Kohana has a robust key based lookup system so you can define system messages.

Getting a message

Use the Kohana::message() method to get a message key:

Kohana::message('forms', 'foobar');

This will look in the messages/forms.php file for the foobar key:


return array(
	'foobar' => 'Hello, world!',

You can also look in subfolders and sub-keys:

Kohana::message('forms/contact', 'foobar.bar');

This will look in the messages/forms/contact.php for the [foobar][bar] key:


return array(
	'foobar' => array(
		'bar' => 'Hello, world!',


  • Don’t use __() in your messages files, as these files can be cached and will not work properly.
  • Messages are merged by the cascading file system, not overwritten like classes and views.

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