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Detailed steps to create a multilingual Joomla website

Detailed steps to create a multilingual  Joomla website

There 3 two things you should notice before creating a multilingual Joomla site.

  1. Your old articles (categories and menus as well) should be set with the specific language instead of “All”. When you create a new article, by default, Joomla will set the language as “All”. And if you didn’t edit this setting, you can’t link the article to other languages. If you haven’t edited this setting and you have so many articles to edit, you can consider running SQL query to change the settings from the database.
  2. If you install a new language which contains special characters, you will need to enable Unicode Aliases.  In Joomla 3.5, go to System --> Global Configuration
  3. If you have big data and it’s very difficult to translate content one by one, you should consider using a Joomla multilingual extension such as Falang.  

So now, we can start to build a multilingual Joomla site.

Step 1: Install suitable language package

You need to install the suitable language package for your site. No need to find on Google, you can get it directly from Joomla backend.


  • If you are using Joomla 3.5: Just go to Extensions --> Manage --> Install languages (you can find it on the left menu)
  • If you are using JSN PowerAdmin, it should be Extensions --> Install --> Install languages

Install suitable language package

Step 2: Select the suitable language to install.

For example: German and then click Install

Select language to install

You will see the notification when the language has been installed successfully



Step 3: View the list Installed Languages.

Now you will see the language appears in the list Installed Languages.

  • If you are using Joomla 3.5: Just go to Extensions -->Language(s) --> Installed
  • If you are using JSN PowerAdmin, it should be Extensions --> Install --> Install languages

Here you can see the language tag of the language you’ve just installed. We need it for the next step.


View the installed language

Step 4: In this step, you will create new content languages.

Select Content Languages in the menu right under menu Installed & Click button  “New

Create new article

Step 5: Fill out the required information in this page and click “Save & close”

  • Title: Name of the language.
  • Title Native: Name of the language in its native language.
  • Language tag: The Language Tag you can see in the last step.
  • URL Language Code: The language code is appended to the site URL.
  • Image Prefix: The flag of a country. It will be shown if you are using feature “Use image flags” in Language Switcher

Fill information

Step 6: Enable Language Filter

Now go Extensions --> Plugins and make a search for a plugin named “System – Language Filter”.

Enable language filter

If you want to configure the plugin system, just click on the plugin name and you can change settings related to Language selection for new visitors, URL, Meta tags and some other things.

Language filter

 Step 7: Update the content for the new language.

For example, I have an article named “Getting started” written in English, now I create an article named “Anfagen”. This is a translation of “Getting started” in German. 

Article in German

Step 8: We will connect the article in English with the article in German by configure the Associations setting in the tab Associations.

Connect Article

Here, at parameter English (UK) you select the article in English. And then you can Save your new article.

Step 9: Prepare a menu for the new language

Now to organize the menu better, you should arrange menus belongs to each language. I will create the menu English and German in Menu manager.

And similar to the article, I will create menu items for each language and link them together via tab Associations.

For example, I have a menu item Homepage with Menu location as English & Language as English (UK). Then I create a menu item Home with Menu location as German & Language as German as well. In the tab Associations, I select Homepage in parameter English (UK).  

Set associations for article

You need to prepare all the necessary menus for the new language.

Create a new template override for language

If your site is simple and you don’t need to edit the template to suit each language, no need to create a new template override for language.
But if you have a big site with huge contents, a different logo or a different style for each language, you will need to have a template specific for each language. How to create a template override for language? Please go ahead with 2 steps below.

Step 10: Dubplicate the template

Go to Extensions --> Templates --> Styles.  Here you select the template you are using and then click to button Duplicate. I use JSN Epic as an example.

New template styles

Step 11: Edit the dubplicated template

Select the new duplicated template (In this case, it will be named JSN Epic PRO – Default (2) to access Template setting.  I will

  • change the name of template to JSN Epic PRO – German (Easy to manage later)
  • Choose another color (just an example to make the difference)
  • Select the menu German in the tab Menu Assignment

Click Save & Close.

You have a multilingual site & you want customer can easily switch language, right? So let do this step.

Step 12: Create a new module with module type as Language Switcher.

Choose a suitable position for the module &  configure the settings as you want.

Save & Close, and you can enjoy your work.


And that’s all. Now you have a multilingual site. Just publish your site and see how you can connect customer better. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any question.


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