Rvsjoen/tutorial/Developing a Module/Part 04

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< User:Rvsjoen‎ | tutorial/Developing a Module

Adding translation

So, we would like our module to support translation, which essentially means that instead of hard-coding strings, we would like the strings to be read from translation files. This makes it very easy to provide multiple translations since all that has to be done to change the language is to read a different set of language files.

With your favorite editor, create the following file


MOD_HELLOWORLD_XML_DESCRIPTION="Hello World! module description"
MOD_HELLOWORLD_GREETING_DESC="The greeting to display"

As you can see, language strings are namespaced. This is a very good practice for avoiding that strings override each other. As an example these strings start with MOD_HELLOWORLD to indicate that they belong to our module.

In order to provide translation during the installation process, in the extension manager and in the menus, another language file is required in the backend. The difference between these two files can be daunting at first, but usually the sys.ini contains a lot less translation strings and this file is loaded in scenarios where the loaded component is not com_helloworld itself, but minimal translation is still needed.

With your favorite editor, create the following file


MOD_HELLOWORLD_XML_DESCRIPTION="Hello World! module description"

With your favorite editor, edit the following file



 * @package	Joomla.Tutorials
 * @subpackage	Module
 * @copyright	Copyright (C) 2005 - 2010 Open Source Matters, Inc. All rights reserved.
 * @license	License GNU General Public License version 2 or later; see LICENSE.txt

// No direct access to this file
defined('_JEXEC') or die;

<p><?php echo $params->get('greeting', JText::_('MOD_HELLOWORLD_GREETING_DEFAULT')); ?></p>

Here we simply change the default value if no parameter is set to use the string provided in the language file. The function call JText::_('LANGUAGE_KEY') is used to resolve language strings.

With your favorite editor, edit the following file


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<extension type="module" version="2.5.0" method="upgrade">

	<!-- The following elements are optional and free of formatting constraints -->
	<creationDate>Once upon a time</creationDate>
	<author>John Doe</author>
	<copyright>Copyright Info</copyright>
	<license>License Info</license>
	<!--  The version string is stored in the extension table -->
	<!-- The description is optional and defaults to the name -->

	<!-- Note the folder attribute: This attribute describes what to copy
		into the module folder -->
		<filename module="mod_helloworld">mod_helloworld.php</filename>

		<fields name="params">
			<fieldset name="basic">


In the XML manifest we have replaced all the strings with language keys which you already added to the language files. This makes it possible to provide different strings for different languages. In addition in the highlighted line we have to remember to tell the installer to copy the language files into the module directory during installation.

File listing

Testing your module

For details on how to install the module into your Joomla! site, refer to the information provided in Part 01.

Download this part

Download example package

Articles in this series

This tutorial is supported by the following versions of Joomla!

Joomla 2.5