I needed British (dd/mm/yyyy) formatted dates throughout my application but found it very difficult to find examples of how to do this - until I found this excellent forum post http://www.yiiframework.com/forum/index.php?/topic/3649-dealing-with-i18n-date-formats/
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:
To fix issues with display of special language characters once and for all
there's a solution: use Unicode UTF-8 everywhere. If everything is set up to use Unicode, you can use mostly every language in your application.