How to apply multiple languages to site so that we can view site in the language which we wish

Posted on 2008-10-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I came to know there is possibility of selecting particular language to view the whole site in that selected language but i want basic idea of doing this.
Question by:nagaphanir
  • 2
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 22685558
There are lots of ways to do this. The main choice is between:

a) holding translations for entire page templates in each language
b) using a single template that builds pages using libraries of language strings

a) is easier to start with, and means you can get away with not translating some stuff (meaning some things may not be available in some languages, but it won't break your layouts), but b) is mor flexible and expandable as you add more languages.

Most obvious code to help with it is gettext features in PHP, plus the PEAR Translation2 class:

Accepted Solution

lucki_luke earned 63 total points
ID: 22685567

for this to work you could make language files for each language and define phrases that will be used on the page and set up your database to contain the content in different languages.
Then according to a get statement for example in the url you can tell the script which files to load and which content cell to retrieve.
Please have a look at big opensource projects that support multiple languages like PHPBB to get a better idea.
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

Squinky earned 62 total points
ID: 22685658
The normal way of selecting a language is to look at the accept_language head that every browser supplies. I use these functions to select the best language I have:


* Parse an HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE header string into a simple list of languages with locale info removed

* @return array


function browserLanguages() {

	$langcodes = array();

	if (array_key_exists('HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE', $_SERVER)) {

		$languages = explode(',' , $_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE']);

		foreach($languages as $language) {

			$langparts = explode(';', $language);

			$langcodeparts = explode('-', $langparts[0]); //Convert en-us to en etc

			$langcode = trim($langcodeparts[0]);

			if (!in_array($langcode, $langcodes)) { //Not already listed

				$langcodes[] = $langcode;




	return $langcodes;



* Pick the best available language to deliver to a browser

* @param array $browserlanguages List of languages supported by the browser - see {@link browserLanguages()}

* @param array $availablelanguages List of the languages that you support, default one first

* @return string


function bestLanguage($browserlanguages, $availablelanguages) {

	foreach($browserlanguages as $browserlanguage) {

		if (in_array($browserlanguage, $availablelanguages)) {

			return $browserlanguage;



	//Nothing found matching browser pref, so find default

	if (count($availablelanguages) > 0) {

		return $availablelanguages[0];

	} else {

		return 'en'; //Not a lot else we can do here



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Author Comment

ID: 22801805
many thanks for your inputs....

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