User Tools

coreBOS Translation Module


  • add strings to other modules with no code changes
  • more control of labels: avoid duplicates
  • Import/Export
  • all module advantages: mass edit, deduplication
  • modify any label easily
  • easier to translate: external tools
  • correct functionality of picklist search
  • possibility to translate values on modules, not just labels
  • Support for using Accept-Language header when fetching required language: getLanguage
  • Support for contextual and plural translations with full sprintf syntax (see syntax below)
  • Full backward compatibility


  • harder to install new language file: could be fixed easily
  • slower: about 2% (needs validation)
  • modifying and adding strings is harder: cbupdater?

Accept-Language Header


Will first try to find a user chosen locale in the user settings.

If none found, it will next try to use the Accept-Language header provided by the browser. This is especially useful in the login screen for multilingual users.

Finally, it will fallback to the global configuration

Contextual and plural translations

Context translation

The use of context string lets tuning translation in special cases, e.g. taking care of gender.

Plural translations

Many languages have different ways of taking plurals into account, from none to 6 plural forms.


The cbtranslation::get() method has full support for context and plurals, among other features.

The basic usage is cbtranslation::get('friend') that will return the value of 'friend' taken from the module cbtranslation values (equivalent to the previous main translation file in include/language).

Next we can pass in the module as we did before with getTranslatedString, cbtranslation::get('friend','Users'), which will return the value of 'friend' taken from the Users module translations entries in the database.

The third parameter is an array with a set of options for the translation.

  • language ⇒ <String> language to translate against, if not set $current_language will be used
  • context ⇒ <String> label modifier for specific translation contexts, like gender. The context is simply added after key name separated by an underscore.
  • count ⇒ <Integer> label modifier for plurals. Plurals are written following gettext format. For a language with 2 plural forms, you keep KEY_NAME for singular and KEY_NAME_PLURAL for plural. For a language with 3 or more plural forms, it will be KEY_NAME_0, KEY_NAME_1, …, KEY_NAME_N for each case

Some examples would be:

  • cbtranslation::get('friend','Users',array('language'⇒'en_us')) which will search in english
  • cbtranslation::get('friend','Users',array('language'⇒'es_es')) which will search in spanish
  • cbtranslation::get('friend','Users',array('language'⇒'en_us','count'⇒2)) which will search in english for the plural form of the label: 'friend_PLURAL'
  • cbtranslation::get('friend','Users',array('language'⇒'en_us','count'⇒1)) which will search in english for the singular form of the label: 'friend'
  • cbtranslation::get('friend','Users',array('language'⇒'en_us','count'⇒2, 'context'⇒'female')) which will search in english for the plural form of the label with 'female' suffix: 'friend_female_PLURAL'

Finally, you can add more parameters to support sprintf formatting like this: cbtranslation::get('friendcountry','Users',array('language'⇒'en_us','context'⇒'female','count'⇒2),2,'England')

You can find a set of examples in our unit test for this module.


Let's say that we have these values

'LBL_USER' => 'User',
'LBL_USER_PLURAL' => 'Users',
'LBL_USER_MALE' => 'Male User',
'LBL_USER_FEMALE' => 'Female User',
'LBL_USER_FEMALE_PLURAL' => 'Many female users',
'LBL_CONNECTED_USERS' => '%d user is connected',
'LBL_CONNECTED_USERS_PLURAL' => '%d users are connected',

Calling cbtranslation::get('LBL_USER', $MODULE) will return 'User'

Calling cbtranslation::get('LBL_USER', $MODULE, array('count'⇒$CONNECTED_USERS_COUNT)) will return 'Users' if $CONNECTED_USERS_COUNT > 1 and 'User' if $CONNECTED_USERS_COUNT = 1

Calling cbtranslation::get('LBL_CONNECTED_USERS', $MODULE, array('count'⇒$CONNECTED_USERS_COUNT),$CONNECTED_USERS_COUNT) will return for instance '10 users are connected'

Calling cbtranslation::get('LBL_USER', $MODULE, array('context'⇒'FEMALE','count'⇒$CONNECTED_USERS_COUNT)) will return 'Female User' if $CONNECTED_USERS_COUNT = 1 and 'Many female users' if $CONNECTED_USERS_COUNT > 1

cbtranslation webservice

There is currently no webservice interface to this module's translation services. We could enhance the webservice getTranslatedString method, which, I think, would be the correct way to proceed.

In the mean time, a normal query should get you the translation you need:

SELECT i18n FROM cbtranslation WHERE translation_key = 'friend' AND locale='es_es'
SELECT i18n,Products.productname FROM cbtranslation WHERE Products.productname = 'Sexy Leggings';


coreBOS Documentación