A twig extension that translates countries and dates

A twig extension that translates countries and dates

For today’s tutorial, we will see how to create a Twig extension that provides two filters that localize countries and dates.

What is wrong
In Symfony2, you might run into this issue. For instance, countries that are saved by form using the CountryType are stored using a two letter code. For instance you can have US for “United States”, UK for “United Kingdom”… The problem is that you cannot use it directly; you need a read string representation. Moreover, this string representation varies depending on the current locale.
Also you will have exactly the same trouble with dates, which can be “January 1rst” in English and “1er Janvier” in French.

What we need
The easiest way to handle this kind of translation is to use a twig filter. At the end we want this syntax:
– [cci]{{ user.coutnry | country }}[/cci]
– [cci]{{ user.birthday | localeDate }}[/cci]

Note that such a translation cannot be done easily without the use of the apache2 intl module. You have to install it on your server before going any further : http://www.php.net/manual/en/book.intl.php.

Create a twig extension
Adding filters into Symfony2 is quite simple. You need to create a new class that override the [cci]Twig_Extension[/cci] class.

Then we can override the [cci]getFilters[/cci] and the [cci]getName[/cci] functions.
new Twig_Filter_Function(
‘localeDate’ => new Twig_Filter_Function(

public function getName()
return ‘myExtensionName’;

Note that at this moment the country and the localeDate are defined. When we will use them from a template they will call the defined static functions.

The country filter
The country function will use the list of countries already used by the Symfony2 form component. It is the [cci]SymfonyComponentLocaleLocale[/cci] class:
namespace MyVendorMyBundle Twig;

use SymfonyComponentLocaleLocale;

class TwigExtension extends Twig_Extension {


public static function countryFilter($country)
$countries = Locale::getDisplayCountries(

return $countries[$country];

The code is pretty straightforward. Just note that to obtain the application locale we use the [cci] Locale::getDefault()[/cci] function, this [cci]Locale[/cci] class is provided by the intl extension. Also when Twig calls the filter, it always sets as first parameter the filtered value.

The localeDate filter
The filter for the date is a little more complicate:
‘short’ => IntlDateFormatter::SHORT,
‘medium’ => IntlDateFormatter::MEDIUM,
‘long’ => IntlDateFormatter::LONG,
‘full’ => IntlDateFormatter::FULL,
$dateFormater = IntlDateFormatter::create(

return $dateFormater->format($date);

First of all we added two more optional parameters. They will serve to override the kind of rendering we want for the filtered date. We can use them like this :
– [cci]{{ user.createdAt | localeDate(‘long’,’medium’) }}[/cci] for a long date and a medium time representation

Then we create a date formatter which is an instance of [cci]IntlDateFormatter[/cci] parameterized with our format parameters. I used an associative array to translate string parameters to the supported contants.

Then we can simply format the date and return it using the [cci]format[/cci] function.

Activate the twig extension
In order to activate the twig extension, you need to register it as a service to the container. In order for the container to know it is a twig extension, you need to add the [cci]twig.extension [/cci] tag.

Just add to your [cci]config.yml[/cci] file:
class: MyVendorMyBundleTwigTwigExtension
– { name: twig.extension }

Wrap up
We build a nice powerful twig extension that provides two filters that helps localize countries and dates.

You simply add the extension to your project by checking out the BCCExtraToolsBundle : https://github.com/michelsalib/BCCExtraToolsBundle.


Symfony2: A translation message extractor command

Symfony2: A translation message extractor command

One of the very painful taks you may face using symfony2 is the extration of all you translation message from your twig templates. This is much more annoying knowing that symfony1.4 did the job for you with a simple command, which does not exist in symfony2.

Today I will give give you a command for symfony2 that checks all your twig messages, combine them with your already existing messages in your yaml translations files and save the new ones. It is a recent work for me and it just works with twig/yml files.

The Command
I embedded it in a Bundle on github: https://github.com/michelsalib/ExtraToolsBundle.

You just need to get it, register the namespace and the bundle.

The name of the command is [cci]bcc:trans:update locale bundleName[/cci], where the [cci]locale[/cci] is the targeted locale (en, fr, es…) and the [cci]bundleName[/cci] is the name of the targeted bundle. You have several options:
– –dump-messages to display your final messages
– –force to update/write your translation files, it also perform a backup of the old ones
– –prefix=”…” if you want to change the prefix use for your new messages, by default [cci]__ [/cci] is used

Some example:
– To extract the messages of your bundle and display them in the console:
[cci]bcc:trans:update –dump-messages fr MyBundle[/cci]

– You can save them:
[cci]bcc:trans:update –force fr MyBundle[/cci]

– In another language:
[cci]bcc:trans:update –force en MyBundle[/cci]

– Or if you want to chaneg the prefix used to generate the new messages:
[cci]bcc:trans:update –force –prefix=’myprefix’ en MyBundle[/cci]

Behind the scene
The trick behind the code is how to properly crawl your twig templates.

First to get them:
[cc lang=”php”]
// get bundle directory
$foundBundle = $this->getApplication()->getKernel()->getBundle(‘MyBundle’);
// get twig templates
$finder = new Finder();
$files = $finder->files()->name(‘*.html.twig’)->in($foundBundle->getPath() . ‘/Resources/views/’);
// iterate over the files
foreach ($files as $file) {
$path = $file->getPathname();
// parse the files

Here you just need to use the kernel to retrieve the bundle data from a simple bundle name. When you have the bundle path, you can use the finder to get all the file ending by [cci].html.twig[/cci] in the relative [cci]/Resources/views/[/cci] directory.

You can now parse the twig files:
[cc lang=”php”]
$tree = $twig->parse($twig->tokenize(file_get_contents($path)));

Then you get a tree composed of [cci]Twig_Node[/cci]. The rest is just an algorithmic problem using recursion and type checking to find [cci]SymfonyBridgeTwigNodeTransNode[/cci] (for [cci]{% trans %}…{% end trans %} syntax[/cci]) and [cci]Twig_Node_Print[/cci] that contains trans filter (for [cci]{{ … | trans }}[/cci] syntax).

When you finally have all your messages, you might want to save them into yaml. For that you have two very simple static functions:
[cc lang=”php”]
// get a yaml file into a php array
$array = SymfonyComponentYamlYaml::load($path);
// transform an array into a yaml string
$yml = SymfonyComponentYamlYaml::dump($array);

Wrap up
I hope this command will help you building better symfony2 app, by automatizing some work. Don’t hesitate to report me bugs, suggestions or to fork me on github!