • --us-ascii If specified, the output will contain only US-ASCII characters. If not specified, the output charset is UTF-8.
  • --languages=<LanguageId>[,<LanguageId>,...]] --language=<LanguageId>[,<LanguageId>,...]] Export only the specified language codes. Separate languages with commas; you can also use this argument more than once; it's case insensitive and accepts both '_' and '-' as locale chunks separator (eg we accept it_IT as well as it-it). If this option is not specified, the result will contain all the available languages.
  • --reduce=yes|no If set to yes the output won't contain languages with the same base language and rules. For instance nl_BE (Flemish) will be omitted because it's the same as nl (Dutch). Defaults to no if --languages is specified, to yes otherwise.
  • --parenthesis=yes|no If set to no, extra parenthesis will be omitted in generated plural rules formulas. Those extra parenthesis are needed to create a PHP-compatible formula. Defaults to yes
  • --output=<file name> If specified, the output will be saved to <file name>. If not specified we'll output to standard output.

Export formats

export-plural-rules can generate data in the following formats:

  • json: compressed JSON data

    export-plural-rules json
  • prettyjson: uncompressed JSON data

    export-plural-rules prettyjson
  • html: html table (see the result)

    export-plural-rules html
  • php: build a php file that can be included

    export-plural-rules --output=yourfile.php php

    Then you can use that generated file in your php scripts:

    $languages = include 'yourfile.php';
  • ruby: build a ruby file that can be included

    export-plural-rules --parenthesis=no --output=yourfile.rb ruby

    Then you can use that generated file in your ruby scripts:

    require './yourfile.rb'
  • xml: generate an XML document (here you can find the xsd XML schema)

    export-plural-rules xml
  • po: generate the gettext .po headers for a single language

    export-plural-rules po --language=YourLanguageCode

Dynamic usage

With Composer

You can use Composer to include this tool in your project. Simply launch composer require gettext/languages or add "gettext/languages": "*" to the "require" section of your composer.json file.

Without Composer

If you don't use composer in your project, you can download this package in a directory of your project and include the autoloader file:

require_once 'path/to/src/autoloader.php';

Main methods

The most useful functions of this tools are the following

$allLanguages = Gettext\Languages\Language::getAll();
$oneLanguage = Gettext\Languages\Language::getById('en_US');

getAll returns a list of Gettext\Languages\Language instances, getById returns a single Gettext\Languages\Language instance (or null if the specified language identifier is not valid).

The main properties of the Gettext\Languages\Language instances are:

  • id: the normalized language ID (for instance en_US)
  • name: the language name (for instance American English for en_US)
  • supersededBy: the code of a language that supersedes this language code (for instance, jw is superseded by jv to represent the Javanese language)
  • script: the script name (for instance, for zh_Hans - Simplified Chinese - the script is Simplified Han)
  • territory: the name of the territory (for instance United States for en_US)
  • baseLanguage: the name of the base language (for instance English for en_US)
  • formula: the gettext formula to distinguish between different plural rules. For instance n != 1
  • categories: the plural cases applicable for this language. It's an array of Gettext\Languages\Category instances. Each instance has these properties:
    • id: can be (in this order) one of zero, one, two, few, many or other. The other case is always present.
    • examples: a representation of some values for which this plural case is valid (examples are simple numbers like 1 or complex ranges like 0, 2~16, 100, 1000, 10000, 100000, 1000000, …)

Is this data correct?

Yes - as far as you trust the Unicode CLDR project.

The conversion from CLDR to gettext includes also a lot of tests to check the results. And all passes 😉.



