Multi-lingual Joomla

New in 2.5

Versions 2.5.0, 2.5.1 and 2.5.4 bring some new features.

1. Search Engines Optimization

------- A. A new plugin "System - Language Code" lets change at will the language tag in the page display WITHOUT changing the language pack or the 3pd party extension language files..
Example : A site based in Quebec, Belgium, Switzerland using the French language pack fr-FR may this way change the language tag to fr-CA, fr-BE, fr-CH in the source code of the displayed page.

Instead of

<html xmlns="" xml:lang="fr-fr" lang="fr-fr" dir="ltr" >

one will get for example

<html xmlns="" xml:lang="fr-ch" lang="fr-ch" dir="ltr" >

Another example is the use of the Arabic language pack in Joomla! Its tag is ar-AA as it is a classical Arabic pack and we can't evidently propose packs for all countries using Arabic.
It's therefore quite easy to choose the ISO code of the country concerned to optimize the results for ar-DZ (Algeria), ar-EG (Egypt), ar-SA (Saudi Arabia), etc.

------- B. A new parameter is available in the plugin "System - Language Filter":
'Add alternate meta tags.'

It lets add alternate meta tags in the <head> of the displayed page for any associated menu item or Home page.

<link href="" rel="alternate" hreflang="fr-FR" />
<link href="" rel="alternate" hreflang="de-DE" />
<link href="" rel="alternate" hreflang="it-IT" />
<link href="" rel="alternate" hreflang="es-ES" />
<link href="" rel="alternate" hreflang="mk-MK" />
<link href="" rel="alternate" hreflang="ta-IN" />

2. Same Menu Items Aliases

With this new feature, when the "System - Language Filter" is enabled, you will be able to have the same alias for menu items in different languages, even when the menu items are at the same level.
You will get:

3. Access per Content Language (2.5.4)

A new column/parameter "Access" is present in the Language Manager =>Content and when editing a Content Language.
This lets define the access in the front-end to specific Content Languages

Examples :
1. Lets prepare a new language while a site is online, reserving the access to a specific group for testing purposes. All languages completed would be set to "Public" while the uncomplete one would be set to "Special". The flag/name of the Content Language set to "Special" will only be visible to logged users whose group have the viewing access to the "Special" access level.
2. It's therefore easy to define specific group accesses to allow/forbid access to some Content Languages needing or not the users to log in with this access.

New in 1.7.3: URL, Site name, batch

A. Search Engine Friendly URL

The Content Language prefix (Url Language Code, as set per Content Language) may not be used anymore in the url for the Site default language when SEF is on.

This means that, for example, if en-GB with the Url Language code 'en' is set as Site Default Language, the code 'en' will not be added anymore. Instead of , one will get

To implement the feature go to
Extensions=>Plugin Manager=>Filter by System=>Edit 'System - Language Filter'

B. Custom Site Name

It is now possible to customize the Site Name depending on the Content Language displayed.
A new parameter has been created in Extensions=>Language Manager=>Content tab->Edit a Content Language->Site name slider.

The Site Name parameter is set to display or not in Global Configuration=>Site tab->SEO Settings->'Include Site Name in Page Titles'

C. Language included in batch operations

The batch processing in various Managers in back-end now includes a Set Language field.

It is possible to batch-change language for ticked items, as well as batch-copy including Language change to another Menu (in Menu Manager) or another Category. This is very convenient when creating a structure for a new Content Language.


New in 1.7 - Associated menu items

It is now possible to associate menu items in different languages.

When a menu item, let's say tagged to fr-FR, is associated to a menu item tagged en-GB, if the Language Switcher module is present on the page, clicking on the en-GB flag/name redirects to the en-GB menu item and reciprocally.
If a menu item is not associated, the behavior will be the same as in 1.6, that is redirect to the Default Home page in the language concerned.
This let's therefore the choice for the webmaster to associate or not, item per item.

  1. Activate the Language Filter plugin and make sure that "Menu Association" is set to "Yes". Save the parameters.  Edit.
  2. Edit one menu item to which a language is assigned.
    It is not supposed to work if the menu item is set to "All", for obvious reasons.
  3. A new slider called "Menu Items Associations" is now displayed.
    Each Content language created on your site will display in the slider with a combo box where you can choose a menu item in that language to be associated.
    Just choose menu items, for one language or more.
    A menu item to which is assigned an unpublished Content language can be associated, but the menu items to which it is associated will not display that choice until the Content Language is published.

On this site these menu items are associated:
Multi-lingual steps by steps
Multi-lingual Tips

New in 1.7.1: Multilanguage status module

A new module is added in 1.7.1 to help users check the status of various aspects of a multi-lingual site.

Go to the Module Manager, filter by Administrator and publish the module.
Force reload the page to see the icon.

It now displays in the status bar and clicking on its icon/name will open a modal with various informations, including possible errors.

Multilanguage Status module.

Last checks

Before setting the site online, check the following.

  1. Are the desired Content Languages published ?
  2. Are the related site languages installed and activated?
  3. Are the Default Home Page menu items for each Content Language present and published?
  4. Is there a specific menu containing a Default Home Page menu item to which is assigned language "All" and its menu module unpublished?
  5. Are the menu modules which display these Default Home Pages present and published?
  6. Are the 'Langswitcher' modules present and published?
  7. Is the 'Language Filter' system plug-in activated?