I am attempting to modify the way the language negotiation is done on a site.

I've implemented a new language negotiation method:

 * Implements hook_language_negotiation_info()
function MODULE_language_negotiation_info() {
  return array(
    'MODULE_provider' => array(
      'file'        => drupal_get_path('module', 'MODULE') . '/MODULE.module',
      'weight'      => -4,
      'name'        => t('URL (Combined)'),
      'description' => t('Determine the language from the URL (Path prefix and domain).'),
      'cache'       => 0,
      'callbacks'   => array(
        'language'    => 'MODULE_language_provider_callback',
        'url_rewrite' => 'MODULE_language_url_rewrite_callback',

In the case of a single language, the $language is being detected properly, the $language_content is being detected properly, but the $language_url is not being detected properly.

After some digging into this, I found that in the locale.module there are three language types defined - language, language_content and language_url:

 * Implements hook_language_types_info().
 * Defines the three core language types:
 * - Interface language is the only configurable language type in core. It is
 *   used by t() as the default language if none is specified.
 * - Content language is by default non-configurable and inherits the interface
 *   language negotiated value. It is used by the Field API to determine the
 *   display language for fields if no explicit value is specified.
 * - URL language is by default non-configurable and is determined through the
 *   URL language provider or the URL fallback provider if no language can be
 *   detected. It is used by l() as the default language if none is specified.
function locale_language_types_info() {
  require_once DRUPAL_ROOT . '/includes/locale.inc';
  return array(
      'name' => t('User interface text'),
      'description' => t('Order of language detection methods for user interface text. If a translation of user interface text is available in the detected language, it will be displayed.'),
      'name' => t('Content'),
      'description' => t('Order of language detection methods for content. If a version of content is available in the detected language, it will be displayed.'),
    LANGUAGE_TYPE_URL => array(

So, pressing onward, I implement hook_language_types_info_alter and add my callback function to the list of callbacks for the language_url language type:

function MODULE_language_types_info_alter(array &$language_types) {
  $language_types[LANGUAGE_TYPE_URL]['fixed'][] = 'MODULE_language_provider_callback';

The issue I am facing is that the hook_language_types_info_alter is called after drupal_language_initialize, so all of the language types have already been determined before the hook alters the language types.

Also, all of these language types are stored as variables. I could in theory modify the variable, but I would rather do this the correct way using hooks.

How do I modify the language_url language type before drupal_language_initialize?

  • You stated a bunch of things, but where is your question? "Any advice" is way too broad; this is Q&A, not a forum, so if something can't have answer, it shouldn't be here.
    – Mołot
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 18:02
  • There ya go Molot Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


variables was definitely the key here. In my hook_language_types_info_alter hook, simply updating the variable with my callback did the trick:

 * Implements hook_language_types_info_alter()
function MODULE_language_types_info_alter(array &$language_types) {
  $config = variable_get("language_negotiation_" . LANGUAGE_TYPE_URL);

  // put my callback first, since the first one to return a language wins.
  $newconfig['MODULE_provider']['callbacks']['language'] = 'MODULE_language_provider_callback';
  $newconfig['MODULE_provider']['file'] = drupal_get_path('module', 'MODULE') . '/MODULE.module';
  $newconfig += $config;

  variable_set("language_negotiation_" . LANGUAGE_TYPE_URL, $newconfig);

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.