A PHP package to manage i18n: translations, pluralization and date formats according to a localization.

v1.1.0 2015-03-04 22:25 UTC

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Last update: 2024-02-17 09:58:19 UTC


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A PHP package to manage i18n: translations, pluralization, date and number formatting according to a localization.


Object creation and PHP usage

To create a new I18n instance, you need to pass it a I18n\Loader object:

// Creation of the I18n Loader
$i18n_loader = new \I18n\Loader(array(

    // this is the directory where your language strings are defined
    'language_directory' => __DIR__.'/i18n',

    // this is the list of available languages
    'available_languages' => array(
        'en' => 'en_US_USD',
        'gb' => 'en_GB_UKP',
        'fr' => 'fr_FR_EUR'
    'default_language' => 'en',

    // this is the tag construction used for replacements in strings
    // by default, "%arg%" will be replacement by the argument "arg" value
    // as this will be passed to a 'sprintf' PHP function, literal percent is written '%%'
    'arg_wrapper_mask' => "%%%s%%",

// Creation of the I18n instance (statically) passing it the Loader
$translator = \I18n\I18n::getInstance($i18n_loader);

For a full list of possible Loader options, please have a look in source code.

Any option value defining a directory path or a filename construction can contains a %s tag that will be replaced by the current language.

// for instance:
'language_directory' => __DIR__.'/i18n/%s'

// will render, for the EN language:
'language_directory' => __DIR__.'/i18n/EN'

As you can see, the I18n class is defined as a Singleton object: any future call of \I18n\I18n::getInstance() will refer to the first created object instance.

Then, to actually use the translated value of a string, use the translate method:

$translator->translate( 'string_index' [, array( arguments )] [, language code] )

You can use the pluralize method to choose a translated string depending on a number of items:

$indexes = array(
$translator->pluralize( $indexes, $number_of_items [, array( arguments )] [, language code] )

Translation strings definition

By default (this can be over-write in the Loader), the I18n object will load the strings defined as a PHP array like:

$i18n_en = array (
  'datetime_mask' => '%a %e %m %Y %H:%M:%S',
  'test' => 'Test in english',
  'test_args' => 'I received arguments : « %arg1% » and « %arg2% »',
  'test_item_zero' => 'No item',
  'test_item_one' => 'Just one item',
  'test_item_two' => 'Two items',
  'test_item_multi' => 'There are %nb% items',

This may be defined in a file called i18n.CODE.php where CODE is the two letter reference of the language. These files will be searched and loaded from the language_directory loader option value.

Load multiple language files

The I18n object is designed to be able to load multiple language files easily with:

$i18n->loadFile( my file path )

Each file loaded is stored in the internal cache system of the object (a simple PHP array).

Package aliases

A set of aliases functions, defined in the global namespace, are available and auto-loaded by Composer:

function _T(...) = $i18n->translate(...)
#    or
function translate(...) = $i18n->translate(...)

function _P(...) = $i18n->pluralize(...)
#    or
function pluralize(...) = $i18n->pluralize(...)

function _D(...) = $i18n->getLocalizedDateString(...)
#    or
function datify(...) = $i18n->getLocalizedDateString(...)


The package embeds an extension to use the class in the Twig template engine. See the Twig Extension page for more infos.


For a complete information about how to install this package and load its namespace, please have a look at our USAGE documentation.

If you are a Composer user, just add the package to the requirements of your project's composer.json manifest file:

"atelierspierrot/internationalization": "@stable"

You can use a specific release or the latest release of a major version using the appropriate version constraint.

Please note that this package depends on the externals PHP Patterns and PHP Library.

Author & License


Copyright (c) 2010-2016, Pierre Cassat and contributors

Licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.

Les Ateliers Pierrot - Paris, France -