PHP Smarty: a modifier for internationalization tool gettext

2013-07-19 00:00:00 IN1 , 2023-04-10 14:16:28 IN1

This Smarty modifier helps instantly translating Strings into other Languages using the PHP Extension 'gettext'


Usage Examples

In all Examples, the File "backend" ( will be consulted for Translation.

Simple Output of a String:


Output using sprintf to set values dynamically:

{'(changed Menutitel; Original is `%s`)'|gettext:backend|sprintf:'123'}
{'Page %s of %s Pages'|gettext:backend|sprintf:'7':'100'}

Output with Translation into a certain Language:



You need to name the Place of Translationtables. That is the place where your Translationfolders reside. You can either do this inside the function (see bindtextdomain($sDomain, 'PATH_TO_MY_LANGUAGES_FOLDER');) or do it outside by defining the appropriate constant, e.g.:

define('PATH_TO_MY_LANGUAGES_FOLDER', '/var/www/App/languages');

The structure of the Translationtables must follow the official declaration, e.g.: php gettext translation-files structure


Save this as modifier.getText.php and place it e.g. into the Smarty plugins folder.

You will also find this Script as a Repository on my github Account.

 * @author Guido K.B.W. Üffing `<info ueffing net>`
 * @license GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 3
 * Smarty plugin
 * Type: modifier
 * Name: smarty_modifier_gettext
 * Version: 1
 * Date: 2013-07-19
 * @see
 * @access public
 * @var $sString String to be translated
 * @var $sDomain e.g. "backend"; means the File ( which will be consulted for Translation
 * @var $sLang Translation into a certain Language, e.g. "de_DE"
 * @return string translated String
function smarty_modifier_getText ($sString, $sDomain = 'backend', $sLang = 'de_DE')
    if (empty($sString))
        return gettype ($sString);

    // requires installation of php module: php{Version}-intl (and maybe libicu52)
    // This function needs a "BCP 47 compliant language tag"
    // what is per definition, using a dash instead of an underscore
    // @see 
    \Locale::setDefault(str_replace('_', '-', $sLang));

    // Setting the proper Codeset
    // here, don't use a dash '-' 
    $sCodeset = 'UTF8';  

    putenv('LANG=' . $sLang . '.' . $sCodeset);
    putenv('LANGUAGE=' . $sLang . '.' . $sCodeset); 

    // set Codeset
    bind_textdomain_codeset($sDomain, $sCodeset);       

    // name the Place of Translationtables
    // That is where your Translationfolders reside
    bindtextdomain($sDomain, '/tmp'); # flush first
    bindtextdomain($sDomain, 'PATH_TO_MY_LANGUAGES_FOLDER');

    // set locale
    setlocale(LC_MESSAGES, ""); # flush first
    setlocale(LC_MESSAGES, $sLang.'.'.$sCodeset); 

    // Translation will be loaded from
    // e.g.: /var/www/App/languages/de_DE/LC_MESSAGES/

    // return, so that further modifiers could handle it
    return gettext($sString);


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