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Last updated: Sun, 16 May 2004


HTTP::negotiateLanguage -- Negotiate language with the user's browser

Negotiate language with the user's browser through the Accept-Language HTTP header or the user's host address. Language codes are generally in the form "ll" for a language spoken in only one country, or "ll-CC" for a language spoken in a particular country. For example, U.S. English is "en-US", while British English is "en-UK". Portugese as spoken in Portugal is "pt-PT", while Brazilian Portugese is "pt-BR". Two-letter country codes can be found in the ISO 3166 standard.

Quantities in the Accept-Language: header are supported, for example:
Accept-Language: en-UK;q=0.7, en-US;q=0.6, no;q=1.0, dk;q=0.8

This example negotiates with the user agent if any of the languages, which are specified in supported, are supported on the user's system. If the negotiation has a positive result, the language code of the most preferred language is printed. Otherwise the default language code (en-US) is printed.

Being able to perform language negotiation is a big help when developing internationalized website with pages, that are available in more than one language. Using negotiation, the user will always get pages in the language which he prefers. (Assuming that their user agent is configured properly.)

  • array $supported - an associative array indexed by language codes (country codes) supported by the application. Values must evaluate to TRUE.

  • string $default - the default language that should be used if none of the other languages are found during negotiation.

string - a language code


The returned language is only a hint! Sending the accepted languages by the client is optional. The language settings of the browser do not have to meet the user's native language - for example a german traveller in a spanish internet cafe. You can improve your result by combining it with the result of the Net_Geo package. Apart from that, you should still give the user the chance to manually choose their preferred language menu.

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