Joomla 1.7 multilangue implementation – How to make your sites multilingual

In Joomla 1.6 and 1.7 we now have the option to make our site multilingual. If we have experience with some of the existing components for multilanguage, the implementation is different.

Tested in:

  • Joomla! 1.7.0
  • English and Slovenian language translation

For example if you are using JoomFish, you created your content and then translated it into different languages (to the date of writing the article there is no JoomFish release for Joomla 1.7!). But with the new Joomla language plug-in you have to create duplicates of every content and menu in your languages.

Joomla! 1.7 multilanguage prerequisite

  1. Install the languages that you wish to have on the site, (find Joomla translations here)
  2. Configure the language parameters for that language
  3. Define the default Home page for all languages and unpublish the module
  4. Define the default Home page for each language
  5. Publish the System – Language Filter plugin
  6. Publish the Language Switcher module

Install Joomla! 1.7 language files

Download the appropriate Joomla! 1.7 language translation pack and install it through the Extension Manager.

Installing the Slovenian language pack in Joomla! 1.7

Adding an entry in content languages

Add a new language entry in Extension >> Language manager >> Content. After that you will have a new entry in the language drop-down menu.

Fill out the fields to set the content language. Be careful to correctly fill out the Image Prefix and Language Tag fields.

Setting a default Home page

We have to create a menu item, with the Language setting set to All. After that we go to Extension >> Modules and un-publish the main menu module so we cannot see it on site. The step is required because at least one item has to have the language setting set to All.

Set the language setting to All and unpublish the module.

Creating articles, categories and menu items

Now we have to create all of the above items for each language. We go to Content >> Category manager and create two categories each with the language field filled with its own language. Then we go to Content >> Article manager and create two articles with its own language setting. Finally we go to Menus >> Menu Manager >> Add new Menu. We create menus for each of our installed languages. In each of these menus we create our Home page link and make it our Default language page. If we did everything ok, we should see a flag instead of the star.

We created two language menu items. Each of the two menus has to have its own language set in the module configuration settings.
When we click on the default web page icon we do not get a star, instead we get a language flag of the chosen language.

Adding the language module

We can now add the language module in Extensions >> Module Manager >> New and choose the Language Switcher module.

Publishing the language plug-in

Then we go to Extensions >> Plug-in Manager >> System – Language Filter and publish the plug-in. We can leave the setting on default values.

Creating Joomla 1.7 association menus

After we set the languages of the content and menus we can create associations. Association is used for linking together menu items in different languages. As we know we have the same menu items in each language. Now we can connect the two menu items with the same meaning. As a result, when we click on a menu item on the page we do not get redirected to the homepage but instead we stay on the page we choose.

Setting the association in the menu item settings.
If the menu item is associated we can see a blue icon under the Association column.