function t

Translates a string to the current language or to a given language.

The t() function serves two purposes. First, at run-time it translates user-visible text into the appropriate language. Second, various mechanisms that figure out what text needs to be translated work off t() -- the text inside t() calls is added to the database of strings to be translated. These strings are expected to be in English, so the first argument should always be in English. To enable a fully-translatable site, it is important that all human-readable text that will be displayed on the site or sent to a user is passed through the t() function, or a related function. See the Localization API pages for more information, including recommendations on how to break up or not break up strings for translation.

Translating Variables

You should never use t() to translate variables, such as calling


, unless the text that the variable holds has been passed through t() elsewhere (e.g., $text is one of several translated literal strings in an array). It is especially important never to call


, where $user_text is some text that a user entered - doing that can lead to cross-site scripting and other security problems. However, you can use variable substitution in your string, to put variable text such as user names or link URLs into translated text. Variable substitution looks like this:

$text = t("@name's blog", array(
  '@name' => format_username($account),

Basically, you can put variables like @name into your string, and t() will substitute their sanitized values at translation time. (See the Localization API pages referenced above and the documentation of format_string() for details about how to define variables in your string.) Translators can then rearrange the string as necessary for the language (e.g., in Spanish, it might be "blog de @name").

Use During Installation Phase

During the Drupal installation phase, some resources used by t() wil not be available to code that needs localization. See st() and get_t() for alternatives.

String context

Matching source strings are normally only translated once, and the same translation is used everywhere that has a matching string. However, in some cases, a certain English source string needs to have multiple translations. One example of this is the string "May", which could be used as either a full month name or a 3-letter abbreviated month. In other languages where the month name for May has more than 3 letters, you would need to provide two different translations (one for the full name and one abbreviated), and the correct form would need to be chosen, depending on how "May" is being used. To facilitate this, the "May" string should be provided with two different contexts in the $options parameter when calling t(). For example:

t('May', array(), array('context' => 'Long month name')
t('May', array(), array('context' => 'Abbreviated month name')

See for more information.


$string: A string containing the English string to translate.

$args: An associative array of replacements to make after translation. Based on the first character of the key, the value is escaped and/or themed. See format_string() for details.

$options: An associative array of additional options, with the following elements:

  • 'langcode' (defaults to the current language): The language code to translate to a language other than what is used to display the page.
  • 'context' (defaults to the empty context): A string giving the context that the source string belongs to. See @ref sec_context above for more information.

Return value

The translated string.

See also




Related topics

1903 calls to t()
AccessDeniedTestCase::testAccessDenied in drupal/modules/system/system.test
ActionLoopTestCase::testActionLoop in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/actions.test
Set up a loop with 3 - 12 recursions, and see if it aborts properly.
ActionLoopTestCase::triggerActions in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/actions.test
Create an infinite loop by causing a watchdog message to be set, which causes the actions to be triggered again, up to actions_max_stack times.
ActionsConfigurationTestCase::testActionConfiguration in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/actions.test
Test the configuration of advanced actions through the administration interface.
actions_loop_test_action_info in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/actions_loop_test.module
Implements hook_action_info().

... See full list

28 string references to 't'
CommonXssUnitTest::testFormatStringAndT in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/common.test
Test t() and format_string() replacement functionality.
DatabaseSelectCloneTest::testSelectConditionSubQueryCloning in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/database_test.test
Test that subqueries as value within conditions are cloned properly.
DatabaseSelectComplexTestCase::testDefaultJoin in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/database_test.test
Test simple JOIN statements.
DatabaseSelectComplexTestCase::testGroupBy in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/database_test.test
Test GROUP BY clauses.
DatabaseSelectComplexTestCase::testGroupByAndHaving in drupal/modules/simpletest/tests/database_test.test
Test GROUP BY and HAVING clauses together.

... See full list


drupal/includes/, line 1735
Functions that need to be loaded on every Drupal request.


function t($string, array $args = array(), array $options = array()) {
  global $language;
  static $custom_strings;

  // Merge in default.
  if (empty($options['langcode'])) {
    $options['langcode'] = isset($language->language) ? $language->language : 'en';
  if (empty($options['context'])) {
    $options['context'] = '';

  // First, check for an array of customized strings. If present, use the array
  // *instead of* database lookups. This is a high performance way to provide a
  // handful of string replacements. See settings.php for examples.
  // Cache the $custom_strings variable to improve performance.
  if (!isset($custom_strings[$options['langcode']])) {
    $custom_strings[$options['langcode']] = variable_get('locale_custom_strings_' . $options['langcode'], array());

  // Custom strings work for English too, even if locale module is disabled.
  if (isset($custom_strings[$options['langcode']][$options['context']][$string])) {
    $string = $custom_strings[$options['langcode']][$options['context']][$string];
  elseif ($options['langcode'] != 'en' && function_exists('locale')) {
    $string = locale($string, $options['context'], $options['langcode']);
  if (empty($args)) {
    return $string;
  else {
    return format_string($string, $args);