How to translate a language using the Translations Manager in Joomla

By default, Joomla requires you to edit the language files by hand. Fortunately, there's another option: an extension called Translations Manager 

With this extension, you can even create new language translations based off of existing ones; this is a lot of work, so you should only create one if it hasn't been done already

There are dozens of ready-made translations available on the Joomla Extensions Directory. For help finding and installing a language pack, watch the first two tutorials of the series

1) As with all extensions we'll be showing you, start by going to Then, navigate to the Languages / Multi-lingual Content category and find the Translations Manager page

2) Once there, click the Download button

3) Right-click on the file and copy the link

4) Install the package in Joomla as shown in the second tutorial of this series


5) After installation, go to Components


6) Click Translation Manager


This is the Translation Manager. As you can see, we only have the default language installed -- English

Let's create a new translation


7) Click New


As with most parts of the Joomla admin panel, hovering the mouse over an option's title will clarify its purpose and help you determine what should be entered in the field


Scroll down


8) First specify a Client, or where your language is meant to be used. We're going to be creating a new Site language, so leave that as the default

9) Next, you must specify a Language ISO Tag. This field helps identify the language using the format described in this field's hover description


For help finding the codes you need, go to and check out the articles entitled"List of ISO 639-1 codes" and "ISO 3166-1"


10) Once you've determined the correct tag, type it here

11) Choose a descriptive Name


12) A Description is optional


13) Type a Legacy Name. If this language pack isn't going to be exported to Joomla 1.0, this field should not matter


14) Language Locales help identify your language to the server on which Joomla is running. Separate each locale code by a comma


When in doubt, entering the ISO tag from above as well as just the language code part should be sufficient


15) Next, enter an author name and, optionally, an e-mail address

16) If your language is read from right to left, change this to Yes


17) Enter an encoding for the language. The default should be fine for most western languages. A good alternative would be UTF-8

18) Update Version to the version of Joomla for which this translation is intended


19) Creation Date should automatically reflect today's date


Scroll up and right


20) Click Save



Our new site language has been created!

21) To begin editing the translation files, click here


This column shows how many phrases are in each file

22) Click here to begin editing the phrases contained in the first file


Whichever language is set to the default becomes the Reference Language. Phrases in the left column come from that language

23) Work your way through the entire file and translate every phrase. If you miss a phrase, it will remain in the default language


Look to the right


24) When you're completely finished translating this file, click this checkbox to mark it as complete

25) Click Save


The file has been saved, its status updated


You should be able to tell from this brief demonstration that translating every phrase Joomla uses could take many hours. With luck, you'll be able to find an existing translation to fit your needs


26) Click here to return to the language list


When you've completely finished your translations, you can export the files in the proper format to be installed by the Extension Manager

27) Choose the language you wish to export

28) Click Package


The file has been created at the path shown on the screen

29) Lastly, if you want to delete a language, choose the language...

30) Click Delete


The language has been deleted


This is the end of the tutorial. You now know how to use the Translations Manager extension for Joomla

  • 0 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

How to accept PayPal donations on your Joomla site

This tutorial will show you how to use an extension called Easy Paypal Donation to add a PayPal...

How to add a calendar to your Joomla site using JEvents

Events Calendar, also known as JEvents, is a well-liked calendar extension for Joomla 1) As with...

How to add contact forms to your Joomla site with Rapid Contact

Rapid Contact is a module that allows you to quickly and easily add a contact form to your...

How to add Google Maps to Joomla

There are several extensions that allow you to easily create Google Maps and display them in...

How to add the Agora forum system to your Joomla site

There are several very popular forum solutions available for Joomla. We'll be installing Agora,...