Drupal Multilingual Tips – Browser Settings, Session Params and Account Settings

I have a front/login page that is available to anonymous users. I need to be able to deliver the page bilingually but I rely primarily on the Drupal account settings and language switcher to determine whether the site is presented in English or Spanish. So how do I present in Spanish to anonymous users when appropriate? Drupal also allows you to use the user’s browser settings as well to determine what language to display. And it also allows you to change the order of factors to determine what language to present in. After some testing and a lot of thought about the UX, I have settled on,

  • Browser settings – Helps for Anonymous
  • Session parameter – If a Spanish defined account want to use the language switcher to get English instead for that session
  • Account settings – The catch-all
  • Default site language

In my specific case, this will provide the most flexibility for my audience.

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Multilingual Translations – Update and Tip

This is actually turning out better than I expected. And one of the things that I have discovered is that the Translate Interface interface (as seen below) is the key. But also, that ¬†you don’t have to have everything listed here translated for most sites. For example, i have found that about 33% of my Views being translated, as it shows here, is actually about right for my site. Much of what isn’t translated are system areas that my members will never see.

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So, go through the interface from the perspective of the alt language user and find the text strings that need to be changed, do a Find on them in the interface, and then change them. Much will be case by case. But be flexible; you may decide to change more than you need at the time so that the future stuff will already be in place.