The CLDR specifications define the following variables to be used in the CLDR plural formulas:

  • n: absolute value of the source number (integer and decimals) (eg: 9.870 => 9.87)
  • i: integer digits of n (eg: 9.870 => 9)
  • v: number of visible fraction digits in n, with trailing zeros (eg: 9.870 => 3)
  • w: number of visible fraction digits in n, without trailing zeros (eg: 9.870 => 2)
  • f: visible fractional digits in n, with trailing zeros (eg: 9.870 => 870)
  • t: visible fractional digits in n, without trailing zeros (eg: 9.870 => 87)
  • c: exponent of the power of 10 used in compact decimal formatting (eg: 98c7 => 7)
  • e: synonym for c


The gettext specifications define the following variables to be used in the gettext plural formulas:

  • n: unsigned long int

Conversion CLDR > gettext

CLDR variable gettext equivalent
n n
i n
v 0
w 0
f empty
t empty
c empty
e empty

Parenthesis in ternary operators

The generated gettext formulas contain some extra parenthesis, in order to avoid problems in some programming language. For instance, let's assume we have this formula: (0 == 0) ? 0 : (0 == 1) ? 1 : 2

So, in order to avoid problems, instead of a simple a ? 0 : b ? 1 : 2 the resulting formulas will be in this format: a ? 0 : (b ? 1 : 2)


Generating the CLDR data

This repository uses the CLDR data, including American English (en_US) json files. In order to generate this data, you can use Docker. Start a new Docker container by running

docker run --rm -it -v path/to/src/cldr-data:/output alpine:3.13 sh

Then run the following script, setting the values of the variables accordingly to your needs:

# The value of the CLDR version (eg 39, 38.1, ...)
# Your GitHub username (required since CLDR 38) - see
# Your GitHub personal access token (required since CLDR 38) - see

if ! test -d /output; then
    echo 'Missing output directory' >&2
    return 1
apk -U upgrade
apk add --no-cache git git-lfs openjdk8 apache-ant maven
CLDR_MAJORVERSION="$(printf '%s' "$CLDR_VERSION" | sed -E 's/^([0-9]+).*/\1/')"
SOURCE_DIR="$(mktemp -d)"
DESTINATION_DIR="$(mktemp -d)"
git clone --single-branch --depth=1 "--branch=release-$(printf '%s' "$CLDR_VERSION" | tr '.' '-')" "$SOURCE_DIR"
if test $CLDR_MAJORVERSION -lt 38; then
    git -C "$SOURCE_DIR" lfs pull --include tools/java || true
    ant -f "$SOURCE_DIR/tools/java/build.xml" jar
    if test -z "${GITHUB_USERNAME:-}"; then
        echo 'GITHUB_USERNAME is missing' >&2
        return 1
    if test -z "${GITHUB_TOKEN:-}"; then
        echo 'GITHUB_TOKEN is missing' >&2
        return 1
    printf '<settings xmlns=""><servers><server><id>githubicu</id><username>%s</username><password>%s</password></server></servers></settings>' "$GITHUB_USERNAME" "$GITHUB_TOKEN" > "$SOURCE_DIR/mvn-settings.xml"
    mvn --settings "$SOURCE_DIR/mvn-settings.xml" package -DskipTests=true --file "$SOURCE_DIR/tools/cldr-code/pom.xml"
java -Duser.language=en "-DCLDR_DIR=$SOURCE_DIR" "-DCLDR_GEN_DIR=$DESTINATION_DIR_LOCALE" -jar "$JARFILE" ldml2json -t main -r true -s contributed -m en_US
java -Duser.language=en "-DCLDR_DIR=$SOURCE_DIR" "-DCLDR_GEN_DIR=$DESTINATION_DIR/supplemental" -jar "$JARFILE" ldml2json -s contributed -o true -t supplemental
mkdir -p /output/main/en-US
cp $DESTINATION_DIR/en_US/languages.json /output/main/en-US/
cp $DESTINATION_DIR/en_US/scripts.json /output/main/en-US/
cp $DESTINATION_DIR/en_US/territories.json /output/main/en-US/
mkdir -p /output/supplemental
cp "$DESTINATION_FILE_PLURALS" /output/supplemental/

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