In Joomla 2.5 it is possible to get the current language of a visitor in an external script like this:

$mainframe = JFactory::getApplication('site');
$jdocument = JFactory::getDocument();

I couldn't find out how to get the language in Joomla 3.3. The framework loads, but the language is always defined as 'en'.

I’ve also tried various other options like:

$japplication = JApplicationWeb::getInstance();

Did anyone experience the same issue? Is this a Bug?


2 Answers 2


I had kinda the same problem, but in the end I figured out how to make it work for my specific application using an alternative method. Watch my solution here: Getting current language in Joomla 3 in external script seems difficult.. but works fine in J2.5

Hope you can use the same method :)


This question was asked here a while ago and the key was to get and initialise the application like so:

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

$lang = JFactory::getLanguage()->getTag();
echo $lang;
  • Thanks for your answer. The question you linked relates to Joomla 2.5, in Joomla 2.5 my posted approach is working fine, but it is not in Joomla 3.3, I always get ‘en-GB’ instead of ‘de-DE’
    – Tobi
    Jan 22, 2015 at 9:12

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