Kotlin to PHP

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How to convert from Kotlin to PHP

Understanding the Key Differences Between Kotlin and PHP

When converting code from Kotlin to PHP, it's crucial to understand the fundamental differences between these two languages. Kotlin is a statically-typed programming language primarily used for Android development, while PHP is a dynamically-typed scripting language popularly used for web development. Awareness of these differences can significantly ease the process of conversion.

Syntax Differences: Kotlin vs PHP

Variable Declarations

In Kotlin, variables are declared using val (immutable) or var (mutable):

val immutableVar = "Hello"
var mutableVar = "World"

In PHP, variables are always mutable and are prefixed with a $ symbol:

$immutableVar = "Hello";
$mutableVar = "World";

Converting Kotlin variable declarations to PHP means removing the Kotlin-specific keywords and adding the $ prefix.

Data Types

Kotlin enforces strong type-checking, whereas PHP is loosely typed. Here is how you can declare integers and strings in both languages:


val number: Int = 10
val text: String = "Hello"


$number = 10;
$text = "Hello";


Function declarations in Kotlin and PHP also differ considerably. Here’s how you declare a function in both:


fun add(a: Int, b: Int): Int {
    return a + b


function add($a, $b) {
    return $a + $b;

Note the omission of return types in PHP and the keyword function instead of fun.

Classes and Objects

Class Definitions


class Person(val name: String, var age: Int)


class Person {
    public $name;
    public $age;

    function __construct($name, $age) {
        $this->name = $name;
        $this->age = $age;

PHP requires more boilerplate code such as the __construct method for constructors and visibility modifiers like public.

Creating Objects

In Kotlin:

val person = Person("John", 30)


$person = new Person("John", 30);

PHP uses the new keyword to create objects, unlike Kotlin which can omit it.

Control Structures

If-Else Statements


if (a > b) {
    println("a is greater")
} else {
    println("b is greater")


if ($a > $b) {
    echo "a is greater";
} else {
    echo "b is greater";

Looping Structures

For loops in Kotlin:

for (i in 1..10) {

For loops in PHP:

for ($i = 1; $i <= 10; $i++) {
    echo $i;

Error Handling

Try-Catch Blocks


try {
    // code that might throw an exception
} catch (e: Exception) {


try {
    // code that might throw an exception
} catch (Exception $e) {
    echo $e->getMessage();

Practical Tips for Conversion

  1. Use a Consistent Naming Convention: PHP is case-sensitive and it's common to use snake_case for variables and functions, unlike Kotlin’s camelCase.
  2. Leverage Arrays and Associative Arrays: PHP arrays can be very versatile and can often replace more complex structures in Kotlin.
  3. Utilize PHP Built-in Functions: PHP has many built-in functions that can simplify tasks that might require more verbose Kotlin code.


Converting from Kotlin to PHP requires a deliberate translation of syntax and paradigms from a statically-typed, object-oriented language to a dynamically-typed scripting language. Being attentive to variable declarations, function definitions, class structures, control statements, and error handling nuances ensures a smoother transition. While no automated tool perfectly handles all cases, understanding these fundamental differences equips you to convert your Kotlin code to PHP more effectively.

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