.stringsdict files were added in iOS 7 and OS X 10.9. They allow us to "pluralize" text in our app without a bunch of switch or if statements.

let spaceships = [Spaceship(selected: true)]

let pluralized = String.localizedStringWithFormat(
  NSLocalizedString("%d ships selected",
    comment: "how many ships selected"),
  spaceships.filter { $0.selected }.count

The localizedStringWithFormat function is terribly smart.

It will look for a Localizable.stringsdict file before returning and query it for the correct format string to use before returning our final formatted string.

A Localizable.stringsdict is really just a .plist file with a few special strings in it.

We can create a Localizable.stringsdict file either completely by hand in a text editor, or by adding a new Property List to our project and naming it Localizable.stringsdict.

Now that we have a .stringsdict file, let's use it.

The root key is the same one we passed into NSLocalizedString.

Then, we define a sort of string-replacement-variable using some special characters: %#@VARIABLE_NAME_HERE@. The system will then find the sub-dictionary that shares a name with this variable, and use it to pluralize.

We can provide cases for zero, one, two, few, many, and other. Each potential plural case is optional for each language, except other.

Download an example project showing off this functionality here.

Hat tip to Matthew Bischoff for the idea for today's Bite, which actually inspired a whole series of localization Bites with more still to come!