Storefront locale files

Storefront locale files are JSON files with a .json file extension. They host translation strings for content displayed on the storefront throughout the theme. These translations can be accessed by merchants through the Shopify Language Editor.

Rather than hard-coded text strings, theme layouts, templates, snippets, and Liquid assets can reference these translations with the Liquid translation filter (t filter). This returns the appropriate translated string from the locale file for the active language.

When using the t filter, you can interpolate and pluralize translations, as well as localize any dates and times.


Storefront locale files are located in the locales directory of the theme:


Storefront locale files need to follow a specific naming structure. They also follow a basic organizational structure:

  • Category: The top-level category of your translations.
  • Group: The second level grouping of translations within a category.
  • Description: The third level, which represents the individual translations.

Name structure

Locale file naming must follow the standard IETF language tag nomenclature, where the first lowercase letter code represents the language, and the second uppercase letter code represents the region.

For example:

Language Format
English - Great Britain en-GB.json
Spanish - Spain es-ES.json
French - Canada fr-CA.json

If a language isn’t region specific, you can use the 2-letter lowercase language representation.

For example:

Language Format
Finnish - All regions fi.json

Additionally, you must designate a default locale file.

The default locale file

You must designate a default locale file in the format of *.default.json, where * is your selected language. This file contains the translations for the default language of the theme. Only one default file is permitted.

Most themes use en.default.json, which sets the default locale of the theme to English.


To ensure that translations are mapped correctly, and to keep the process as simple as possible for merchants, you should organize your key structure to reflect your theme structure.

For example, the first two levels of the structure might look like this:

1st level 2nd level
general 404, breadcrumbs, search (results page and blank slates), pagination
blogs article, article comments, blog sidebar
cart cart contents, updates, notes, link to checkout
collection collection, collection loop
products product, product loop, related products
layout general field titles and identifiers
customer account, orders (list and details), account activation, addresses, login, password, registration
contact contact form, form errors
home_page blank slate, featured, help
gift_cards title, usage terms


When working with storefront locale files, be aware of the following:

Reference storefront translations

To reference translations from the storefront locale file for your theme's active language, you can use translation keys and the Liquid translation filter (t filter).

For example, let's assume you have locale files for English, French, and Spanish. In this case, you might have the following in each associated locale file:

To reference this translation, you might use something like the following:

The output is customized based on the settings in each locale file:


Translation strings can be interpolated, meaning you can include variables in your strings to be dynamically populated when the string is referenced in Liquid. For example, you can include following in your locale file:

When you reference that translation in your theme, you can specify a value for the name variable:

In the case of a customer named "Jane", this code outputs the following:

Pass multiple arguments

With interpolation, it's possible to pass multiple arguments, separated by a comma (,). For example, if you want to extend the example above to show the customer's first and last name, then you can adjust your translation string and theme reference to the following:

In the case of a customer named "Jane Doe", this code outputs the following:

Prevent translations from being escaped

Translated content is escaped by default, meaning any HTML character is converted into its entity equivalent.

You can add the suffix _html to the description level of your translation key to prevent translated content from being escaped. For example, the content output by the following translation would be escaped, causing the <strong> tags to show as plain text:

Adding the _html suffix prevents the output content from being escaped, allowing the <strong> tags to render as proper HTML:

Pluralize translations

You can apply locale-aware pluralizations to translations by passing a count attribute to the translation filter (t filter).

The following pluralization keys, defined by the Unicode Consortium's CLDR, are supported:

  • few
  • many
  • one
  • other
  • two
  • zero

For example, the following translation and translation reference returns the following output:

For more information about pluralization rules in different languages, refer to the Unicode language plural rules tables.

Date and time localization

Dates and times can be rendered with the date and time_tag Liquid filters. Each has default format options that will display in the appropriate format for the store's active language:

For example, the following Liquid generates the following output:

Custom formats

You can include custom formats in locale files by adding a date_formats object:

These formats must use the same parameters as Ruby's strftime method. You can find a list of these parameters in Ruby's documentation, or use a site like

Using the custom format above, the following Liquid generates the following output:

Checkout and system messages

Shopify provides checkout and system messages in the following languages:

  • Bulgarian (Bulgaria)
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Croatian (Croatia)
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Lithunian (Lithuania)
  • Malay
  • Norwegian (Bokmål)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Portuguese (Portugal)
  • Romania (Romanian)
  • Russian
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Turkish