Yii core messages refer to static text strings in the core Yii framework code which are meant to be displayed to end-users (e.g. core exception messages, default validation error messages). Customization of these core messages is needed in two circumstances:
You have a multilingual application, and you want the URL of a page to be different for different languages, to account for SEO. The URL for the contact page for example should look like http://something.com/en/contact in english, and http://something.com/de/contact in german. This tutorial describes how to make it happen.
Note that currently selected language is always a part of the URL, and thus available to the application through $_GET. You don't have to use sessions variables to keep track of the language if you don't want to.
Because Yii intends to be integrated nicely with third-party libraries, it does not define any global functions. Everything in Yii needs to be addressed with full class name or object scopes. For example, to access the current user, we need to use Yii::app()->user; to access application parameters, we need Yii::app()->params['name']; and so on. While editors like textmate can help alleviate the problem of these lengthy typings, it is worthwhile to define global shortcut functions to some commonly used method calls. They will make the application code look cleaner.