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Using Drupal, 2nd Edition by Bruno De Bondt, Addison Berry, Angela Byron

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Chapter 8. Multilingual Sites

Creating a website with community content is great, but what if some or all of your community doesn’t read or write English? It’s a big world, and only about 6% of it speaks English as a native language. Multilingual sites allow you to reach out to your community members and let them feel comfortable contributing. Having multiple languages is not as simple as having users post content in whichever language they like. There are other things to consider, like navigation, date formatting, and help text. And what about having the same post available in multiple languages, and easily navigating between them? Once you start thinking about it in detail, there is a lot of ground to cover. Luckily, Drupal core and a few contributed modules have done a lot of that hard work for us so we can concentrate on building our community and content.

The two main concepts for multilingual sites are internationalization, often abbreviated i18n, and localization, often abbreviated l10n. Internationalization is the underlying structure that allows software to be adapted to different languages, and localization is the process of actually translating the software for use by a specific locale. Localization is not necessarily limited to just translating text, but also encompasses changing things like date formats and currency.

Drupal has made great strides toward building a better internationalization system inside Drupal core that makes localization much easier. Core does not ...

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