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On Dec 12, 2007 9:36 PM, Brett Kugler <> wrote:
> I realize I could simplify my life with a little extra notation, but the
> hope was to really not change my existing code at all and have the string
> literals be reinterpreted based on a new metamethod instead.  Am I grasping
> at straws?

This solution is akin to Stefan's: we create a special table 'msg'
which has an __index metamethod which returns the appropriate string
version of the message word.

-- messages.lua
local translations = {
    DidNotWork = {
        "Operation did not succeed",
        "Operasie het nie geslaag nie"
    NoAnswer = {
        "No answer found",
        "Antwoord nie gefind nie",

msg = {
    English = 1,
    Afrikaans = 2,

function get_translation(t,word)
    local res = translations[word][msg.language]
    if not res then return "cannot find translation" end
    return res


And it would be used like this:

require 'messages"
msg.language = msg.Afrikaans

steve d.