There is a problem when you want to install drupal with a different language than English. As you know, you should follow the link 'Learn how to install Drupal in other languages' shown in the first page during install. On the following page you find the instructions on how to accomplish this, which states:

If an alternative translation package of your choice is available, download and extract its contents to your Drupal root directory.

When in fact, drupal looks for the .po file inside profiles/$profilename/translations, not in root directory. So, returning to the first page never shows the new language.

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robertgarrigos’s picture

Status: Active » Needs review
562 bytes

I read that strings are frozen on RC so this can be solved by changing the scanned directory. This is a patch for this.

Gábor Hojtsy’s picture

Status: Needs review » Closed (works as designed)
181.52 KB

No no. The instructions say:

- grab a language *package*
- *extract* it to the Drupal root directory

Now here is a language package (the current Hungarian translation). Extract this to the Drupal root directory, and all files fall into the right place.

robertgarrigos’s picture

Status: Closed (works as designed) » Active

Ok, I see. This is right if you extract by command line but it's not if you do so with a GUI. This is, with my Mac, extracting by double clicking on the file it doesn't extract each file into its right place. I wonder if this is not confusing, in the first place, and if we are excluding from a proper instal.lation to the people that cannot expand a .gz file by the command line within their hosting package or doesn't have a hosting control panel that extracts a .gz file for them. Shouldn't we, at least, explain this a little bit more?

Gábor Hojtsy’s picture

Title: Wrong 'choose language' directions while installing » Document locale package extraction on different systems
Component: install system » documentation
Category: bug » task

We are definitely not explaining this more on the Drupal 6 screen, which was already deemed too long for people to read and find comfortable. Actually the Mac is the only platform, which has these problems with rewriting stuff instead of merging on extraction and copy/move. (I also use a Mac, but I am not using the Finder for these kinds of stuff). Drupal 6 cannot include full stories for all systems. Depending on what software you use, you can achieve the same effect differently. This is where the handbook can help, and I hope it will help. Only those who use these different software can document the different processes at the end. Feel free to repurpose this as a documentation task.

robertgarrigos’s picture

I agree that the drupal handbook should be the place for looking for further information and I would put a link to it on that particular paragraph. I think the scope of this issue goes further away than a Mac users issue. I'm thinking of the people using an ftp client to upload an extracted drupal to their hosting and, most provably later, the extracted language files. So a link to the documentation page on the installation screen would be very handful for many users.

Gábor Hojtsy’s picture

I agree and would welcome a link there as soon as there is a documentation page to link to.

lauscherli’s picture

i still struggle with this.... does this documentation-page exist? can't find it... this was much easier in drupal5!!!

Gábor Hojtsy’s picture

1. Download langauge package.
2. Extract to Drupal's root directory, where Drupal is already exctracted.
3. Enjoy that all files fall into place, such as modules/system/translations/*.po.

If you don't see 3. working, then figure out what went wrong in 2.

Gábor Hojtsy’s picture

Project: Drupal core » Documentation
Version: 6.0-rc1 »
Component: documentation » New documentation

Should now be documented in the handbooks.

StefanScottAlexx’s picture

Thank you for this info Gabor, where you stated:

1. Download langauge package
2. Extract to Drupal's root directory, where Drupal is already exctracted
3. Enjoy that all files fall into place, such as modules/system/translations/*.po

By the way, this also agrees with the info here:

But I've tried this using Drupal 6.6, and I'm getting an error message.

Here's what I did:

1. First I made sure there are NO languages (other than English) currently installed, because the site:


Get the translation tar ball (*.tar.gz file) from, then move this file to your web root (in the same folder as index.php), then extract the file. Every extracted .po file (as there are many, many) ends up where it's supposed to be. The translation package has a tree structure, that of your Drupal installation. Then and only then, you add the language (going to admin/settings/language/add). At that point, the importing of all .po files is done automatically for you by Drupal.

2a. I downloaded the language package (eg, Brazilian Portuguese):

from here:

2b. Then I uploaded this to my public_html directory (which in my case is the same thing as my Drupal installation directory - because I'm using a free, shared web hosting provider which doesn't give me access to the file .htaccess which would be needed to redirect to

2c. Then I used cPanel File Manager to extract the compressed tarball (eg, pt-br-6.x-1.0-rc5.tar.gz) to the Drupal installation directory. (By the way, earlier I was doing this wrong - I was putting it into a subdirectory within the Drupal directory, eg ../public_html/pt-br/ or ../public_html/pt-br-6.x-1.0-rc5.tar - because I didn't realize that extracting the tarball would 'scatter' or 'slot' the files being extracted all into the proper subdirectories, due to the fact that the tarball directory structure is the same as the Drupal directory structure).

I then repeated the above steps for another language (eg, Spanish), so as to be able to test if the error message (shown below in the 'code' box) is reproducible for these two language packages (and it is - meaning that this is probably not a problem with the language packages themselves.

I believe that the .po files have been extracted to the proper locations. For example, if I use cPanel File Manager to go to this directory...

/public_html/modules/block/translations contains the following two files...

... for Portuguese (Brazilian) and Spanish, before I perform my step 3 below.

