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Translation / Messages

This section explains as a summary how to use the Yii Messaging system inside a LUYA project.

Application translation

To use the translation/messaging system in your controller or view files you have to configure the Yii i18n component in configs/config.php:

'components' => [
    'i18n' => [
        'translations' => [
            'app*' => [
                'class' => 'yii\i18n\PhpMessageSource',

Now all the message with the prefix app will be loaded into the message component when the i18n component will be initialized. Now you have to define the files for the app prefix, which are located in your application (@app) folder messages. An example structure of the message folder could look like this for the prefix app:

└── messages
    ├── de
    │   ├── app.php
    │   └── app-otherparts.php
    └── en
        ├── app.php
        └── app-otherparts.php

Register module translations

In order to register a luya\base\Module translation call the luya\base\Module -> onLoad() method, a reusable alias can be defined here too.

class Module extends \luya\base\Module
    public static function onLoad()
        self::registerTranslation('mymodule', static::staticBasePath() . '/messages', [
            'mymodule' => 'mymodule.php',

    public static function t($message, array $params = [])
        return parent::baseT('mymodule', $message, $params);

The above registered module translation messages can be retrieved as Module::t('Key', 'Value') assuming the messages are located in messages/en/mymodule.php.

In order to provide translations for the admin menu luya\admin\base\Module -> getMenu() just use the registered key in a translation file, like: ->itemApi('menu_access_item_user', 'admin/user/index', 'person', 'api-admin-user') where menu_access_item_user is the key registered in your message file.

Keep in mind when using the admin module menu translations you should name them after your module, assuming myadminmodule is the module name then this name should be used to register your translations, otherwise menu translations wont work!

Message source content

The message source file itself which contains the translations for the specific language is an array with a key where you can identifier the message and a value which is the content. Example content for messages/en/app.php:

return [
    'title_top' => 'Hello everyone, i am title top!',
    'title_footer' => 'This is just a footer title.',
    'body' => 'The body welcomes you.',

In order to use the defined message you can run the Yii:t method like this:

echo Yii::t('app', 'title_top');

This would return Hello everyone, i am title top!.

Placeholders as parameters

Sometimes you may want to add a placeholder you can fill up with specific content. You can use a key for the placeholder or using the array keys:

return [
    'today' => 'Today <b>{0}</b>.',
    'tomorrow' => 'Tomorrow is the <b>{date}</b>.',

The first example today could be used like this:

echo Yii::t('app', 'today', time());

While the second example needs a specific key date as parameter:

echo Yii::t('app', 'tomorrow', ['date' => time()]);

Conditions with parameters

Sometimes you want to change the output inside the translation file based on input parameter values, lets assume the variables $slots has been assigned with the amount of left seats:

return [
    "placesAvailable" => "{slots, plural,=1{Only 1 place} =2{Only 2 places} other{Places` available"

Lets see what happens when the value of Yii::t("app", "placesAvailable", ["slots" => $slots]) is set:

  • if $slots = 1 : Only 1 place available
  • if $slots = 2 : Only 2 places available
  • if $slots = 3 : Places available

Message Extract Command

In order to use the Yii messages command, an example config could look like this msgconfig.php:

return [
    'color' => null,
    'interactive' => true,
    'help' => null,
    'sourcePath' => '@app',
    'messagePath' => '@app/messages',
    'languages' => ['de', 'en'],
    'translator' => 'Yii::t',
    'sort' => false,
    'overwrite' => true,
    'removeUnused' => false,
    'markUnused' => true,
    'except' => [
    'only' => [
    'format' => 'php',
    'catalog' => 'messages',
    'ignoreCategories' => [],
    'phpFileHeader' => '',
    'phpDocBlock' => null,

To run the command use ./vendor/bin/luya message msgconfig.php this will now extract all the Yii -> t() messages into the messages folder files.