The Locale module allows your Drupal site to be presented in languages other than the default English, and to be multilingual. The Locale module works by maintaining a database of translations, and examining text as it is about to be displayed. When a translation of the text is available in the language to be displayed, the translation is displayed rather than the original text. When a translation is unavailable, the original text is displayed, and then stored for review by a translator. For more information, see the online handbook entry for Locale module.


Translating interface text
Translations of text in the Drupal interface may be provided by:
  • Translating within your site, using the Locale module's integrated translation interface.
  • Importing files from a set of existing translations, known as a translation package. A translation package enables the display of a specific version of Drupal in a specific language, and contains files in the Gettext Portable Object (.po) format. Although not all languages are available for every version of Drupal, translation packages for many languages are available for download from the Drupal translations page.
  • If an existing translation package does not meet your needs, the Gettext Portable Object (.po) files within a package may be modified, or new .po files may be created, using a desktop Gettext editor. The Locale module's import feature allows the translated strings from a new or modified .po file to be added to your site. The Locale module's export feature generates files from your site's translated strings, that can either be shared with others or edited offline by a Gettext translation editor.
Configuring a multilingual site
Language negotiation allows your site to automatically change language based on the domain or path used for each request. Users may (optionally) select their preferred language on their My account page, and your site can be configured to honor a web browser's preferred language settings. Site content can be translated using the Content translation module.