Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Feature in SharePoint 2010


SharePoint 2010 introduces a very nice feature called Multilingual User Interface (MUI). This allows a logged on user to change the language to one of the supported alternate languages configured by the site administrator. Important thing to keep in mind here is when you switch the language via MUI selector it only translates UI elements, content in the site is not translated. Following UI elements are translated

  • Ribbon
  • Site Settings Page
  • Site Actions Menu
  • Lists and Site Column headers
  • Quick Launch Menu
  • Certain Messages displayed in out of the box webparts

Before you can enable MUI, required language packs must be installed on all Web Front End Servers. Site administrator can configure alternate languages they want to support in language settings. If you haven’t installed language packs in your SharePoint environment, “Language Settings” option is never shown under Site Administration section in Site Settings page, also both “Export Translations” and “Import Translations” options show up under site administration section in site settings page as soon as you specify alternate languages.

To set alternate languages for your site, browse to site settings page and click on “language settings” under site administration section


Here you will see under alternate languages, a list of languages that can be selected, this is based on language packs installed on web front end server, in my case I have “German” and “French” language packs installed in addition to “English”


<update date=”12/26/2010”>

You can use PowerShell below to set alternate languages

   1: param($url = $(Read-Host -Prompt "Enter Web Site Url")) 
   2: Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.Powershell -errorAction SilentlyContinue
   4: Try
   5: {
   6:     $web = Get-SPWeb -Identity $url
   7:     $site = $web.Site
   9:     $templates = $site.GetWebTemplates($web.Language)
  10:     $template = $templates[$web.WebTemplate]
  11:     if($template.SupportsMultiLingualUI)
  12:     {
  13:         $web.IsMultiLingual = $true
  15:         $installedLanguages = [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPRegionalSettings]::GlobalInstalledLanguages ;
  16:         $supportedUICultures = $web.SupportedUICultures ;
  18:         Write-Host "Type" $supportedUICultures.GetType()
  20:         ForEach($language in $installedLanguages)
  21:         {
  22:             $culture = New-Object System.Globalization.CultureInfo($language.LCID)
  23:             $selected = $supportedUICultures | Where-Object{$_.LCID -eq $language.LCID}    
  24:             if($selected -eq $null)
  25:             {
  26:                 Write-Host "Adding " $culture.Name
  27:                $web.AddSupportedUICulture($culture)
  28:             }  
  29:         }
  30:         $web.Update()
  31:     }
  32: }
  33: Catch
  34: {
  35:     Write-Warning "An Error Occurred..."
  36:     Write-Error $_
  37: }


Once the Site Administrator configures alternate languages, a logged on user can switch the language via MUI selector as seen in picture below and all user interface elements will be translated into language selected in MUI selector


MUI also enables users to set Site Title, Description, List or Library Titles and Descriptions in alternate languages, changes made are available for other users as well when they login and switch to the specific language.

In the picture below you can see a team site created in default German language, site title and description shows user translated text


Same team site viewed in English with English translation of site title and description


User specified translations can be exported into a resource file for use in other sites. To export user specified translations, browse to site settings page and select “Export Translations” option under site administration section



Similarly resource files can be imported into a different site for use, using the “Import Translations” option under site administration section

There you have it a quick look at MUI feature in SharePoint 2010




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Published: 1/27/2011 10:01 AM

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