On PHPMaster.com today there's a new post for all the Zend Framework (v1) users out there. In it, Aurelio De Rosa shows you how to set custom error messages for elements in a Zend_Form.
In this article I’ll show the solution to a common problem which arises when a developer has to create a non-English website or application that is based on the Zend Framework. How do we mark a field of a Zend_Form which is a Zend_Form_Element as invalid, showing one or more custom error messages? The problem is mainly caused by the native counter-intuitive methods of the Zend_Form_Element class which I’ll explain in more details.
He's included a basic example showing the creation of a form and the setup of a text element and some validators to match. He makes a controller and view to handle the output and submission then shows how to use "setErrors" (and "setErrorMessages") of the Zend_Form elements to setup that custom error. This only lets you set one message, though, regardless of the point of failure. To stop things when there's an error, you have to set the "breakChainOnFailure" parameter on the validator to false - then the message will make more sense.