International Language Support

The internet continues to grow and has become the default point of call for businesses and individuals searching for goods, services or information.

For businesses wishing to get that competitive advantage, a multilingual website now presents one of the most high impact means of expanding a client base and securing greater sales volumes.

The multilingual website will continue to become a necessity for businesses and organisations as the process of internationalization unfolds.

A huge reason Joomla is so popular worldwide is the extensive internationalized language support it offers. Joomla can be installed in many different languages, or with multiple languages, and it offers basic multilingual features right out of the box.

Like everything in Joomla, language settings are standardized and can be applied in different ways. For example, language settings can be assigned on a per user basis to allow people from different locations to work in their primary language. We can also create content, navigation or sections of a website for specific languages based on any number of settings. This feature is what makes the Joomla community a global community, and it makes Joomla the only CMS choice for some users around the world.

Even though Joomla has extensive language support built in, it does not translate website content. Content with existing translations can be shown and assigned in different ways, but it does not automatically translate content that was written in one language into another language. This is an important distinction to keep in mind. There are many additional extensions and resources within the international Joomla community should you need them.

Joomla! language definition files are written in the very basic INI file format.  The INI files can be created/modifies with a normal simpel text editor. No other tools are requied.

INI file example for one entry:

ADDITIONAL_INFORMATION="Additional Information"

To change text in core Joomla or in an extension (other than installing a new language) it is advised to perform a language override in Joomla. The advantage is that when you perform an update an extension/Joomla these strings won't get overwritten and generally, it's easier to do it this way once than it is to do it every time Joomla/the extension gets updated and having to edit the .ini file again.

Language Edit Overview

WordPress is using a two-step system. First, you have to edit the language files called PO. After you edited the language file you have to compile it into a MO file wich WordPress can read. The PO to MO compiler is not included in WordPress, you have to get that from a separate source.

PO file example for one enty:

#: lib/error.c:116
msgid "Unknown system error"
msgstr "Error desconegut del sistema"

Date modified: 08 November 2018