Aplus Framework Docs


Aplus Framework Language Library

Aplus Framework Language Library


The installation of this library can be done with Composer:

composer require aplus/language

Getting Started

The Language library is built to manage texts used for Internationalization and Localization of applications.

An object of the Language class can be instantiated like this:

use Framework\Language\Language;

$language = new Language();

The default locale is en.

A different locale can be passed in the first argument of the constructor and an array of File Language Directories in the second:

$language = new Language('jp', [
    __DIR__ . '/Languages',
    __DIR__ . '/foo',

Supported Locales

Message lines will only be rendered in supported locales.

They can be set as in this example:

]); // static

And you can get them like this:

$locales = $language->getSupportedLocales(); // array

Adding Language lines

Message lines can be added at any time.

Let's see an example adding messages to the contact file, in the en and pt-br locales:

$language->addLines('en', 'contact', [
    'name' => 'Name',
    'message' => 'Message',
    'send' => 'Send',
    'thanks' => 'Thanks for contacting us, {name}!'
])->addLines('pt-br', 'contact', [
    'name' => 'Nome',
    'message' => 'Mensagem',
    'send' => 'Enviar',
    'thanks' => 'Obrigado por nos contatar, {name}!',
]); // static

Rendering messages

It is possible to get the value of a line through the Language::render method.

In the first parameter, enter the name of the file and in the second, the name of the line. As in the example below:

echo $language->render('contact', 'name');

If the current locale is en it will print:


Rendering with arguments

The thanks line has the {name} placeholder.
With placeholders you can add custom values. Like, for example, to show a name:

$name = 'John';
echo $language->render('contact', 'thanks', ['name' => $name]);

Will print:

Thanks for contacting us, John!

Rendering messages with custom locales on the fly

In the fourth parameter of the render method, it is possible to set the name of a supported locale:

echo $language->render('contact', 'message', [], 'pt-br');

Will print:


Using placeholders:

$name = 'João';
echo $language->render('contact', 'thanks', ['name' => $name], 'pt-br');

Will print:

Obrigado por nos contatar, João!

Current Locale

If the application has a default locale, but it is necessary to get the lines from a different locale several times, it is more advantageous to use the Language::setCurrentLocale method.

Once the current locale is set, all the next message lines will come to that locale, if the line is available, otherwise it will enter the Fallback system.

In the example below, the default locale is still en. But by calling the setCurrentLocale method it is no longer necessary to set the fourth parameter:

$language->setCurrentLocale('pt-br'); // static

echo $language->render('contact', 'name');

Will print:

echo $language->render('contact', 'thanks', ['name' => 'Johnny Bravo']);

Will print:

Obrigado por nos contatar, Johnny Bravo!


To render messages, you can also use the lang method. Which does the same thing as the render method, but the file and line name must be concatenated with a dot:

echo $language->lang('contact.thanks', ['name' => $name]);


The fallback system allows rendering a non-existing line in the current locale with a line from the parent locale, the default locale, or none.

The fallback levels are present in the enum Framework\Language\FallbackLevel.

Fallback to None

You can disable fallback with:

$language->setFallbackLevel(FallbackLevel::none); // static

This way, lines not found in the current locale will return a string.
For example: contact.thanks.

Fallback to Parent Locale

Parent locales are, for example: en to en-us and pt to pt-br.

$language->setFallbackLevel(FallbackLevel::parent); // static

In the example below, only lines to the pt locale will be added, and calls to pt-br will work:

$language->addLines('pt', 'words', [
    'beautifulDay' => 'Dia bonito.',
    'busName' => 'Nós chamamos "bus" de autocarro.',
]); // static

echo $language->render('beautifulDay', 'words', 'pt-br') . '<br>'; 
echo $language->render('busName', 'words', 'pt-br') . '<br>'; 
Dia bonito.<br>
Nós chamamos "bus" de autocarro.<br>

Some child languages have differences from the parent language.

This happens in Brazilian Portuguese, where some words have different interpretations than Portuguese from Portugal.

For example, "bus" in Brazil is ônibus and in Portugal it is autocarro.

You can add specific lines for child locales. Let's see:

$language->addLines('pt-br', 'words', [
    'busName' => 'Nós chamamos "bus" de ônibus.',
]); // static

echo $language->render('beautifulDay', 'words', 'pt-br') . '<br>'; 
echo $language->render('busName', 'words', 'pt-br') . '<br>'; 

Will render the message of words.beautifulDay found in the parent locale pt and words.busName directly from pt-br:

Dia bonito.<br>
Nós chamamos "bus" de ônibus.<br>

Fallback to Default Locale

Language's behavior is to fetch the file from the current location.
If the file is not found, it looks for the parent locale.
If not found, it looks for the default locale.
If not found, the file and line names will be returned.

If the Fallback Level has been changed, you can set it like this:

$language->setFallbackLevel(FallbackLevel::default); // static

File Language Directories

Language lines can be loaded automatically.

To do this, add a base directory:

$directory = __DIR__ . '/Languages';
$language->addDirectory($directory); // static

Inside the base directory there should be subdirectories with locale names and inside them there should be language files that return an array.

