Function and usage of get_available_languages() in wordpress


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    The get_available_languages() function in WordPress is used to retrieve a list of available languages for a WordPress site. The function works by scanning a specified directory for *.mo files, which are used for translations in WordPress. Here's a detailed explanation of this function and its usage:


    get_available_languages( string $dir = null ): string[]


    This function is designed to obtain all available languages based on the presence of *.mo files in a given directory. These files are essentially compiled gettext translation files used by WordPress to provide localized versions of the site.

    Default Directory:

    If no directory is specified, the function uses WP_LANG_DIR by default. WP_LANG_DIR is a WordPress constant that holds the path to the directory where language files are stored.


    • $dir (string, optional): This parameter allows the specification of a different directory to search for language files. It's optional, and if not provided, the function defaults to using WP_LANG_DIR.
      • Default: null (which means WP_LANG_DIR is used)

    Return Value:

    • string[]: The function returns an array of language codes. Each language code represents a language for which a translation file (.mo file) exists in the specified directory.
      • If no languages are present in the directory, the function returns an empty array.
      • The language codes are derived by stripping the .mo extension from the language file names. For example, if there is a file named in the directory, the language code es_ES will be included in the returned array.

    Sample Usage:

    Here's an example of how you might use get_available_languages() in a WordPress theme or plugin:

    // Get languages from the default languages directory
    $languages = get_available_languages();
    // If you have a custom directory for language files, specify it like this:
    $custom_dir = '/path/to/your/languages/directory';
    $custom_languages = get_available_languages($custom_dir);
    // Output the available languages
    echo '<pre>';
    echo '</pre>';
    // For custom directory
    echo '<pre>';
    echo '</pre>';

    In this example, get_available_languages() is first called without any arguments, so it uses the default WP_LANG_DIR. Then, it's called with a custom directory path to fetch languages from a different location. The available languages are printed out in a human-readable format using print_r().

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