3. Then I went to:

and added the language (eg, Portuguese (Brazilian)).

and I got the following error message:

An error occurred. /?id=&op=do <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> <html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> <head> <title>mydomain | mydomain</title> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /> <link rel="shortcut icon" href="/misc/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" /> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="/modules/node/node.css?V" /> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="/modules/system/defaults.css?V" /> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="/modules/system/system.css?V" /> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="/modules/system/system-menus.css?V" /> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="/modules/user/user.css?V" /> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="/themes/garland/style.css?V" /> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="print" href="/themes/garland/print.css?V" /> <!--[if lt IE 7]> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="/themes/garland/fix-ie.css" /> <![endif]--> </head> <body class="sidebar-left"> <!-- Layout --> <div id="header-region" class="clear-block"></div> <div id="wrapper"> <div id="container" class="clear-block"> <div id="header"> <div id="logo-floater"> <h1><a href="/" title="mydomain"><img src="/themes/garland/logo.png" alt="mydomain" id="logo" /><span>mydomain</span></a></h1> </div> </div> <!-- /header --> <div id="sidebar-left" class="sidebar"> <div id="block-user-1" class="clear-block block block-user"> <h2>admin</h2> <div class="content"><ul class="menu"><li class="leaf first"><a href="/user/1">My account</a></li> <li class="collapsed"><a href="/node/add">Create content</a></li> <li class="collapsed"><a href="/admin">Administer</a></li> <li class="leaf last"><a href="/logout">Log out</a></li> </ul></div> </div> </div> <div id="center"><div id="squeeze"><div class="right-corner"><div class="left-corner"> <div class="messages status"> The language <em>Portuguese, Brazil</em> has been created and can now be used. More information is available on the <a href="/admin/help/locale">help screen</a>.</div> <div class="clear-block"> <div id="first-time"><h1 class="title">Welcome to your new Drupal website!</h1><p>Please follow these steps to set up and start using your website:</p><ol><li><strong>Configure your website</strong> Once logged in, visit the <a href="/admin">administration section</a>, where you can <a href="/admin/settings">customize and configure</a> all aspects of your website.</li><li><strong>Enable additional functionality</strong> Next, visit the <a href="/admin/build/modules">module list</a> and enable features which suit your specific needs. You can find additional modules in the <a href="">Drupal modules download section</a>.</li><li><strong>Customize your website design</strong> To change the "look and feel" of your website, visit the <a href="/admin/build/themes">themes section</a>. You may choose from one of the included themes or download additional themes from the <a href="">Drupal themes download section</a>.</li><li><strong>Start posting content</strong> Finally, you can <a href="/node/add">create content</a> for your website. This message will disappear once you have promoted a post to the front page.</li></ol><p>For more information, please refer to the <a href="/admin/help">help section</a>, or the <a href="">online Drupal handbooks</a>. You may also post at the <a href="">Drupal forum</a>, or view the wide range of <a href="">other support options</a> available.</p></div> </div> <div id="footer">hosted by <a href="" target="_blank"></a><div id="block-system-0" class="clear-block block block-system"> <div class="content"><a href=""><img src="/misc/powered-blue-80x15.png" alt="Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system" title="Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system" width="80" height="15" /></a></div> </div> </div> </div></div></div></div> <!-- /.left-corner, /.right-corner, /#squeeze, /#center --> </div> <!-- /container --> </div> <!-- /layout --> </body> </html>

After the error message is displayed, the language does appear in the list of installed languages here:

And if I go here:

and add a 'Language Switcher' block to my page layout, it does show up with the right language.

And clicking on a non-default language in the Language Switcher on my home page does create the correct URL, eg:

However, all pages are still displayed in English.

By the way, as an alternative I also tried going here:

before doing my step 3, and selecting either 'Path prefix only' or 'Path prefix with language fallback' (instead of the default selection 'None') to see if selecting either of these helped avoid the error message generated in my step 3 - but I still got the error message.

Any suggestions would be most welcome!

StefanScottAlexx’s picture

By the way, this page of my site:

says this:

This page provides an overview of available translatable strings. Drupal displays translatable strings in text groups; modules may define additional text groups containing other translatable strings. Because text groups provide a method of grouping related strings, they are often used to focus translation efforts on specific areas of the Drupal interface.

Review the languages page for more information on adding support for additional languages.
Language Built-in interface
Language Built-in interface
English (built-in) n/a
Portuguese, Brazil 0/473 (0%)
Spanish 0/473 (0%)

I am concerned that the percentages are both 0% here. Could this be the cause of the problem?

Gábor Hojtsy’s picture

It will be more then 0% after the imports actually happened. I'd advise you to use "no language negotiation" first, to avoid having possible path routing problems. And then if the import still does not work for some reason, we can debug from there.

lauscherli’s picture

All the time I had problems with step nr. 2 on my mac......!!! I found a very helpful video-podcast on lullabot going about that: should help everybody solve the problem! (and who hasn't got stuffit, there's a free version for downloading).

lauscherli’s picture

All the time I had problems with step nr. 2 on my mac......!!! I found a very helpful video-podcast on lullabot going about that: should help everybody solve the problem! (and who hasn't got stuffit, there's a free version for downloading). SORRY FOR THIS UNINTENTIONAL DOUBLE-POST!

zzolo’s picture

If Gábor has created a page (no link available above), then the rest of this ticket seems like it is more of a support issue than documentation? Confirmation?

robertgarrigos’s picture

Status: Active » Needs review

I think we could use this page to link to:

arianek’s picture

Project: Documentation » Drupal core
Version: » 6.6
Component: New documentation » translation.module
Category: task » support
Status: Needs review » Active

agreed zzolo - this docs issue seems to have been dealt with - moving to translation issue queue as a support issue

Kars-T’s picture

Status: Active » Fixed


I am closing this issue to clean up the issue queue. Feel free to reopen the issue if there is new information and the problem still resides. If not please make sure you close your issues that you don't need any more.

Maybe you can get support from the local user group. Please take a look at this list at

Status: Fixed » Closed (fixed)

Automatically closed -- issue fixed for 2 weeks with no activity.