How to Change the Default Language of a Drupal Site

| Drupal
How to Change the Main Language of a Drupal site

One OSTraining member had set up a site in English and wanted to move everything over to their native language.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to completely change the main language of a Drupal 7 site.

I'm going to use the example of an English-language site that needs to be changed to Spanish.

First, go to "Modules" and enable the Locale module:

Enable the Locale module in Drupal
  • Go to Configuration > Languages.
  • You'll see the main language which is currently enabled on the site.
Add a language to a Drupal site
  • Click the "Add language" link.
  • Choose your language from "Language name".
  • Click the "Add language" button.
Adding Spanish language to a Drupal site

You'll now see your Language has been added:

English and Spanish on a Drupal site
  • Check the "Default" button next to your new language.
  • Click "Save configuration".
Change the default language on a Drupal site
  • Go to https://localize.drupal.org to find a translation package to download. I want the Spanish version of Drupal 7 so I'll visit this URL.
  • Click to download the language file you need. I've highlighted the Drupal 7 download:
Downloading the translation files for a Drupal site
  • Back in your Drupal site, go to Configuration > Translate interface.
  • Click "Choose File" and import the file you just downloaded from Drupal.org.
  • Make sure to choose the correct "Import into" option:
Importing the translation files for a Drupal site
  • You will get a message saying that your import was successful:
A success message after importing a Drupal translation
  • Refresh your page and your entire site has been translated:
Your Drupal site, now in Spanish

About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.