Plan for the multilingual user interface (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-08-05

The new multilingual user interface feature in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 introduces the concept of a secondary language that the user can select. This feature displays the site user interface in a secondary language that the user selects and that is different from the primary language that was chosen when the site was created.

This article describes how to plan for using the multilingual user interface in your SharePoint Server 2010 site solution. This article does not describe how to deploy the language packs that are required to use the multilingual user interface or how to configure site settings to enable users to set their preferred language. For information about how to let individual users change the language that is used to display their site's user interface, see Make multiple languages available for your site's user interface. For more information about the multilingual user interface, see Multilingual user interface overview (SharePoint Server 2010).

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Before you can use the multilingual user interface in your SharePoint sites, the farm administrator must deploy language packs to the server so that they are available for use on sites. Decide which language packs are needed and when they will be deployed to the server. Site administrators must configure the language settings for individual sites to make specific languages available to site users. You should decide which languages are needed for each site and plan to have the site administrators enable specific languages for the sites they manage. For information about planning multilingual sites, see Plan for multilingual sites (SharePoint Server 2010). For information about deploying language packs, see Deploy language packs (SharePoint Server 2010).

If you will enable the multilingual user interface on your site to provide users a way to collaborate while they are using their preferred language, you must decide whether using the default multilingual user interface will be sufficient or whether application content will have to be translated. If you have application content that has to be translated, you should consider the following questions:

  • How will new and existing application content be translated?   Will individual team members translate application content directly in the user interface as it becomes necessary, or will you export resource files in the languages that are needed for the site and have them all translated at once? If users create new application content in a secondary language, you must plan for who will translate that content into the primary language of the site and for the other secondary languages. If you plan to create complex pages, such as new menu pages, or develop custom solutions, such as features that create lists, you must plan to use the object model to provide translations in secondary languages.

  • Who will translate the application content?   Will the translation of resource files be done by someone within your organization, or will you need to have a third-party translate them for you?

  • How will updates to the application content be handled?   Will changes to the user interface be translated as changes are made, or will changes be made on a periodic schedule? This might depend on the size and scale of the sites and the content that is included.

  • How should translation overwrites be handled?   Do you want changes in the primary language to overwrite string values in secondary languages? If so, then you must enable the Overwrite Translations option on the Language Settings page.

  • What column names must be changed?   What column names must be translated, and for which languages? Will the column names be at the list level or at the site level?

If language packs are updated as part of a service pack release for SharePoint, you must update the language packs on the server when the service pack is installed. You should plan to coordinate with the farm administrator to monitor the release of service packs and any associated language packs so that you are aware of updated language packs that need to be installed for your users.