Let's see an example with the language file Languages/en/contact.php:

return [
    'name' => 'Name',
    'message' => 'Message',
    'send' => 'Send',

Then you can call them with the render methods:

echo $language->lang('contact.message');

File loading may vary depending on the Case Sensitivity of the operating systems file system.

For example, these two paths can be considered the same on Windows:

  • Languages/en-us/contact.php
  • Languages/en-US/contact.php

But they are different on Linux.

For greater compatibility, we advise using lowercase locale directory names and hyphenated separations.
Lowercase, camel case or snake case for filenames and array keys.

Localization for web pages

HTML documents can have the language specified by the lang attribute.

Let's look at an example, showing the Arabic language, ar.

<html lang="<?= $language->getCurrentLocale() ?>">


<html lang="ar">

It is also possible to specify the text direction through the dir attribute.

The Language class is able to identify the directionality of the current locale automatically.

Let's see:

<html lang="<?= $language->getCurrentLocale() ?>" dir="<?= 
$language->getCurrentLocaleDirection() ?>">

Will show:

<html lang="ar" dir="ltr">

Currencies, dates and ordinals


Numbers with currency symbols can be obtained with the Language::currency method.

For example:

echo $language->currency(10.5, 'USD'); // US$ 10,50
echo $language->currency(10.5, 'JPY'); // JP¥ 10

Note that the Language class does not do any currency conversion. Just format.


Dates can be rendered in multiple locales, in the following formats:

Short Dates

Second argument by default is 'short':

echo $language->date(time());

It will print as in the example below:


Medium Dates

Second argument can be 'medium':

echo $language->date(time(), 'medium');

It will print as in the example below:

Aug 13, 2018

Long Dates

Second argument can be 'long':

echo $language->date(time(), 'long');

It will print as in the example below:

August 13, 2018

Full Dates

Second argument can be 'full':

echo $language->date(time(), 'full');

It will print as in the example below:

Monday, August 13, 2018


Ordinal numbers in English:

$language->ordinal(1); // 1st
$language->ordinal(2); // 2nd
$language->ordinal(5); // 5th

Ordinal numbers in different locales:

$language->ordinal(1, 'de'); // 1º
$language->ordinal(2, 'fr'); // 2º
$language->ordinal(5, 'id'); // 3º

Using Language and HTTP libraries together

Let's create a small structure to show an automatically localized page, negotiating the User-Agent language using the HTTP Library.

Go to the terminal and run:

mkdir -p app/{languages/{en,es,pt-br},public}
cd app
composer require aplus/{http,language}

This is the directory tree created:

├── languages
│   ├── en
│   ├── es
│   └── pt-br
├── public
└── vendor

Create the public/index.php file:


require __DIR__ . '/../vendor/autoload.php';

use Framework\HTTP\Request;
use Framework\Language\Language;

$request = new Request();

$supported = ['en', 'es', 'pt-br'];

$negotiated = $request->negotiateLanguage($supported);

$language = new Language();
$language->addDirectory(__DIR__ . '/../languages')
<h1>Aplus App</h1>
<p><?= $language->lang('home.welcome') ?></p>

If the language negotiated in the HTTP request is, for example, es, which has been set as a supported locale, the Language object will try to get the value of the welcome key from the array returned in the languages/es/home.php file:

This is the content of languages/es/home.php:


return [
    'welcome' => '¡Bienvenido!'

Once this is done, up the PHP development server:

php -S localhost:8080 -t public/

In another terminal, make a request with curl:

curl -H "Accept-Language: es" http://localhost:8080

The content of the HTTP response will be:

<h1>Aplus App</h1>
  • Make requests with other languages.
  • Add the default locale file.
  • Implement an RTL page with HTML attributes and access it with a web browser.

Database Integration

We will see how to fetch language messages in a database.

In this example, we will use the Database Library and we will extend the Language class.

First, we create the database schema called app and in it we will create the table Language and we will insert some lines for testing:

use Framework\Database\Database;
use Framework\Database\Definition\Table\TableDefinition;

$database = new Database('root', 'password');

$database->createTable('Languages')->definition(function (TableDefinition $def) {

    ['en', 'home', 'welcome', 'Welcome!'],
    ['es', 'home', 'welcome', '¡Bienvenido!'],
    ['pt-br', 'home', 'welcome', 'Bem-vindo!'],

Once that's done, we'll extend the Language class, adding functionality to interact with the database:

use Framework\Language\Language;

class DatabaseLanguage extends Language
    protected Database $database;
    protected string $databaseTable = 'Languages';

    public function setDatabase(Database $database) : static
        $this->database = $database;
        return $this;

    protected function findLines(string $locale, string $file) : static
        parent::findLines($locale, $file);
        if (isset($this->database)) {
            $result = $this->database->select()
                ->whereEqual('locale', $locale)
                ->whereEqual('file', $file)
            $lines = [];
            while ($row = $result->fetch()) {
                $lines[$row->line] = $row->message;
            $this->addLines($locale, $file, $lines);
        return $this;

So we can render the messages directly from the database:

$database = new Database('root', 'password');

$language = new DatabaseLanguage();

echo $language->render('home', 'welcome');


Aplus Language Library is an easy-to-use tool for, beginners and experienced, PHP developers.
It is perfect for adapting applications to different languages.
The more you use it, the more you will learn.

Did you find something wrong?
Be sure to let us know about it with an issue.
Thank you!

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