Ruby, RoR, and NLS (= national language support)

If you want to write or adapt code,
that does not only communicate with its users in let’s say English,
what’s the ruby resp. RoR approach to that?

If I take (e.g.) the RailsSpace code as a basis for a community web
site, I surely don’t want to replace all the English strings (meant for
user communication) by “the other target language” (like French or

Maybe I have to introduce a level between the natural language strings
and the code locations, where they get used.
Of course that tends to look tedious and ugly.

What do you suggest?

Is there already anything I can use as a basis for my work?

Thank you all!