We are working to translate our site into different languages. Currently, we pull 80% of a page from a database that is already translated. We drop in a language id and output the appropriate content.

What I need to store and access are the bits and pieces of text that need to appear on every page, but won't be stored in a database. For example, a save button might say "click to save" in English, or "clique acqui" in French, or "clicken zie here" in German.

We might have 10 - 20 different pages (templates) on our site that will require this hard coded translated text. There might be 20 - 40 bits of text on a single page that need to be output into any of ten languages.

My solution is to create a global array (or structure) that contains all of the text pieces in different languages. We will populate the array with hard coded strings. When a person changes their language id, we will just access a different part of the array and output the appropriate text.

Below, I have a working page that that enables you to toggle your language and access different text pieces.

My question is, is there a major pitfall I am overlooking or is there an easier way to get this done?

<title>EJ's Test Page</title>
<!--- JQUERY --->
<script type="text/javascript" src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.2/jquery.min.js"></script>


if (structKeyExists(FORM, "LanguageID")) {
    LanguageID = FORM.LanguageID;
} else {
    LanguageID = 1;

<form method="post">    
<select name="LanguageID" onchange="javascript:form.submit();">
<option value="1" <cfif LanguageID eq 1>selected="selected"</cfif> >American</option>
<option value="2" <cfif LanguageID eq 2>selected="selected"</cfif> >German</option>
<option value="3" <cfif LanguageID eq 3>selected="selected"</cfif> >French</option>

PageContent = getPageContent(LanguageID);

<p><b>#PageContent.Text3#</b> - #PageContent.Text4#</p> 
<button id="MyButton">#PageContent.Text2#</button>

<cffunction name="getPageContent">
    PC = APPLICATION.PageContent[LanguageID];
    return PC;

<cffunction name="makeLanguageArray">
    if (not structKeyExists(APPLICATION, "PageContent")) {
        APPLICATION.PageContent = structNew();
        // ENGLISH
        i = 1;
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i] = structNew();
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text1 = "What a fine day!";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text2 = "The flowers are in bloom.";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text3 = "Follow the money";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text4 = "Save to List";
        // GERMAN
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i] = structNew();
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text1 = "Einen Augenblick, bitte!";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text2 = "Wie teuer ist das?";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text3 = "Kommen Sie mit!";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text4 = "Gute Nacht!";
        // FRENCH
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i] = structNew();
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text1 = "Je ne l'ai pas fait intentionnellement.";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text2 = "C’est lui l’agresseur.";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text3 = "Je viens d’être victime de vol.";
        APPLICATION.PageContent[i].Text4 = "Ce n’est pas ma faute.";

var ButtonText = '#PageContent.Text4#';

$MyButton = $("#MyButton");

throwAlert = function() {




You could create a language layer and the code only knows the reference. PHPBB has a good example of this in their templating system.

That way the button on a form, for example, is always something like template_var['login']. There is a replace going on based on a language pack file. The user selected preferences define which language pack to use. In the end you're just dumping the language file definition into a template variable that never changes.

This route might be easier to manage than an huge structure that keeps growing as you expand?


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