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.
In case of a multilingual application, one might consider it a reasonable approach to store the preferred language of the user in a session variable, and after that, every time a page is requested, to check this session variable and render the page in the indicated language.
This tutorial shows a Yii-way of doing this.
We implement an event handler for the onBeginRequest event; as the name of the event suggests, this event handler will be called at the beginning of each request, so its a good place to check whether a language is provided (via post, session or cookie) and set the application language accordingly.
We also implement a simple Language-Selector Widget, which can render the language options as ajax-links or as a drop-down list.
I like programing on my localhost, however it really bugged me to make changes to index.php & config files on my production server. After combining all available wiki articles on this topic and some trial and error this is what I use for my applications so I could just upload it to production server and it will work without any changes.