I'm a newbie to magento and even zend. I've noticed that in zend lib/Zend/locale/data locales are defined as a base file like en.xml and more locale files like en_uk,en_us. can I do that in app/locale? what's the best approach in my case?

My case is:
I'm working on a multi-website magento 1.9 each site is related to a certain country all available in english, French, arabic. so the theme must be translated to those languages in all websites and I don't want to use one locale and don't want to rewrite all common strings.

1 Answer 1


You do not need to create a new locale for each country/language combination. Locales are not just languages, they also contain other localized information like how to format dates and currencies. You usually should not want/need to invent your own locales which are not defined in lib/Zend.

For example you can use en_US for all English store views, and fr_FR for all French store views.

If you want to change some translations per website, you can use a different child theme per website and change translations in translate.csv of the themes. Read more: What is the proper way to add theme-specific translations of new strings?

  • thanks alot @fabian, actually I thought about locale as I wanted to make something like cultural translation considering date formats for example and really want to make it the magento way as the system was completely hard coded
    – M.Elwan
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 7:17
  • I would try to choose an existing locale xx_XX that suits your desired date formats etc. and then copy the Magento language pack if necessary (e.g. app/etc/locale/en_US to app/etc/locale/xx_XX). Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 7:21
  • actually I've app/etc/locale/eg_ar with so many .csv files the question is should I make a copy for app/etc/locale/uae_ar and just edit the diff.s? in this case any change shall be done on all locales. no way else?
    – M.Elwan
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 7:30
  • unfortunately, yes. In the core there is no inheritance mechanism for locales. BUT there is an open source extension that will help you: github.com/magento-hackathon/Hackathon_LocaleFallback Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 8:47

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