This FAQ covers how to customize the default naming conventions in SimpleRisk, so they mirror the naming conventions used in your organization. As an example, if your organization makes use of the term “Workgroup” as opposed to “Team” this overview will guide you through the process on how to make such a change. 

You must be authorized to access the “simplerisk” directory to change the default language used in SimpleRisk, in order to create a custom language. 

PLEASE REVIEW BEFORE CONTINUING: While updating the SimpleRisk application and database will not damage or delete your custom language file, when new fields are added you will need to follow the step-by-step process outlined near the end of the Instruction section below, under the heading “Updating SimpleRisk.” Following these procedures will ensure any new custom language fields added to SimpleRisk will be functional and visible when an update occurs.


To begin, you will need to navigate to the folder where SimpleRisk is installed and locate the directory called “languages”.

Once in the “languages” directory, you will want to create a new sub-directory. While you can use any two letter combination that isn’t already being used to describe another language, we will simply use the characters “cu” in our example, to represent “custom.”

Next, navigate to your current base language. If you use English, then “en” is the directory you would select, or, if you use Spanish it would be “es” – this applies to selecting any language available in the Language directory. 

Once you’ve selected the base language, you will need to copy the “lang.xx.php” from your current language directory into the newly created language directory. For this exercise, we will continue using “cu” as our two character descriptor.

After you have created the new “cu” directory and inserted a copy of the language file currently being used into the new directory, you are now ready to make the desired changes to the terminology.

In your “cu” folder you should have a file named “lang.xx.php” - you will need to rename this file to match the new folder name, which using our example would be “” Once you’ve renamed the file, we suggest you open it in a text editor that supports the ability to identify the syntax of PHP based files, as the syntax and most of this file requires file integrity be retained to function properly. In fact, any changes you make to this file will be minimal – they will only affect the specific terminology you’ve elected to use, and not any of the code or formatting.

When opening the “” file, you will see a screen display similar to the one below: 

Where “$lang = array(“ is displayed, immediately below is a list of the default terminology in SimpleRisk. On the left side of each line item, the default term used by the SimpleRisk program is displayed, and to the right of the adjacent arrow, you will see how this term is automatically translated and displayed to a SimpleRisk user.  You should only edit the translation text inside the single quotes on the right of the => characters.

As you edit the language file, it’s important not to change any of the syntax or code structure contained within. Also, once you’ve completed editing, make sure to click the save button. After you’ve completed this process and saved your changes you are ready to insert your new language choice in to the database.

The last step in setting up SimpleRisk to use a custom language is to add your language to the list of languages displayed in the profile dropdown as well as the Settings menu found in the Configure tab at the top..  To do this, connect to your SimpleRisk database instance and run the following commands:

use simplerisk; 

//Or the name given to your database during installation

INSERT INTO `languages` (`name`, `full`) VALUES (‘cu’, ‘Acme Corp Custom Language’);

You should replace “cu” with the two letter code you chose to represent your custom language and “Acme Corp Custom Language” with up to 50 character description of your language that will display in the profile dropdown.

To begin using your new default language you will need to login in to SimpleRisk and select "Configure" at the top and "Settings" on the left and mid way down the page you will see a dropdown to select the default language, once selected scroll down to the bottom and click "Update".

Updating SimpleRisk

Please be aware that whenever you update the SimpleRisk application and database, you will need to review the “en” language file (or whatever language you based your custom language on) to identify any new values that were added in the update. The new values should be located at the end of the “$lang=array(“ list of terms displayed in the “” file, which are displayed in the Instruction section above, as well as in the screen shot that follows.

From here, you will need to copy each new line in its entirety and paste it into your custom language file ( Please note that if you do not paste the entire line into the PHP file, any updated fields will not be visible, preventing any of your revised terminology from being displayed.

Once the new fields have been copied into the custom language, they can be adjusted by editing the text on the right side of the arrow adjacent to each line item. Again, please make certain to save your changes in order to keep your customizations intact. It should also be noted that users that have already had a language assigned to them will need to update their preferred display language for the new custom language to take effect. Users are always able to determine their own individual language of choice and change the default does not override this behavior intentionally.

We want to underscore here that after updating the SimpleRisk application and database, if you neglect to follow each of the steps listed here, the new fields will have no descriptions, because they will not have been defined properly in your custom language.