How can I get the current selected language using the Function JFactory::getLanguage(); from another directory?

I know how to do it when I am there:

  • /web/include
  • /web <---- [can call it from here] (solved here)

but I need to call it from...

  • /web/scripts/myScripts/myScript.php

Tried to import Joomla Framework:

// Set flag that this is a parent file.
define('_JEXEC', 1);

if (file_exists(dirname(__FILE__) . '/../../defines.php')) {
    include_once dirname(__FILE__) . '/../../defines.php';

if (!defined('_JDEFINES')) {
    define('JPATH_BASE', dirname(__FILE__));
    require_once JPATH_BASE.'/../../includes/defines.php';
require_once JPATH_BASE.'/../../includes/framework.php';

// Instantiate the application.
$app = JFactory::getApplication('site');

// Initialise the application.

$lang =& JFactory::getLanguage()->getTag();
  • So are you trying to get the currently language from an external PHP file that isn't associated with Joomla?
    – Lodder
    Nov 14, 2014 at 9:23
  • Yes, seems like that :) Is it even possible? Nov 14, 2014 at 9:24
  • You will have to import the Joomla framework to do this ;)
    – Lodder
    Nov 14, 2014 at 9:26
  • I tried but I couldn't from there. Help me with that and than.. help me to get this login-function from your website too :D Nov 14, 2014 at 9:42
  • Please add the code you tried to import the Joomla framework and get the language. Then mention any errors that may have occured
    – Lodder
    Nov 14, 2014 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


The definition for JPATH_BASE is still missing from your code. To import the Joomla API, you can simply use the following:

define( '_JEXEC', 1 );
define( 'JPATH_BASE', realpath(dirname(__FILE__).'/..' ));

require_once ( JPATH_BASE . '/includes/defines.php' );
require_once ( JPATH_BASE . '/includes/framework.php' );

$app = JFactory::getApplication('site');

Then to get the language tag:

$lang = JFactory::getLanguage();
$tag  = $lang->getTag();

You need to make sure JPATH_BASE has been defined correctly. I'm not sure where your external PHP file is located in relation to your Joomla installation, but you will need to change line 2 of the API importing code.

Hope this helps

  • Now another question, based on the $tag... Can I compare this like $tag=="en-GB" Nov 14, 2014 at 10:42
  • 1
    You're welcome. As for the login on my website, the styling is based on UIKit and the implementation is custom
    – Lodder
    Nov 14, 2014 at 10:45
  • Well, I thought it is an easy module from joomla ^^ looks like it is more complex and it needs time :) Nov 14, 2014 at 10:52
  • Can I if ($tag == "en-GB") ?? Nov 14, 2014 at 11:02
  • Yes you can do this. For example: if($tag == 'en-GB') { echo "English"; }
    – Lodder
    Nov 14, 2014 at 11:06

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