SharePoint finally provides a decent out of the box multilingual user experience for collaboration scenario’s with the introduction of SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010. After you installed the necessary language packs you will have the option to enable the multilingual user interface (MUI) on a per site basis using site settings (this is also possible using the SharePoint Object Model – using SPWeb.AddSupportedUICulture).
Once you enable alternate languages, users will see a language picker control in the top right of the page where they can switch the site to the language of their choice - this is a huge improvement in comparison with 2007.
At the beta2 framework there are language packs available for German, English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Russian and Chinese (simplified) – see Language packs available for download
Remember that for SharePoint Server 2010 you first need to install the SharePoint Foundation language packs and afterwards the ones for SharePoint Server 2010 – see Deploy Language Packs (SharePoint Server 2010) for additional details.
So what parts of the SharePoint user interface are actually impacted by the MUI:
- All the standard SharePoint user interface elements are translated
- Navigation menu’s also support multilingual scenario’s with the MUI – if you switch your language and translate specific menu nodes in your navigation – these changes are language specific
- The headings for list columns
- The managed metadata field type also supports multilingual scenario’s.
In a next post I will delve a little deeper into the multilingual experience and take a look at some powershell scripts to work with the multilingual settings.