Automating Database Translation in Django REST Framework Using gTranslate Library

In a globalized world, applications often need to cater to users who speak different languages. If you’re building a Django application and want to translate database data into human-readable text, the gtranslate library can be a powerful tool. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to integrate Google Translate API with Django models to automatically translate and store data in a preferred language. With Django REST Framework, we’ll streamline the translation process for a seamless user experience.


Before we begin, just make sure you have these things ready:

  • A Django project set up.
  • Basic knowledge of Django models.
  • A Google Cloud account and API key for the Google Translate API.

Installing gTranslate

First things first, let’s install the gtranslate library using pip:

pip install gtranslate

Setting Up Django Model

Assume you have a Django model named YourModel with a field named field_to_translate. We’ll add a new field called translated_field to store the translated text. Here’s how your model might look in Django REST Framework:

from django.db import models
from gtranslate import Translator

Class Translation (models.Model):
field_to_translate = models.CharField(max_length=255)
translated_field = models.CharField(max_length=255, blank=True, null=True)

Related read: Django Models and Database Integration: A Comprehensive Tutorial

Creating Translation Function

Now, let’s create a utility function that uses the gtranslate library to translate text. This function will be used to automatically translate and store data in the translated_field:

from gtranslate import Translator

def translate_text(text, target_language='en'):
translator = Translator(api_key='YOUR_GOOGLE_TRANSLATE_API_KEY')
translated_text = translator.translate(text, target_language)
return translated_text

Remember to replace ‘YOUR_GOOGLE_TRANSLATE_API_KEY’ with your actual Google Translate API key.

Related read: Integrating SendGrid With Django Rest Framework

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Overriding Model Save Method

Next, we’ll override the save method in the YourModel class to ensure that data is translated and stored in the translated_field before saving the object:

class Translation(models.Model):
# ... (previous fields)

def save(self, *args, **kwargs):
if not self.translated_field:
self.translated_field = translate_text(self.field_to_translate)
super().save(*args, **kwargs)

This ensures that the translation occurs automatically when you save an instance of the model.

Using Translated Data in API Views

In your Django REST framework views, use the translation function to translate data before sending it as a response. For example:

from rest_framework import generics
from rest_framework.response import Response
from .models import Translation
from .serializers import TranslationModelSerializer
from .utils import translate_text

class YourModelListView(generics.ListAPIView):
queryset = Translation.objects.all()
serializer_class = TranslationModelSerializer

def list(self, request, *args, **kwargs):
queryset = self.get_queryset()
serialized_data = TranslationModelSerializer(queryset, many=True).data

for item in serialized_data:
item['translated_field'] = translate_text(item['field_to_translate'])

return Response(serialized_data)

Here, we override the list method to translate the data before sending the response. Ensure that your serializer includes both field_to_translate and translated_field.


Don’t forget to update your serializers to include the new translated_field:

from rest_framework import serializers
from .models import Translation

class TranslationModelSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
class Meta:
model = Translation
fields = ['id', 'field_to_translate', 'translated_field']


By incorporating the gtranslate library into your Django REST framework project, you can seamlessly translate data in your API responses. This approach can be particularly useful for multilingual applications that need to cater to users with different language preferences.

Remember to handle errors gracefully and be aware of the Google Translate API usage limits and pricing. Feel free to adapt the code snippets to fit the structure and requirements of your specific Django REST framework project.

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