Video.js Guides

These guides cover a range of topics for users of Video.js


Video.js includes localization support to present text in a language other than the default English where appropriate.

For an up-to-date list of the languages Video.js supports, see the languages folder (lang). Some translations may be less complete than others - see the translations needed doc for a table of strings that are missing from the translations available. Contributions are welcome to update those that are incomplete.

Using Video.js Languages

Video.js ships with multiple translations (in dist/lang/) in JavaScript files. Add the lang script for each language you need to support. Each of these files can be included in a web page to provide support for that language in all Video.js players:

<script src="//"></script>
<script src="//"></script>

Contributing to Video.js Translations

We welcome new translations and improvements to existing ones! Please see the contributing document to get started contributing to Video.js and continue reading for specifics on how to contribute to translations of Video.js.

JSON Format

Video.js uses a JSON object to describe a language, where the keys are English and the values are the target language. For example, a Spanish translation might look like this:

  "Play": "Reproducción",
  "Pause": "Pausa",
  "Current Time": "Tiempo reproducido",
  "Duration": "Duración total",
  "Remaining Time": "Tiempo restante",

File Naming

Translations are found in the lang/ directory.

Each file's name should be the standard language code that is most appropriate, with a .json extension. For example, "es.json" for Spanish or "zh-CN.json" for simplified Chinese.

Updating an Existing Translation

If there is a missing translation, mistake, or room for improvement in an existing translation, don't hesitate to open a pull request!

  1. Edit the relevant JSON file and make the necessary changes.
  2. Verify the language compiles by running the language specific build npm run build:lang or the full build npm run build.
  3. Verify the translation appears properly in the player UI.
  4. Run npm run docs:lang to update the missing translation document.
  5. Commit and open a pull request on GitHub.

Writing a New Translation

The process for writing an entirely new translation is virtually identical to the process for updating an existing translation except that the new translation JSON file needs to be created.

The template for new language files is the English file (lang/en.json). This file is always up-to-date with strings that need translations.

The first step to writing a new translation is to copy the English file:

cp lang/en.json lang/${NEW_LANG_CODE}.json

Otherwise, the process is the same as updating an existing translation.

Adding Languages via the API

In addition to the stand-alone scripts provided by Video.js, the API supports manual definition of new languages via the addLanguage method. It takes two arguments: the standard language code and a language definition object.

videojs.addLanguage('es', {
  Play: 'Reproducción',
  Pause: 'Pausa',
  'Current Time': 'Tiempo reproducido',
  'Duration': 'Duración total',
  'Remaining Time': 'Tiempo restante',

addLanguage() will overwrite existing translations if the object includes strings previously translated. However text that has already been localised will not be updated after generation.

Per-Player Translations

In addition to providing languages to Video.js itself, individual Player instances can be provided custom language support via the languages option:

// Provide a custom definition of Spanish to this player.
videojs('my-player', {
  languages: {
    es: {
      Play: 'Reproducir'

Setting Player Language

The language used by a player instance may be set via the language option:

// Set the language to Spanish for this player.
videojs('my-player', {
  language: 'es'

The language method of the player can be used to set the language after instantiation with language('es'). However, this is generally not useful as it does not update text that is already in place.

Determining Player Language

The player language is set to one of the following in descending priority:

  • The language specified in options
  • The language specified by a lang attribute on the player element.
  • The language specified by the closest parent element with a lang attribute, up to and including the <html> element.
  • The browser language preference; the first language if more than one is configured
  • English

Internal Language Selection

  • Language codes are considered case-insensitively (e.g. en-US == en-us).
  • If there is no match for a language code with a subcode (e.g. en-us), a match for the primary code (e.g. en) is used if available.


For information on translation/localization in plugins, see the plugins guide.

Standard languages codes are defined by the IANA.

For all existing/supported languages, please see the languages folder (lang/) folder located in the project root.