Yii Message Translator

3.0.0 2023-02-17 13:16 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-06-22 14:43:13 UTC



Yii Message Translator

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This package allows translating messages into several languages. It can work with both Yii-based applications and standalone PHP applications.


  • PHP 8.0 or higher.


The package could be installed with Composer:

composer require yiisoft/translator

Additional packages

There are two types of additional packages. Message source provide support of various message storage formats such as PHP arrays or GNU gettext. Message formatters provide extra syntax that is recognized in translated messages.

Message sources

Built-in message formatters

  • Simple formatter just replaces parameters in messages. Does not take into account the locale.
  • intl formatter utilizes PHP intl extension message formatting capabilities.

Extracting messages

The message extraction is done via console extractor that searches for translator message calls and builds translation files.

In some cases you need to do so without using console. If that is your case, check extractor guide.


Quick start

First, get a configured instance of event dispatcher. When using a framework it is usually done as:

public function actionProcess(\Psr\EventDispatcher\EventDispatcherInterface $eventDispatcher)
    // ...

Configuration depends on the container used so below we'll create an instance manually.

/** @var \Psr\EventDispatcher\EventDispatcherInterface $eventDispatcher */
$locale = 'ru';
$fallbackLocale = 'en';

$translator = new Yiisoft\Translator\Translator(

$fallbackLocale and $eventDispatcher are optional. Fallback locale is used when no translation was found in the main locale. Event dispatcher is used to dispatch missing translation events.

Now we've got an instance, but it has no idea where to get translations from. Let's tell it:

// Default category is used when no category is specified explicitly.
$defaultCategoryName = 'app';
$pathToTranslations = './messages/';

// We use MessageSource that is based on PHP files.
$messageSource = new \Yiisoft\Translator\Message\Php\MessageSource($pathToTranslations);

// We use Intl message formatter.
$formatter = new \Yiisoft\Translator\IntlMessageFormatter(); 

// Now get an instance of CategorySource.
$category = new Yiisoft\Translator\CategorySource(

// And add it.

That's it. Translator is ready to be used.

Advanced configuration for Yii3 application

After installing the package, you will get the following configuration files in your application config:

  • config/packages/yiisoft/translator/common.php
  • config/packages/yiisoft/translator/params.php

You need get implementation of MessageReader and MessageSource to complete configuration. See "Additional packages", "Message sources" above.

The following configuration is for Yii3 application after all needed packages installed:

You need uncomment strings around ApplicationCategorySource in common.php and params.php files:


use Psr\EventDispatcher\EventDispatcherInterface;
use Yiisoft\Definitions\Reference;
use Yiisoft\Translator\TranslatorInterface;
use Yiisoft\Translator\Translator;
use Yiisoft\Translator\CategorySource;

/** @var array $params */

return [
    // Configure application CategorySource 
    ApplicationCategorySource::class => [ // <- Uncommented
        'class' => CategorySource::class,
        '__construct()' => [
            'name' => $params['yiisoft/translator']['defaultCategory'],
    TranslatorInterface::class => [
        'class' => Translator::class,
        '__construct()' => [
        'addCategorySources()' => [

and params.php:



use Yiisoft\Definitions\Reference;

return [
    'yiisoft/translator' => [
        'locale' => 'en-US',
        'fallbackLocale' => null,
        'defaultCategory' => 'app',
        'categorySources' => [
            // You can add categories to your application and your modules using `Reference::to` below
            Reference::to(ApplicationCategorySource::class), // <- Uncommented
            // Reference::to(MyModuleCategorySource::class),

Multiple translation sources

/** @var \Yiisoft\Translator\TranslatorInterface $translator */

$categoryName = 'module';
$pathToModuleTranslations = './module/messages/';
$moduleMessageSource = new \Yiisoft\Translator\Message\Php\MessageSource($pathToModuleTranslations);

// Simple message formatter.
$formatter = new \Yiisoft\Translator\Formatter\Simple\SimpleMessageFormatter();

$additionalCategory = new Yiisoft\Translator\CategorySource(

Adding many category sources at once

 * @var \Yiisoft\Translator\TranslatorInterface $translator
 * @var \Yiisoft\Translator\CategorySource $additionalCategory1
 * @var \Yiisoft\Translator\CategorySource $additionalCategory2 

$translator->addCategorySources($additionalCategory1, $additionalCategory2);

Overriding translation messages

If you use a module that has message translation and want to redefine default translation messages, you can add your category source with the same categoryName as used in the module.

During translation CategorySources are used from last to first allowing overriding messages of the same category and ID.

/** @var \Yiisoft\Translator\TranslatorInterface $translator */
/** @var \Yiisoft\Translator\Message\Php\MessageSource $yourCustomMessageSource */
/** @var \Yiisoft\Translator\Formatter\Simple\SimpleMessageFormatter $formatter */

// CategorySource for module with "validator" category name.
$categoryNameAsModule = 'validator'; // 
$moduleCategorySource = new Yiisoft\Translator\CategorySource(

// Needs be added after module category source is added.

General usage

Using default language and default category

// single translation
$messageIdentificator = 'submit';
echo $translator->translate($messageIdentificator);
// output: `Submit message`

// translation with plural
$messageIdentificator = 'multiHumans';
echo $translator->translate($messageIdentificator, ['n' => 3]);
// output: `3 humans`

Specifying category and language

$messageIdentificator = 'submit';
echo $translator->translate($messageIdentificator, [], 'moduleId', 'ru');
// output: `Отправить сообщение`

Change default locale

$newDefaultLocale = 'de-DE';

Get a current locale, if you don't know set locale

echo $translator->getLocale();

Get a new Translator instance with a locale to be used by default in case locale isn't specified explicitly

$newDefaultLocale = 'de-DE';
echo $translator->withLocale($newDefaultLocale);

Get a new Translator instance with a category to be used by default in case category isn't specified explicitly

$newDefaultCategoryId = 'module2';
echo $translator->withDefaultCategory($newDefaultCategoryId);

Additional info

The package contains interfaces for development of custom formatters, readers, and writers.


If you need help or have a question, the Yii Forum is a good place for that. You may also check out other Yii Community Resources.


The Yii Message Translator is free software. It is released under the terms of the BSD License. Please see LICENSE for more information.

Maintained by Yii Software.

Support the project

Open Collective

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