Multilingualism in WoltLab Suite

Multilingualism has a some tradition at WoltLab - since Burning Board 2.1 (released July 2003) you can use language files to translate your community to another language.

This is part 1 of a article series on Multilingualism in WoltLab Suite 3.0

The language system of today was introduced with WoltLab Suite 1 (July 2007). You have to options: either you only translate the user interface (UI), which is the default setting, or you can additionaly filter content based on language. As long as a user is not logged in the language system uses browser settings to determine which language to display. If there was no matching language installed then the systems displays the default language chosen by the administrator of the community.

Available Languages

WoltLab Suite is shipped with english and german language files. While installing the Suite you can choose which language(s) should be installed.


After the installation you can add more languages. If you visit the WoltLab Community Forum you'll find a list with unofficial language packs. At the time when this article was written there are language packs in french (paid), italian (free, registration required) and norwegian (paid) available. For the correctness, neither WoltLab nor Elevenfour assume liability.

Importing Languages

Languages are installed using XML files. So, to install a language you need the corresponding language file.
To import a language log in to you ACP and change to Customization Languages Import Language ( ).

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Afterwards you can upload the XML file(s) from you computer and the new language will be installed.


Clicking the icon you can choose which language should be set as default.

Multilingual Content

If you want your users to be able to filter (and add) content by language, change within the ACP to Customization Languages Multilingualism. Here you can choose which languages can be chosen for adding and reading content.

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That's it for part 1. The next part will be about adding language variables and creating new languages/translations.