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Choosing and installing multilingual modules

Last updated on
October 21, 2016 - 12:30

Drupal 8's Multilingual improvements

When you install Drupal 8, the first choice you'll need to make is to choose the base language for the installation. The installer will attempt to make a reasonable choice based on your browser language, and should display the page in your browser language. If you are making a multilingual site, choose one of the languages that you will be using as the installation language, and preferably not English (a non-English choice will cause some modules you'll need to be installed).

[Note that unlike previous versions of Drupal, your site need not have English installed at all!]

Drupal 8's Multilingual components

Unlike previous versions of Drupal, most of the functionality that you need to build a multi-lingual site is provided by the following 4 modules in Drupal core, rather than a suite of many contributed modules. To enable these modules, you'll need to go to the "Extend" administration page

Language (machine name module: language)

The base module needed for any non-English or multi-lingual site.
Allows users to configure languages and how page languages are chosen, and apply languages to content.

  • Many languages are available
  • We can assign language to everything: nodes, users, views, blocks, menus
  • Two special languages instead of one (Not specified/Not applicable)
  • Better language selection defaults (URL negotiation enabled by default)
  • Browser language detection made configurable with external language codes
  • Newly configurable fallback selected language
  • Admin interface language selection option per user
  • Transliteration built-in for machine names

Issue Queue for 8.x

Interface Translation (machine name module: locale)

Translates the built-in user interface and your added modules and themes.

  • Automated downloads & updates
  • Protected local translations
  • English customizable/removable, no more need english default language
  • Built-in translation UI revamped for easier editing
  • Plural version editable on an integrated interface
  • Protected custom translations, exportable
  • English text customizable

Content Translation (machine name module: content_translation)

Allows users to translate content entities.
Allows you to translate your site content, including pages, taxonomy terms, blocks, etc., into different languages.

  • Field-level configurability
  • Applies to all content
  • Views integrated
  • Exposed language information via search API
  • Per-language content access

Configuration Translation (machine name module: config_translation)

Provides a translation interface for configuration.
Allows you to translate text that is part of configuration, such as field labels, text used in Views, etc.

  • All configuration is translatable (roles, text formats, blocks, views, panels, etc.)
  • Built-in responsive translation interface
  • All shipped are pre-translatable on localize.drupal.org

Drupal 8's Multilingual configuration

We'll guide you how to set up each of 4 components.


In this chapter we'll see how to add language, remove language, import .po files from localize.drupal.org, how work with language negotiation, etc.

[Need to add details or links here!]

Interface Translation

In this chapter we'll see how interface for translation works, how create, preserve and reuse custom translations, etc.

[Need to add details or links here!]

Content Translation

In this chapter we'll see what can be translated and how.

[Need to add details or links here!]

Configuration Translation

In this chapter we'll see a consistent solution to translate configuration. Elements as site name is easy to translate.

[Need to add details or links here!]

Testing Drupal 8 Multilingual

The team prepared a multilingual Drupal 8 demonstration distribution with sample data (and raw Google Translated sample text, be warned) to try.
You can download this distro or more simple, try it on simplytest.me

Other resources


If you want to reproduce a workshop at your company, a Drupal event or a meetup, please do so. We even have some slides on Google Docs that you can copy and fork for your local needs.


The team recorded the Multilingual Workshops held on Drupal events.

DrupalCon Latin America: 09 - 12 Feb 2015

DrupalCon Amsterdam: 29 Sept - 03 Oct 2014

Sites that uses already Drupal 8's multilingual

On this websites, you can see and evaluate Drupal 8's multilingual features in action.