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eZ Platform offers the ability of creating different language versions of all content in the repository.

Using multiple languages

The system allows for multiple language versions (translations) of a Content item to be created. Translations are created per version of the item, so each version of the content can have a different set of translations.

At minimum, a version always has one translation which by default is the initial/main translation. Further versions can be added, but only for languages that have previously been  added to the global translation list, that is a list of all languages available in the system. The maximum number of languages in the system is 64.

Different translations of the same Content item can be edited separately. This means that different users can work on translations into different languages at the same time.

Translatable and untranslatable Fields

Language versions actually concern translating values of the Fields of a Content item. Every Field in its definition in a Content Type can be set to be Translatable or not.

Translating the Field values is natural in some cases, for example for the body of an article. However, there are Fields where translating is impractical, for instance images without text, numbers, e-mail addresses and so on. Platform still gives the possibility to mark all Fields as translatable regardless of their Field Type. It is only the user's (content manager's) decision to exclude the translation possibility for those Fields where it makes no sense.

When a Field is not flagged as Translatable, its value will be copied from the initial/main translation when a new language version is created. This copied value cannot be modified. When a Field is Translatable, its value in a new language version will have to be entered by the user.

For example, let's say that you need to store information about marathon contestants and their results. You build a "contestant" Content Type using the following Fields: name, photo, age, nationality, time reached. Allowing the translation of anything else than nationality would be pointless, since the values stored by the other Fields are the same regardless of the language used to describe the runner. In other words, the name, photo, age and time reached would be the same in, for example, both English and Norwegian.

Access control

It is possible to control whether a User or User group is able to translate content or not. This can be done by adding a Language limitation to Policies that allow creating or editing content. This limitation lets you define which Role can work with which languages in the system. (For more information of the permissions system, see Permissions.)

In addition, it is also possible to control access to the global translation list by using the Content/Translations Policy. This makes it possible to allow users other than the site administrator to add and remove translations that can be used.

How to create different language versions?

The multilanguage system operates based on a global translation list that contains all languages available in the installation. Languages can be added to this list from the Admin Panel in the user interface. The new language must then be added to the SiteAccess configuration. Once this is done, any user with proper permissions can create Content item versions in these languages in the user interface.

How to make translations available to the visitor?

Once more than one language is defined in the global translation list and there is content in different languages, the question is how can this be exposed to use by the visitor. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Implement a mechanism called Language Switcher. It lets you create links that allow switching between different translations of a Content item.
  2. If you want to have completely separate versions of the website, each with content in its own language, you can use siteaccesses. In this case, depending on the uri used to access the website, a different site will open, with a language set in configuration settings. All Content items will then be displayed in this primary language.

Multilanguage and permissions


One of the basic ways of using multiple languages is setting up a separate siteaccess for each language.

Explicit translation siteaccesses

Configuration is not mandatory, but can help to distinguish which siteaccesses can be considered translation siteaccesses.


Note: Top prioritized language is always used for as the siteaccess language reference (e.g. fre-FR for fre siteaccess in the example above).

If several translation siteaccesses share the same language reference, the first declared siteaccess always wins.

More complex translation setup

There are some cases where your siteaccesses share settings (repository, content settings, etc.), but you don't want all of them to share the same translation_siteaccesses setting. This can be for example the case when you use separate siteaccesses for mobile versions of a website.

Solution is as easy as defining new groups:


Using implicit related siteaccesses

If translation_siteaccesses setting is not provided, implicit related siteaccesses will be used instead. Siteaccesses are considered related if they share:

Fallback languages and missing translations

When setting up siteaccesses with different language versions, you can specify a list of preset languages for each siteaccess. When this siteaccess is used, the system will go through this list. If a Content item is unavailable in the first (prioritized) language, it will attempt to use the next language in the list, and so on. Thanks to this you can have a fallback in case of a lacking translation.

You can also assign a Default content availability flag to Content Types (available in the Admin Panel). When this flag is assigned, Content items of this type will be available even when they do not have a language version in any of the languages configured for the current siteaccess.

Note that if a language is not provided in the list of prioritized languages and it is not the Content item's first language, the URL alias for this content in this language will not be generated.

This is different than in legacy, where this behavior was covered by a global control switch ShowUntranslatedObjects.


Language Switcher


A Content item can be translated into several languages. Those languages are configured in the system and exposed in siteaccesses via a prioritized list of languages:


When visiting a Content item, it may be useful to let the user switch from one translation to another, more appropriate to them. This is precisely the goal of the language switcher.

The language switcher relies on the Cross-SiteAccess linking feature to generate links to the Content item's translation, and on RouteReference feature.


If you install the DemoBundle with at least 2 different languages, you will be able to see the Language Switcher and to test it.

In a template

To generate a language switch link, you need to generate the RouteReference, with the language parameter. This can easily be done with ez_route() Twig function:

You can also omit the route, in this case, the current route will be used (i.e. switch the current page):

Using sub-requests

When using sub-requests, you lose the context of the master request (e.g. current route, current location, etc.). This is because sub-requests can be displayed separately, with ESI or Hinclude.

If you want to render language switch links in a sub-request with a correct RouteReference, you must pass it as an argument to your sub-controller from the master request.

  • ezpublish.translationSiteAccess( language ) returns the siteaccess name for provided language (or null if it cannot be found)
  • ezpublish.availableLanguages() returns the list of available languages.

Using PHP

You can easily generate language switch links from PHP too, with the RouteReferenceGenerator service:

You can also retrieve all available languages with the TranslationHelper:

ez_trans_prop Twig helper

ez_trans_prop() is a generic, low level Twig helper which corrects the translated value of a multi valued(translations) property.

See ez_trans_prop reference for more information.


Translating UI of eZ Platform

Installing new UI translations

If you want to install a new language in your project, you just have to install the corresponding package.

For example, if you want to translate your application into French, you just have to run:

composer require ezplatform-i18n/ezplatform-i18n-fr_fr

and then clear the cache.

Now you can reload your eZ Platform administration page which will be translated in French (if your browser is configured to fr_FR.)

In-context UI translation


Since eZ Platform 1.7.0, the interface has been fully translatable. Version 1.8.0 introduces official support for Crowdin as a translation management system. In addition, it integrates support for in-context translation, a feature that allows you to translate strings from the interface, in context.

To learn how to contribute to a translation using Crowdin, see Contributing translations.


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