Monthly Downloads: 649
Programming language: Rust
License: MIT License
Tags: Text     Text processing     language     Nlp     Lang     Whatlang    
Latest version: v0.8.0

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Build Status License Documentation Demo

Natural language detection for Rust with focus on simplicity and performance.


  • Supports 84 languages
  • 100% written in Rust
  • Lightweight, fast and simple
  • Recognizes not only a language, but also a script (Latin, Cyrillic, etc)
  • Provides reliability information

Get started

Add to you Cargo.toml:


whatlang = "0.7.2"


extern crate whatlang;

use whatlang::{detect, Lang, Script};

fn main() {
    let text = "Ĉu vi ne volas eklerni Esperanton? Bonvolu! Estas unu de la plej bonaj aferoj!";

    let info = detect(text).unwrap();
    assert_eq!(info.lang(), Lang::Epo);
    assert_eq!(info.script(), Script::Latin);
    assert_eq!(info.confidence(), 1.0);

For more details (e.g. how to blacklist some languages) please check the documentation.


The latest whatlang library works with rust 1.31.0 or higher.

How does it work?

How does the language recognition work?

The algorithm is based on the trigram language models, which is a particular case of n-grams. To understand the idea, please check the original whitepaper Cavnar and Trenkle '94: N-Gram-Based Text Categorization'.

How is_reliable calculated?

It is based on the following factors:

  • How many unique trigrams are in the given text
  • How big is the difference between the first and the second(not returned) detected languages? This metric is called rate in the code base.

Therefore, it can be presented as 2d space with threshold functions, that splits it into "Reliable" and "Not reliable" areas. This function is a hyperbola and it looks like the following one:

For more details, please check a blog article Introduction to Rust Whatlang Library and Natural Language Identification Algorithms.

Running benchmarks

This is mostly useful to test performance optimizations.

cargo bench

Ports and clones


Whatlang is a derivative work from Franc (JavaScript, MIT) by Titus Wormer.


MIT © Sergey Potapov


  • greyblake Potapov Sergey - creator, maintainer.
  • Dr-Emann Zachary Dremann - optimization and improvements
  • BaptisteGelez Baptiste Gelez - improvements
  • [goodsauce](goodsauce) - improvements

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the whatlang-rs README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.