Native module translation

The module’s text strings are written in English, but you might want French, Spanish or Polish shop owners to use your module too. You therefore have to translate those strings into those languages, both the front office and the back office strings. Ideally, you should translate your module in all the languages that are installed on your shop. This could be a tedious task, but a whole system has been put in place in order to help you out.

In short, PrestaShop 1.7 implements Symfony’s translation system, through the use of the trans() method, used to encapsulate the strings to be translated. This method is applied in a different way depending of the file type.

This system only works with native modules.

See here for 3rd party modules.

The process of preparing text strings for translation is called internationalization, or i18n.

Internationalizing strings in Smarty (.tpl) files

Strings in TPL files will need to be turned into dynamic content using the {l} function call, which Smarty will replace by the translation for the chosen language.

PrestaShop 1.6 used to require the mod parameter for context. PrestaShop 1.7 now requires that parameter to be “d”, and to use the same domain as all the other strings in the module.

In our sample module, the mymodule.tpl file…

<li>
  <a href="{$base_dir}modules/mymodule/mymodule_page.php" title="Click this link">Click me!</a>
</li>
<!-- Block mymodule -->
<div id="mymodule_block_left" class="block">
  <h4>{l s='Welcome!' d='Modules.MyModule'}</h4>
  <div class="block_content">
    <p>Hello,
       {if isset($my_module_name) && $my_module_name}
           {$my_module_name}
       {else}
           World
       {/if}
       !
    </p>
    <ul>
      <li><a href="{$my_module_link}" title="Click this link">Click me!</a></li>
    </ul>
  </div>
</div>
<!-- /Block mymodule -->

…becomes:

<li>
  <a href="{$base_dir}modules/mymodule/mymodule_page.php" title="{l s='Click this link' d='Modules.MyModule'}">{l s='Click me!' d='Modules.MyModule'}</a>
</li>
<!-- Block mymodule -->
<div id="mymodule_block_left" class="block">
  <h4>{l s='Welcome!' d='Modules.MyModule'}</h4>
  <div class="block_content">
    <p>
      {if !isset($my_module_name) || !$my_module_name}
        {capture name='my_module_tempvar'}{l s='World' d='Modules.MyModule'}{/capture}
        {assign var='my_module_name' value=$smarty.capture.my_module_tempvar}
      {/if}
      {l s='Hello %1$s!' sprintf=$my_module_name d='Modules.MyModule'}
    </p>
    <ul>
      <li><a href="{$my_module_link}"  title="{l s='Click this link' d='Modules.MyModule'}">{l s='Click me!' d='Modules.MyModule'}</a></li>
    </ul>
  </div>
 </div>
 <!-- /Block mymodule -->

…and the display.tpl file:

Welcome to this page!

…becomes:

{l s='Welcome to this page!' d='Modules.MyModule'}

Notice that we always use the d parameter. This is used by PrestaShop to assert which module the string belongs to. The translation tool needs it in order to match the string to translate with its translation. This parameter is mandatory for module translation.

Translating complex code

As we can see, the basis of template file translation is to enclose them in the {l s='The string' mod='name_of_the_module'}. The changes in display.tpl and in mymodule.tpl’s link and title texts are thus easy to understand. But added a trickier block of code for the “Hello World!” string: an if/else/then clause, and a text variable. Let’s explore this code:

Here is the original code:

Hello,
  {if isset($my_module_name) && $my_module_name}
    {$my_module_name}
  {else}
    World
  {/if}
!

As you can see, we need to get the “Hello World” string translatable, but also to cater for the fact that there is a variable. As explained in the “Translations in PrestaShop 1.5” chapter, variables are to be marked using sprintf() markers, such as %s or %1$s.

Making “Hello %s!” translatable words in easy: we just need to use this code:

{l s='Hello %s!' sprintf=$my_module_name d='Modules.MyModule'}

But in our case, we also need to make sure that the %s is replaced by “World” in case the “my_module_name” value does not exist… and we must make “World” translatable too. This can be achieved by using Smarty {capture} function, which collects the output of the template between the tags into a variable instead of displaying, so that we can use it later on. We are going to use it in order to replace the variable with the translated “World” if the variable is empty or absent, using a temporary variable. Here is the final code:

{if !isset($my_module_name) || !$my_module_name}
  {capture name='my_module_tempvar'}{l s='World' d='Modules.MyModule'}{/capture}
  {assign var='my_module_name' value=$smarty.capture.my_module_tempvar}
{/if}
{l s='Hello %s!' sprintf=$my_module_name d='Modules.MyModule'}