Language Considerations

You use two methods to control the language settings available for Web sites based on Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services:

  • Language template packs

Language template packs allow you to use site templates designed for specific languages. When you create a site based on a site template in a language template pack, the navigation and pages for that site are displayed in that language.

  • Regional settings

Regional settings allow you to control how dates, times, and lists are displayed in a particular Web site. Regional settings do not control the language used for the navigation or pages in the site. For more information about regional settings, see Configuring Regional Settings.

About Languages and Locales

Windows SharePoint Services uses the following terms to describe the language settings that are used for a Web site:

  • Language ID

The language ID specified when a Web site is created controls the language used in the Web site itself. For example, if the site was created in French (language ID 1036), all of the toolbars, navigation bars, list and form pages, and so on, appear in French. If the site was created in Arabic (1025), the text is in Arabic, and the default left-to-right orientation of the site is change to right-to-left to properly display Arabic text.

By default, Windows SharePoint Services has language packs that contain site templates for many language IDs. You can install one or more of these language packs to your Web server to support users creating sites in as many languages as you need. For example, if you have a server running the Japanese version (language ID 1041) of Windows SharePoint Services, you can install a U.S. English (1033) language pack with templates that allow your users to create sites configured for U.S. English. New para

  • Locale ID

The locale ID is specified on the Regional Settings page, and affects how numbers, calendars, sorting, and time are displayed in the site. For example, if you have a U.S. English language site (language ID 1033), and you change the locale ID to French (Canada) (locale ID 3084), the Events list and Calendar views reflect the French notations for dates, numbers, time, and so on. The locale ID does not affect the orientation of the site. Choosing Arabic (Egypt) (locale ID 3073) does not change the site to right-to-left orientation, but does allow you to display the Events list with dates in Arabic notation. Each language template has a default locale ID. For example, in the U.S. English (1033) template, the default locale ID is also 1033.

Windows SharePoint Services supports all of the locale IDs supported by the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family, which is a much larger set than the set of language IDs.

For more information about supported language IDs and locale IDs, see Regional and Language Settings.

Customizing Sites to Display Multiple Languages

When you create a site, you choose which language it is displayed in. You cannot display a site in more than one language, or change which language is used. If you need to create a site that can display more than one language, for example if you needed a site for both English and Spanish speakers, use the following method:

  1. Install the language packs that you need (in this example, US English and Spanish) to your server.
  2. Create sites based on each language pack you need (for example, one site in US English, one in Spanish).
  3. Customize one of the sites to include the strings you need from the other site.

For example, on the US English site, use a Web page editor compatible with Windows SharePoint Services to edit the navigation strings to include both the English strings and the strings from the Spanish site. In this example, "Home" would become "Home/Pagina principal".

  1. Save the customized site as a site template, if you expect to use it again.

Because Windows SharePoint Services uses Unicode encoding, the strings from all of the languages should display correctly on the site you customize.

Installing Language Template Packs

Language template packs for Windows SharePoint Services are available as downloadable files from Windows Update. There are language template packs that you can install to support Web sites in many languages. For a list of supported languages, see Regional and Language Settings.

To install a language template pack, you simply download it from Windows Update, and then run the setup program. Note that at the end of setup, Internet Information Services (IIS) is automatically restarted. If you are in a server farm environment, you must install the language template packs to each front-end Web server in your server farm.

During installation, the site templates are added to the Windows SharePoint Services installation directory, under the \TEMPLATE\LCID directory, where LCID is the locale ID for the language. For more information about where the language template files are stored on the server, see Special Directories and Storage Locations. After installation, server administrators, members of the SharePoint administrators group, and users with the Create Subsites right or the Use Self-Service Site Creation right can create Web sites based on the language templates by selecting the language on the Create Top-Level Web Site page or the New SharePoint Site page.

If you no longer need a language template pack, you can uninstall it by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel. Uninstalling removes the language template files from the \TEMPLATE\LCID directories.

When you uninstall a language template pack, any sites based on that language no longer work. You can reinstall the language template pack to restore the sites.