17th May 2022

How to sort French accented words in PHP?


Written By, Hardik Patel


This blog describes the technique to sort the French words(special alphabet characters). To do this we need to use a php library called INTL. This library includes a class “Collator” which enables us to achieve this task. I did some R&D and came to the conclusion that we need to install a php library. So let’s see how we can implement it in any project.


This library is easy to install. I was working on a Ubuntu system so here is the support stackoverflow link for installation. I just ran two commands and boooom….it’s done!  The commands I have used are as follows.

Note: Do not forget to restart the Apache server. Please check whether that, the library is ready or not by using the “phpinfo()” function.

Code snippets

Once everything is done, you will be able to use the “Collator” class in your .php files. Please check the following code snippets and the actual difference:

The default Php “sort()” function will consider french accented words as special characters and it will put all those words at the last index. In short, it won’t work.

Now let’s see the magic snippet! 🧙

  • Create an object of the Collator class and use the asort function.  😉
  • Just put your mixed words array in the assort function and see the result.

Just put your mixed words array in the assort function and see the result.
Note: you can use different locales like “de_DE.UTF8” for German, “fr_FR ” for French, etc. Here are the support links for both locales “fr_FR”, “de_DE”.


Every time our clients come up with different expectations and new things. While I was working on a multilingual project, the client said that it was very important to display all the mixed words in a proper sorting format. I spent a few minutes on it and got the solution. I hope this blog will help the communities which are working on multilingual projects. To sum up, we feel that the English language is dominating the world. However, I feel that sometimes we have to give support to the other languages because everyone knows something but nobody knows everything!

Happy Coding! 💻

Written By,

Wordpress Developer at Yudiz Solutions Pvt. Ltd