Crystal Lee
Author Crystal Lee
Drupal Wordsmith
Posted in Software Development
March 31, 2016
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4 Reasons Multi-Language Support Rocks in Drupal 8

Let’s be honest: doing multi-language versions of your site in Drupal 7 was a nightmare. It was really cumbersome to use, there were a ton of modules that had to be set up, you had to manage stuff in about four different places, and the whole process was a huge pain in the ass. It was almost easier for people to just learn English than it was to translate your site into another language.

But all that has changed with Drupal 8. Here are four ways the new version rocks multi-language support:

You get automatic language updates

Just to clarify automatic language updates only applies to the interface and all parts built into Drupal not your content! If you think about it this is a fairly obvious point but we felt we should make it perfectly clear; automatic language updates do not apply to your content. Any time anyone in the Spanish, German, Russian or any of the other 90 language communities contributes a translation, you can automatically receive it so long as you have opted in for this functionality. You don’t have to install an update or search for a patch — it just works. That means the support for other languages will continue to grow without you having to do a thing.

English is optional

In earlier versions of Drupal, there was no way to get rid of English. You didn’t have to have an English version of your site, but you did have to have English installed. In Drupal 8, English only gets installed if you actually select it. Of course the code is still in English, but if you only want the user interface to be in Hungarian, that’s your call.

You can translate only what you need to

You used to have to translate an entire page as a unit; now you can choose specific fields to translate (like titles and descriptions) while leaving others untouched (like images and prices). This avoids the confusion of having multiple versions of the same SKU or multiple copies of the same image (each of which used to have to be manually updated).

It’s streamlined and unified

While there is still 3 types of translations; Interface, Config, & Content, the Drupal 8 architecture is unified to all work together nicely. You can export strings or edit it right within the user interface. It’s also easy to upload your translations to contribute them back to the larger community.

Here’s the best part: all of these features are built into Drupal core, so there’s no need to install additional modules. It’s super simple to edit and manage everything all in one place.

To learn more, check out our High Five episode “The Best Features of Drupal 8 Multi-Language Support.” 



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