The Language Packs for SharePoint Server 2013 are now also publicly available for download (and not only from MSDN as in the previous months) – go to Language Packs for SharePoint Server 2013 [English] and select the appropriate language in dropdown. Also take a look at Install or uninstall language packs for SharePoint Server 2013 before performing the installation. Remember that you are no longer required to first do an installation of the SharePoint Foundation language packs.
From an end-user perspective there is a big change with regards to the multilingual interface. In SharePoint 2010 an end user could quite easily switch his language using the language picker in the top right of the page (See Multilingual User Interface in SharePoint 2010 for more details).
Unfortunately this is not the case anymore for SharePoint 2013. By default a SharePoint site for which alternate languages are defined will be shown in the language which is defined in the browsers language settings. A user can however change this by editing his SharePoint user profile – Select About Me (in the top right corner), Edit Profile and next expand the tab menu by clicking the 3 dots and select Language and Region. In the next screen a user is able to select his preferred display language.
Once a user has selected a specific language – the following elements in the user interface will be translated (as shown with the French display language below)
- The standard SharePoint menus e.g. the ribbon 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 and site columns
- The managed metadata field type also supports multilingual scenario’s.
In my opinion this is making things way to complicated for end users and we will probably need some other workarounds for automatically setting the display language of a user since the majority will not find these menu options.