Enables multi-lingual sites
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Translation plugin

Enables multi-lingual sites.

Selecting a language

Different languages can be set up in the back-end area, with a single default language selected. This activates the use of the language on the front-end and in the back-end UI.

A visitor can select a language by prefixing the language code to the URL, this is then stored in the user's session as their chosen language. For example:

  • http://website/ru/ will display the site in Russian
  • http://website/fr/ will display the site in French
  • http://website/ will display the site in the default language or the user's chosen language.

Language Picker Component

A visitor can select their chosen language using the LocalePicker component. This component will display a simple dropdown that changes the page language depending on the selection.

title = "Home"
url = "/"


<h3>{{ 'Please select your language:'|_ }}</h3>
{% component 'localePicker' %}

If translated, the text above will appear as whatever language is selected by the user. The dropdown is very basic and is intended to be restyled. A simpler example might be:


    Switch language to:
    <a href="#" data-request="onSwitchLocale" data-request-data="locale: 'en'">English</a>,
    <a href="#" data-request="onSwitchLocale" data-request-data="locale: 'ru'">Russian</a>

Message translation

Message or string translation is the conversion of adhoc strings used throughout the site. A message can be translated with parameters.

{{ site.name|_ }}

{{ 'Welcome to our website!'|_ }}

{{ 'Hello :name!'|_({ name: 'Friend' }) }}

A message can also be translated for a choice usage.

{{ 'There are no apples|There are :number applies!'|__(2, { number: 'two' }) }}

Themes can provide default values for these messages by defining a translate key in the theme.yaml file, located in the theme directory.

name: My Theme
# [...]

        site.name: 'My Website'
        nav.home: 'Home'
        nav.video: 'Video'
        title.home: 'Welcome Home'
        title.video: 'Screencast Video'

You may also define the translations in a separate file, where the path is relative to the theme. The following definition will source the default messages from the file config/lang.yaml inside the theme.

name: My Theme
# [...]

translate: config/lang.yaml

This is an example of config/lang.yaml file with two languages:

    site.name: 'My Website'
    nav.home: 'Home'
    nav.video: 'Video'
    title.home: 'Welcome Home'
    site.name: 'Moje web stranice'
    nav.home: 'Početna'
    nav.video: 'Video'
    title.home: 'Dobrodošli'

Content translation

This plugin activates a feature in the CMS that allows content files to use language suffixes, for example:

  • welcome.htm will contain the content in the default language.
  • welcome.ru.htm will contain the content in Russian.
  • welcome.fr.htm will contain the content in French.

Model translation

Models can have their attributes translated by using the RainLab.Translate.Behaviors.TranslatableModel behavior and specifying which attributes to translate in the class.

class User
    public $implement = ['RainLab.Translate.Behaviors.TranslatableModel'];

    public $translatable = ['name'];

The attribute will then contain the default language value and other language code values can be created by using the translateContext() method.

$user = User::first();

// Outputs the name in the default language
echo $user->name;


// Outputs the name in French
echo $user->name;

You may use the same process for setting values.

$user = User::first();

// Sets the name in the default language
$user->name = 'English';


// Sets the name in French
$user->name = 'Anglais';

The lang() method is a shorthand version of translateContext() and is also chainable.

// Outputs the name in French
echo $user->lang('fr')->name;

This can be useful inside a Twig template.

{{ user.lang('fr').name }}

There are ways to get and set attributes without changing the context.

// Gets a single translated attribute for a language
$user->getAttributeTranslated('name', 'fr');

// Sets a single translated attribute for a language
$user->setAttributeTranslated('name', 'Jean-Claude', 'fr');

Fallback attribute values

By default, untranslated attributes will fall back to the default locale. This behavior can be disabled by calling the noFallbackLocale method.

$user = User::first();


// Returns NULL if there is no French translation

Indexed attributes

Translatable model attributes can also be declared as an index by passing the $transatable attribute value as an array. The first value is the attribute name, the other values represent options, in this case setting the option index to true.

    public $translatable = [
        ['slug', 'index' => true]

Once an attribute is indexed, you may use the transWhere method to apply a basic query to the model.

Post::transWhere('slug', 'hello-world')->first();

The transWhere method accepts a third argument to explicitly pass a locale value, otherwise it will be detected from the environment.

Post::transWhere('slug', 'hello-world', 'en')->first();

URL translation

Pages in the CMS support translating the URL property. Assuming you have 3 languages set up:

  • en: English
  • fr: French
  • ru: Russian

There is a page with the following content:

url = "/contact"

localeUrl[ru] = "/контакт"
<p>Page content</p>

The word "Contact" in French is the same so a translated URL is not given, or needed. If the page has no URL override specified, then the default URL will be used. Pages will not be duplicated for a given language.

  • /fr/contact - Page in French
  • /en/contact - Page in English
  • /ru/контакт - Page in Russian
  • /ru/contact - 404

URL Parameter translation

It's possible to translate URL parameters by listening to the translate.localePicker.translateParams event, which is fired when switching languages.

Event::listen('translate.localePicker.translateParams', function($page, $params, $oldLocale, $newLocale) {
    if ($page->baseFileName == 'your-page-filename') {
        return YourModel::translateParams($params, $oldLocale, $newLocale);

In YourModel, one possible implementation might look like this:

public static function translateParams($params, $oldLocale, $newLocale) {
    $newParams = $params;
    foreach ($params as $paramName => $paramValue) {
        $records = self::transWhere($paramName, $paramValue, $oldLocale)->first();
        if ($records) {
            $newParams[$paramName] = $records->$paramName;
    return $newParams;

Conditionally extending plugins


It is possible to conditionally extend a plugin's models to support translation by placing an @ symbol before the behavior definition. This is a soft implement will only use TranslatableModel if the Translate plugin is installed, otherwise it will not cause any errors.

 * Blog Post Model
class Post extends Model


     * Softly implement the TranslatableModel behavior.
    public $implement = ['@RainLab.Translate.Behaviors.TranslatableModel'];

     * @var array Attributes that support translation, if available.
    public $translatable = ['title'];



The back-end forms will automatically detect the presence of translatable fields and replace their controls for multilingual equivalents.


Since the Twig filter will not be available all the time, we can pipe them to the native Laravel translation methods instead. This ensures translated messages will always work on the front end.

 * Register new Twig variables
 * @return array
public function registerMarkupTags()
    // Check the translate plugin is installed
    if (!class_exists('RainLab\Translate\Behaviors\TranslatableModel'))

    return [
        'filters' => [
            '_' => ['Lang', 'get'],
            '__' => ['Lang', 'choice'],

User Interface

Switching locales

Users can switch between locales by clicking on the locale indicator on the right hand side of the Multi-language input. By holding the CMD / CTRL key all Multi-language Input fields will switch to the selected locale.