| Drupal
drupal 8 multi lingual

Drupal 8 is a massive undertaking. It's already been 5 years in the making.

Why did it take so long? Partly because so many important contributed modules are now core features. Translation is a perfect example.

It used to take several contributed modules to make even a small multi-lingual Drupal 7 site. Now, you can translate everything using just the Drupal 8 core.

Here's our 5-step guide to building your first Drupal 8 multi-lingual site.

Step #1. Enable the translation modules

You will need to enable these four core Drupal modules in order to translate your site:

5 Steps to Build a Drupal 8 Multi-lingual Site

Step #2. Translate the Drupal core

First, let's translate of the core language inside the Drupal. In this example, I'm going to add Spanish as an option on my site:

  • Go to Configuration > Languages
  • Click "Add language"
  • Choose your language and click "Add language".

Click on the percentage area, under "Interface Translation".


You'll be able to search for and manually translate all the language strings in here:

Step #3. Translate your own site set-up

  • Go to Structure > Content types, you'll see a "Translate" option for your content types:

Inside the next screen, you'll see similar "Translate" links for all your fields:

Step #4. Add content

Now we can add content to your Drupal site.

  • Go to Configuration > Content language and translation.
  • Click the box next to "Content":
  • Check the box, "Show language selector on create and edit pages".
  • Now go and add content to your site. Thanks to the "Show language selector on create and edit pages" box, you'll able to choose the language you're writing in:
  • After saving content, you'll see a "Translate" tab available:
  • Click "Add" in order to create a new version of that content item:

Congratulations! You can now start translating your Drupal site. And you didn't use a single contributed module.

Step #5. Allow users to switch between languages

  • Go to Structure > Blocks
  • Click "Place blocks"
  • Click "Place block" next to the "Language Switcher" block:
  • Click "Save block".
  • Go to the front of your site and the Language Switcher will be working:

One final nice touch is that the URLs were automatically configured. The URLs on my test site looked like this:

  • /node/1
  • /es/node/1

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.