Best way to do a language file

Hi all,
I am googling and have found three different ways to implement it.
Is there a preferred way to do this?


$_lang = array(
	'login'        => 'Login',
	'password'        => 'Password',
	'welcome'        => 'Welcone To The Website1'

echo $_lang['welcome'];


function lang($phrase){
    static $_lang = array(
        'login'        => 'Login',
        'password'        => 'Password',
        'welcome'        => 'Welcone To The Website2'
    return $_lang[$phrase];

echo lang('welcome');


define('WELCOME','Welcome to the web site3'); 


At this point I don’t have a clue as to which method to use and was hoping that someone could point me in the best practice to use.


To be honest IMO I personally think that a slightly different version of #1 is better. For example:

$lang["login"] = "Login";
$lang["site_header"] = "Welcome to the website!";

My reasoning is:

  1. very easy to read even for a non developer - for example a translator
  2. very easy to implement, just change the $lang variable and include and its done:
$lang = "en-us"; 
require "locale/".$lang.".php";
  1. small file with no “logic” in it (unlike having the function lang() in every language file)

I much prefer to use INI files.

Many languages support parsing and rewriting of INI files, including PHP, so you can modify settings via a control panel rather than manually.

That’s the storage part.

PHP parses the ini file using Parse_Ini_File, and would be set as a property of a language object as an array. The object is passed to the template files.

I went with #1.

I needed to make it very user friendly for a translator.
This is the cool part. it creates the elements for a form on the fly.

foreach ($_lang as $key => $value){
echo '
<input type="text" name="'.$key.'" value="'.$value.'" size="200">

Super easy for anyone to edit. After submit, it rewrites the file.

foreach ($_POST as $key => $value){
if ($key =='action' || $key == 'Submit'){}
else {
//	echo '\\''$key'\\'' => '\\''$value'\\',	';
$plang .= '\\''.$key.'\\' => \\''.$value.'\\',
$plang = substr("$plang", 0, -1);
$plangarr = '<?
$_lang = array('.$plang.');
$fp = fopen('en.lan', 'w');
fwrite($fp, $plangarr);

I thought it was a cool way to make language files easily editable.
It’s just a proof of concept and it does work, I need to name things differently and throw in more vars.

Thanks for the suggestions