Monday, January 04, 2010

Multilingual User Interface (MUI) in SharePoint 2010 – Part I

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.


Manoj Mantri said...

How do you contrast it with Variations in 2007 and 2010? Many a times, there are scenarios where the actual content of the publishing page is not changed but still Variations has to be created to display rest of the content in different language. In what cases, should now Variations be used in case of Sharepoint 2010?

Nyiredi Szabolcs said...

Do you know anything about the next situation: I have installed moss 2007 with Hungarian language pack(The Hungarian language pack is not available yet for moss 2010). What will happen if I have some hungarian sites and I make an in-place upgrade to Moss 2010 without hungarian language pack?

jopx said...

Not sure about the language pack upgrade story ... I doesn't seem a good idea though

Rick said...

Hi Manoj,

I am currently using a web part that eliminates the need for variations! See:


Anonymous said...

Very interesting. We are looking to upgrade and worried about MUI and My Sites. Now I understand that the first page of MySite is a page shared by everyone and is not a page on a person's MySite site collection. If a person sets an alternate language on their My Site are the headings in the left hand column, e.g., My Site, My Newfeed, My Content and My Profile left in English or change to MUI language?