Retrieving the language locale in WordPress using get_locale

The WordPress get_locale function is a built-in WordPress function that retrieves the current language locale set in the WordPress admin area. This function is responsible for returning the language code that corresponds to the language currently in use on the website.

This function can be useful in numerous ways. For instance, it can be used to create multilingual websites or plugins. By using the get_locale function, developers can determine the current language of the site and then display content or perform actions based on that language. This can be especially helpful when creating a website that needs to cater to a global audience with different language preferences.

Moreover, the get_locale function can also be used to load different language files for themes and plugins, allowing developers to provide localized versions of their products. It can also be used to format dates, numbers, and other data in a way that corresponds to the locale’s standards and conventions.

In summary, the get_locale function is an essential tool in WordPress development, providing the ability to create more user-friendly, accessible, and culturally aware websites and applications.

Understanding the Parameters of the WordPress get_locale Function

The get_locale function in WordPress is unique in that it does not accept any parameters. This is quite straightforward, meaning you won’t need to provide any additional information when calling this function.

Return Value of the get_locale Function

While the get_locale function does not require any input parameters, it does provide a return value. Specifically, it returns a string that represents the locale of the blog or a value derived from the ‘locale’ hook. This means that it provides information about the language settings currently in use on your WordPress site. This could be particularly useful if you’re managing a multilingual site or developing a plugin that needs to adapt to different language settings.


Example 1: How to display the current site language using get_locale function

function display_locale() {
 $locale = get_locale();
 echo '<p>Current site language: ' . $locale . '</p>';
add_action('wp_footer', 'display_locale');

In this example, the get_locale() function is used to retrieve the current site’s language setting. The result is then echoed out in a paragraph. The function display_locale() is hooked to the wp_footer action, so it will be displayed in the footer of the site.

Example 2: How to use get_locale function to load different CSS files based on the site language

function enqueue_style_based_on_locale() {
 $locale = get_locale();
 if ($locale == 'en_US') {
 wp_enqueue_style('english-css', get_template_directory_uri() . '/english.css');
 } else if ($locale == 'fr_FR') {
 wp_enqueue_style('french-css', get_template_directory_uri() . '/french.css');
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'enqueue_style_based_on_locale');

In this example, the get_locale() function is used to determine the current site’s language. Based on the language, a different CSS file is enqueued. The function enqueue_style_based_on_locale() is hooked to the wp_enqueue_scripts action, so it will run when scripts and styles are enqueued.

Example 3: How to display a different welcome message based on the site language using get_locale function

function display_welcome_message() {
 $locale = get_locale();
 if ($locale == 'en_US') {
 echo '<p>Welcome to our site!</p>';
 } else if ($locale == 'fr_FR') {
 echo '<p>Bienvenue sur notre site!</p>';
add_action('wp_head', 'display_welcome_message');

In this example, the get_locale() function is used to determine the current site’s language. Based on the language, a different welcome message is displayed. The function display_welcome_message() is hooked to the wp_header action, so it will be displayed in the header of the site.


In conclusion, the get_locale function is an essential tool in programming that allows developers to retrieve the current locale settings. This function is especially crucial for applications that are designed for international use, as it enables the application to adapt to the language, country, and other locale-specific settings of the user’s operating system.

Understanding and effectively utilizing the get_locale function can greatly enhance the user experience, ensuring that your application communicates with users in a manner that is both familiar and comfortable for them. It is, therefore, a valuable addition to any developer’s toolkit.

Remember, for the successful implementation of the get_locale function, it’s important to always keep in mind the following:

  • Ensure your application is designed to support internationalization.
  • Test the function thoroughly in different locale settings.
  • Keep up to date with changes and updates to the function’s specifications.

By doing so, you can leverage the power of the get_locale function to make your applications more accessible and user-friendly to a global audience.

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