I can safely say that I’ve never done this before, but it’s been really fun to do (and surprisingly quick, but I’ll get to that.)

What’s ‘this’? I wrote a Go module. Wait, what? Yep, I wrote a complete Go module that does nearly instantaneous translations for aspects of time – like months, days of the week, etc.

Doesn’t Go provide internationalization? The short answer: No. The slightly longer answer: No, it doesn’t. It turns out that the Days pof the weeks, months, and abbreviations for both are hard-coded strings in the time package. So if you want your program to be able to say “Mercredi, Septembre 28, 2021” well, you can’t without doing it yourself.

And now you don’t have to do it yourself!

Dates Internationalization

Everyone refers to the as I18N (internationalization is an I, followed by 18 letters, ending in N and yes, early on it took me forever to figure this out!) so I called this package DatesI18N because it adds internationalization to dates.

I spent a lot of time scouring the internet looking for, and gathering, all the proper international representations of Months and Days of the week before compiling them into a bunch of json files.

Using JSON makes it very fast to load a language file, and then have all the translations instantly available.

How Does It Work?

Pretty well, actually! Here’s some simple code to translate the string Wednesday, September 28, 2021 to … well, and number of languages

package main

import (

  datesI18N "github.com/davidgs/datesi18n"

func main() {
	d := time.Now()
	fmt.Println(d.Format("January 2, 2006"))
	year, month, day := d.Date()
  fr := datesI18N.NewDatesI18N("fr") // french
	fmt.Printf("French: %s, %s %d, %d\n", fr.DayName(int(d.Weekday())), fr.MonthName(int(month)), day, year)
	ru := datesI18N.NewDatesI18N("ru") // russian
	fmt.Printf("Russian: %s, %s %d, %d\n", ru.DayName(int(d.Weekday())), ru.MonthName(int(month)), day, year)

The output from that is:

September 29, 2021
French: Mercredi, Septembre 29, 2021
Russian: среда, сентябрь 29, 2021

Now I don’t speak Russian, so I’m just assuming that’s right, but the French is certainly correct.

While that may look complicated, it is a lot simpler than anything else. But let’s break it down anyway.

fr := datesI18N.NewDatesI18N("fr")

That creates a new DatesI18N object with all the French locale data loaded.


Extracts the day of the week (an integer) from the Date object, and then looks it up in the DatesI18N object and returns the translated string. The month name is extracted in the same way.

That’s it!


For many of the languages the package also provides the ShortMonth and ShortDay translations. In English, Monday is sometimes shortened to Mon and September is shortened to Sept. Needless to say, each language has it’s own version. These additions are not available in all languages yet, so you should always check that you get a value back from fr.GetShortMonth(). If there is no value, it returns an empty string.

A few of the languages also have a minimal representation of Days of the week and Months. These are much fewer in number.

Missing stuff

I don’t have complete coverage for all languages. I also don’t handle languages that read right to left right now.

There are, quite frankly, a lot of glaring omissions, but this is release v0.0.1 so far.

How you can help

If you speak a non-English language, please look in the lang directory and feel free to add to it. I accept Pull Requests! You can check out the GitHub repo for this module and make your additions.

If you like it, feel free to drop me a ⭐