Last updated November 6, 2012. Created on May 3, 2008.
Edited by frederickjh, pixelite, sylvain_a, Gábor Hojtsy. Log in to edit this page.

This section includes information regarding resources for internationalization (apart from translation).

Right to left support

If you want a website with right-to-left text direction, you'll need a theme which supports this, like the core theme Garland for 6.x, or Garland BIDI for 5.x. For more RTL themes, look at the theme download page.

Other internationalization challenges

There are numerous other challenges when creating websites for a specific part of the world or language group, like date formats, alphabetic sort of special characters, currencies, and tax calculations. See the links below for places to look for more information, and please add a sub page if you have something to share.

Read more:

Looking for support? Visit the forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.


senortim’s picture

I'm using Drupal 7 and want to use the core language capabilities to do a site offering English and Spanish content. Some aspects of this are working great, but I cannot seem to switch from one language to the other, other than on a node by node basis. Is this a problem with D.7? Is there documentation discussion languages in D.7? (What I'm finding here seems to stop at D.6.)

This documentation could use more info on how to implement language switching, rather than just content translation. (What good is the latter if one cannot do the former?)

trebron’s picture

I installed D7 yesterday and am confronted with this challange as well?
What is the solution?

sanjeevwebkeon’s picture

Helllo Friends,

I develop a demo website in my local computer in two different-2 languages and its work fine but at the time of language switch i have problem. my website in en and fr. en is my default language. when i create basic page in (aboutus) in en language and translate it fr. now i can switch language from index page but when i go to aboutus(en) page and now i want to see same page in fr language my language switcher is do not provide me the click able link in fr language but i can change language from index page

index page language switcher situation as like
(Both click able)

aboutus pagein en language, language switcher situation as like
*-F-r-e-n-c-h- (strikeout not click able )

now i am not able to click on french link can any one ask me where is the problem? and what is the solution of my problem?

I am using drupal 7 and external language switcher module..

sylvain_a’s picture

This seems to be a duplicate of the Working with languages handbook. If you are trying to figure out multilingual websites, perhaps you should start with this first. (Now updated for Drupal 7).

Meanwhile, an issue has been filed in the Docs Team issue queue to propose a merge between the various pages on this topic. Feel free to discuss it there.

asb’s picture

After browsing through for more than three hours: Could someone please scribble together a how to with the proper setup of a multilingual site with subdomains (one per language) and shared files?

Obviously it neither works to make a multisite setup (sites/en.domain.tld, sites/fr.domain.tld ...), and

$conf['i18n_variables'] = array(
seems not be work, either :-(

Thank you!

Andrés Chandía’s picture

Drupal 7.10
I have a three languages site, since now all was well, but I'm including a book version of some documentation and here is the problem I get:

I create a book page (let's call it BOOK1) and give it the status of "new book", defining one of the languages for this content, then when addign a child page, this child one does not get included in the BOOK1 (actually some times the BOOK1 does not appears as an option at the "book outline") , so I edit it to add manually the child page to the BOOK1, at this moment BOOK1 does appears as an option in the "book outline", I select it, but in the "parent item" appears nothing to select, I save it anyway, then this error comes: "An illegal choice has been detected. Please contact the site administrator", and the "book outline" appears highlighted.
The only way I can add child pages to BOOK1 is changing its language to "neutral language".

Could this be a bug?


sylvain_a’s picture

@asb, @Andrés Chandía: Your requests would have a better chance to be answered in the support forum ( or on IRC, though, since this is a documentation-only page (perhaps "Other Internationalization Issues" is a misleading title). If not familiar with it yet, you can find more information on how to setup and use these Channels on

@Andrés Chandía: i have forwarded this to the documentation issue queue, under "missing documentation".

@asb: give it a try in the drupal 7.x book module issue queue. Perhaps a similar problem has been discussed? (Example concerning a contributed module here)

Andrés Chandía’s picture

Thanks, I'll do check your advised documentation.


asb’s picture

@sylvain_a: Thanks, but I'm not even using D7, and usually nobody responds to D6 core issues anymore.

jacmkno’s picture

I have created several multi-language Drupal based sites and I found that for most cases, in order to implement multilanguage support, it is easier to maintain per-language Drupal sites, than one site with multilingual support.

I believe this is because the approach used by the community on multi-language support is to implement multi-language compatible features on every single module created for Drupal. I believe that with this approach there is never going to be a complete multi-language Drupal distribution because there will always be critical features missing i18n compatibility.

I propose to use an alternative approach, based on the manipulation of these elements (without interfering with drupal´s natural behaviors):
1. User input interface: Create a widget for the user to indicate the language in which his is inputting data .
2. User input processing layer: The user input is detected and stored in a content or input table associated with the corresponding language. This has to be done without altering the default mechanisms for accessing user input in modules. I´m not yet sure if this is possible, but I would like to hear ideas about this.
3. Content rendering layer: Before any content is rendered the appropriate content is selected from the content or input table according to the current site´s language.

The language discovery feature of Drupal works just fine, as well as the default most basic language features so those would be reused. We would be avoiding or suppressing the node-level language features.

Here is the discussion:

vvaliset’s picture


The date suffix is not getting translated into french language. Suppose the date format is 3rd Dec, 2013 or 5th Dec, 2013... Here the "th" and "rd" are the suffix of that date. But when i went to french language site then the date is still showing in english format only.

Can anyone faced this issue? Please let me know..

FYI, i am using the drupal 7.