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Understanding .lang

Table of contents
  1. Understanding .lang
    1. Where can lang-codes be used?
    2. Why use lang?
    3. What is the structure?
    4. RP Vs. BP?
    5. Overriding vanilla lang-codes
    6. Undefined lang-codes
    7. Whats with the %s?
    8. Useful vanilla-overrides

Bedrock Minecraft allows us to write the text in our addons as codes: For example action.hint.exit.pig. Then in the language files, we define these codes: action.hint.exit.pig=Tap sneak to dismount.

This workflow has two main advantages:

  • Consolidates all of your text into one location, allowing you to more easily check for spelling mistakes, and change text after the fact
  • Allows internationalization. We can provide .lang files for multiple languages, allowing us to translate the text in our addon.

Where can lang-codes be used?

Lang-codes can be used in any of the following places:

  • pack name
  • pack description
  • entity name
  • item name
  • books
  • signs
  • tellraw commands

As you can see, lang-codes can be used pretty much wherever you write text in your addon.

When using lang codes in addons, you can usually just use the string.

In game (signs, books, etc), use tellraw: {"rawtext":[{"translate" : "my.lang.code"}]}

Why use lang?

Even if you don’t plan on translating your addon, using the .lang structure is advantageous, since it keeps all of your text in the same place, and makes it easier to edit, proof-read, and maintain.

What is the structure?

Lang files are found under my_pack/texts/. You should download and view the vanilla packs to understand this structure better. There are two main file types that you should be concerned with:

my_pack/texts/languages.json: Contains a list of languages that your addon supports. language_LOCALIZATION.lang: Contains the lang-codes for a specific language/localization (for example en_US.lang is for the USA)

You should create languages.json, and then one .lang file for each language you want to support. If you are only writing for english, you HIGHLY recommended to support both en_US and en_GB (great britain), even if you only copy/paste the .lang file.

RP Vs. BP?

.lang files can be placed in both the resource pack, and the behavior pack. This is presumably to allow behaviors packs to function stand-alone without requiring a resource pack. In practice though, all localization should be done inside the resource pack. The only strings you should have in your BP .lang files are the pack.title and pack.description.

Overriding vanilla lang-codes

It is completely allowed and encouraged to override vanilla language strings. For example, if you want to rename Iron Ingots to Iron Rods, you can do so with the lang file: Rod

Undefined lang-codes

Sometimes, undefined lang-codes will show up in-game, when this happens, they will show the entire lang-code instead of a string. A very common place where you will see this, is with an entity name:

When you see these codes, you can simply copy them down into your .lang files. For example: VERY COOL ENTITY

Whats with the %s?

Some lang-codes contain the concept of arguments. These are things the game passes into your lang-code. You represent these arguments with %s. These normally occur in dynamic strings, like commands:

Example: (/say) chat.type.announcement=[%s] %s

In the example above, the first %s is replaced by the name of the entity doing the /say. The second %s is replaced by the string after the say.

Useful vanilla-overrides

Remove the [Entity Name] from /say commands: chat.type.announcement=%2