Setting up a multilingual user interface

The user interface culture determines the language of the Kentico administration interface, as well as other factors like numeric and date formats.

The default Kentico installation only provides an English version (en-us culture) for the user interface texts. The texts are stored in resx files in the following locations:

  • CMS\CMSResources folder (for MVC sites, the CMSResources folder is also present in the MVC live site project)
  • App_Data\Global\Resources folder of MVC projects (the resx files here contain strings used in the interfaces of the page builder and form builder features)

Multilingual website content

If you want to learn more about localization of website content (i.e. pages in the content tree), please refer to the Setting up multilingual websites chapter.

Managing cultures

Users with the Global administrator privilege level can manage all cultures in the Localization application on the Cultures tab. To display only UI cultures, choose Yes in the Is UI culture filter and click Search.

Viewing the available UI cultures

When you create a new culture or edit an existing culture, you can define the following properties:

Property Description

Culture name

Name displayed for the culture in the administration interface.

Culture code

The standard identifier of the culture in format: <language code>-<country/region code>

You cannot use neutral culture codes that represent languages in general. Enter the culture code of a specific country/region. For example en-US, not en.

Culture short name

A shortcut for the culture.

Culture alias

Allows you to set an alternative name for the culture.

For Portal Engine sites, the culture alias is displayed instead of the culture code in URL language prefixes (if you enable them for your site).

Is UI culture

Indicates if the culture is available as a language option for the administration interface.

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Preparing UI cultures

Kentico allows you to manage content in any language, including double-byte (eastern) languages, such as Chinese. All content is stored and published in UNICODE.

To prepare the system to display the administration interface in a different language or at least with different culture settings (e.g. calendar and numeric format):

  1. Open the Localization application.
  2. Select the Cultures tab.
  3. Edit () the culture you want to use for the administration interface.
  4. Select the Is UI culture check box.
  5. Click Save.

Users can now select the new culture as their default UI culture in the My profile application using the Preferred user interface culture drop-down list. However, if the system does not have a corresponding language pack installed, the administration interface strings will still be displayed in the default language.

Installing localization packs

You can download localization packs with already translated resource files for certain languages from DevNet.

After downloading a package:

  1. Open the package and copy the resx files into the appropriate locations:
    • Add the main cms resx files into the CMSResources folder (for MVC sites, copy the files into both the Kentico administration project and the MVC live site project)
    • If the pack contains resources for the Kentico MVC builder features (Kentico.Builder.resx, etc.):
      1. Navigate to the App_Data\Global\Resources folder of your MVC project.
      2. Create a sub-folder matching the culture code of the pack's culture, for example he-IL.
      3. Copy the builder resx files into the new sub-folder.
  2. Restart the application to apply the changes to the user interface:

    1. Open the System application.
    2. Click Restart application (use Restart all web farm servers for MVC sites).

Translating localization strings manually

To translate the localization strings for an added UI culture into a different language:

  1. Create a copy of the CMS\CMSResources\cms.resx file in the same folder and name it cms.<culture code>.resx (for example, cms.he-IL.resx).

    • This file now stores strings with the text of the administration interface copied from the original culture.

  2. Edit the copied file and translate the localization strings.
  3. If you use the MVC development model, translate strings for the interface of the MVC builder features:
    1. Navigate to the App_Data\Global\Resources folder of your MVC project.
    2. Create a sub-folder matching the culture code of the required culture, for example he-IL.
    3. Copy the Kentico.Builder.resx, Kentico.FormBuilder.resx and Kentico.PageBuilder.resx files from the root Resources folder into the new sub-folder.
    4. Edit the copied files and translate the localization strings.
  4. After modifying the .resx files, restart the application to apply the changes to the user interface:

    1. Open the System application.
    2. Click Restart application (use Restart all web farm servers for MVC sites).

Setting the default UI culture

The default UI culture is en-us. If you configure the system to allow more UI cultures to be used, you can change the default UI culture for users by adding the following key to the <appSettings> section of your site's web.config file:

<add key="CMSDefaultUICulture" value="en-nz" />

The value of this key must be a valid culture code (in the example above, en-nz represents the English - New Zealand culture).

If you change the default UI culture, you also need to:

  • Rename the CMSResources\CMS.resx file to CMS.en-us.resx and the new culture's resource string file (CMS.en-nz.resx in the example) to CMS.resx.
  • For MVC sites, rename the new culture's sub-folder under the App_Data\Global\Resources folder of your MVC project to en-us, and switch the resx files between the sub-folder and the root Resources folder.

This is required because the resx files without a culture suffix or sub-folder are used when the (default) option is selected as a user's Preferred user interface culture.

When the above mentioned key is used and the CMS.resx file contains the en-nz dictionary, the UI culture will be en-nz for users who have their Preferred user interface culture set to (default).

Applying a culture to a specific user's UI

You can set the administration interface to a specific culture for each user in the system:

  1. Open the Users application.
  2. Edit () the user.
  3. Select the required Preferred user interface culture on the General tab.
  4. Click Save.

Users may also select their own user interface culture in the My profile application on the Details tab, by setting the Preferred user interface culture.

When the user signs out and then back in, the system displays the interface according to the new culture settings and with translated strings (once the translation is complete).

Users can also change the culture of their interface by opening the User menu and clicking on Change language. This selection also changes the Preferred user interface culture setting of the given user.


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