Ladies and Gentlemen..

I've got a moderately complex web application in PHP feeding off MySQL and user input. The application is in English, but we need to localise it into other languages. We also need to devise a system that makes it easy to administer for translator(s) and programmer(s) and suffers minimal performance slow down. Of course this issue should have been considered at the design stage, but it's too late now.

I see three routes..

1) Replace text with string variables which get their values via queries to a MySQL table. This would be easiest to set up and easiest to administer. But would it significantly slow performance compared to either of the other options?

2) Replace text with string variables which get their values from include files. This would also be almost as easy to administer and presumably faster than 1.

3) Hard code translations right into the php pages. This would presumably offer fastest performance, but would be bloody difficult to administer, particularly with upgrades.

Do you have any experience with this kind of thing? My inclination is to go with option (2). But you are the experts. Perhaps I am wrong or there is a better solution I haven't seen.

Many thanks!


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