Setting Up Multilingual Support in Laravel Applications

In today's globalized world, supporting multiple languages in your web application can significantly enhance user experience and accessibility. Laravel, a powerful PHP framework, provides robust tools and features to easily add multilingual support. This article will guide you through the process of setting up multilingual support in a Laravel application.

1. Initial Setup

Before diving into multilingual features, ensure your Laravel application is set up correctly. If not, install Laravel by running:

composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel multilingual-app

2. Configuring Localization

Laravel's localization features are configured in the `config/app.php` file. Set the default locale and add available locales:

'locale' => 'en',

'fallback_locale' => 'en',

The `locale` option determines the default language for your application, and `fallback_locale` specifies the language to use when the current language's translation is unavailable.

3. Creating Language Files

Language files store the translations for different languages. They are located in the `resources/lang` directory. Create a subdirectory for each language you want to support, for example, `en` for English and `es` for Spanish.

Inside each language directory, create PHP files for different sections of your application. For example, create `messages.php` inside the `en` and `es` directories:

// resources/lang/en/messages.php

return [

    'welcome' => 'Welcome to our application!',


// resources/lang/es/messages.php

return [

    'welcome' => '¡Bienvenido a nuestra aplicación!',


4. Using Translation Strings

To use translations in your views or controllers, use the `__('key')` helper function:

// In a Blade view

{{ __('messages.welcome') }}

The `__('messages.welcome')` function will fetch the translation string from the appropriate language file based on the current locale.

5. Switching Locales

You can switch the locale dynamically based on user preference or other criteria. For instance, you can create a route and controller method to change the locale:

// web.php

Route::get('locale/{locale}', [LocaleController::class, 'changeLocale']);

// LocaleController.php

public function changeLocale($locale)


    if (in_array($locale, ['en', 'es'])) {

        session(['locale' => $locale]);


    return redirect()->back();


In your `AppServiceProvider` or a middleware, set the application locale based on the session value:

// AppServiceProvider.php

public function boot()


    App::setLocale(session('locale', 'en'));


6. Using Language Switchers in Views

Add a language switcher to your views to allow users to switch languages easily:

<a href="{{ url('locale/en') }}">English</a>

<a href="{{ url('locale/es') }}">Español</a>

7. Advanced Translation Features

a. Pluralization

Laravel supports translation of plural strings using the `|` character:

// resources/lang/en/messages.php

'apples' => 'There is one apple|There are many apples',

// Usage

{{ trans_choice('messages.apples', $count) }}

b. Parameterized Translations

You can pass parameters to translations using the `__` function:

// resources/lang/en/messages.php

'welcome_name' => 'Welcome, :name!',

// Usage

{{ __('messages.welcome_name', ['name' => 'John']) }}

c. JSON Language Files

For simpler applications, you can use JSON files for translations. Create `en.json` and `es.json` in the `resources/lang` directory:

// resources/lang/en.json


    "Welcome to our application!": "Welcome to our application!"


// resources/lang/es.json


    "Welcome to our application!": "¡Bienvenido a nuestra aplicación!"


Access these translations using the same `__` function:

{{ __('Welcome to our application!') }}

Setting up multilingual support in a Laravel application is straightforward and powerful. By leveraging Laravel's built-in localization features, you can easily manage translations and provide a seamless multilingual experience for your users. Whether you need basic text translation or advanced features like pluralization and parameterized translations, Laravel has you covered. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to implement multilingual support in your Laravel application and reach a broader audience.