Creating a language definition file

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Important note: Joomla language INI files must be saved as UTF-8 without the Byte Order Mark (BOM)[1].

The format of language definition files is very basic. Blanks lines and lines beginning with “#” are ignored and the latter may be used to add comments to the file. Each line consists of a pair of strings separated by an equals sign like this


where “KEY” is a string to be translated and “Value” is the translated string. For example


The “KEY” must be in all capitals or the string will not be found. The case of the source string does not matter as strings are folded to upper case before searching takes place. So “additional information”, “Additional Information” or even “AdDiTiOnAl InFoRmAtIoN” will be matched.

The “KEY” may include spaces and other punctuation characters but there should not be any spaces either side of the equals sign as spaces are significant. If more than one entry has the same left-hand side, the last entry in the file is the one to perform the translation.

  1. For more information on Byte Order Mark see