I am creating a multilingual D8 site, which 3 languages enabled.

In trying to display the currently active language, the snippet

$lang = \Drupal::languageManager()->getCurrentLanguage()->getName();

always returns the default language ( English ) even though the UI has switched to one of the alternative languages. The above line is called from the mytheme.theme file in hook_preprocess_page.

In the language switcher block, the correct language is getting the session-active is-active classes.

When referencing the documentation for D8.5 in the above method, in the code shown it very much shows like this is what the function does:

public function getCurrentLanguage($type = LanguageInterface::TYPE_INTERFACE) 
  return $this

Am I missing something obvious here? Is there another way to get the current active language?

  • 2
    What are your language detection/selection settings for both content and interface? getCurrentLanguage will return the current interface (not content) language unless you pass it LanguageInterface::TYPE_CONTENT, and depending on your settings, interface language might not be being detected the same way as content language
    – Clive
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


The method you've quoted is the default code for single language sites. For multilingual sites the default LanguageManager is replaced with ConfigurableLanguageManager and the method is overridden wtih this content:


public function getCurrentLanguage($type = LanguageInterface::TYPE_INTERFACE) {
  if (!isset($this->negotiatedLanguages[$type])) {

    // Ensure we have a valid value for this language type.
    $this->negotiatedLanguages[$type] = $this
    if ($this->negotiator && $this
      ->isMultilingual()) {
      if (!$this->initializing) {
        $this->initializing = TRUE;
        $negotiation = $this->negotiator
        $this->negotiatedLanguages[$type] = reset($negotiation);
        $this->negotiatedMethods[$type] = key($negotiation);
        $this->initializing = FALSE;
      elseif ($type == LanguageInterface::TYPE_INTERFACE) {
        return new Language([
          'id' => LanguageInterface::LANGCODE_SYSTEM,
  return $this->negotiatedLanguages[$type];

Then the result depends on the language negotiators you have configured in language detection, see comment from @Clive.

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