Let's say we want to modify the body field.

$node->body[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value'] = "test";

This will work if the node is language neutral (?)

$node->body[$node->language][0]['value'] = "test";

This will work if the node has the same langauge as the field.

But is this always the case? I found nodes where this is not the case:

(Object) stdClass
language (String, 2 characters ) de
body (Array, 1 element)
  und (Array, 1 element)
        0 (Array, 5 elements)
            value (String, 4 characters ) test

So if this is a correct node, how can we access the body field value?

2 Answers 2


field_language() returns the field's display language. You should use code similar to the following one:

$language = field_language('node', $node, 'body');

Of course, note that field_language() will determine the right display language ('en' or LANGUAGE_NONE or whatever); if you're modifying fields you might want to modify more than one language.

  • Does this mean you'd really need to do foreach($node->field_name as $languaged_field) { ... } to update them all? Is there nothing more elegant? Feb 7, 2012 at 23:36

What's about getting the field value with field_get_items()? Really prefer this solution ...

if ($body = field_get_items('node', $node, 'body')) {
  $my_rendered_content = strip_tags(drupal_render(field_view_value('node', $node, 'body', $body[0])));

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