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7 tips to help create and manage multilingual SharePoint communication sites

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Microsoft 365 now supports the ability to create intranet sites in multiple languages. You can create pages and news in a user’s preferred language, and you can show site navigation, the site title, and the site description in the preferred language. The process is relatively easy – but there are a few things you will want to make sure site owners and content authors know about prior to launching this great capability in your environment.

How to create a multilingual site

Please review Microsoft’s documentation and short video on how to create multilingual sites to learn how this feature works and how to enable it for your site. The documentation is very thorough and walks you through the basic “how to” information for site owners and content editors.

Tips and best practices

Even though the documentation is helpful, there are a few things you will want your owners and authors to know about that are not documented or need to be emphasized. You will most certainly want to follow the steps in Tip 4, which recommends a simple view to help manage your multilingual pages.

1. Choose the site language when you create the site

Every communication site has a default language. The default language is selected when you create the site and cannot be changed. You will get the opportunity to select the site language after you have entered the Site name. (Figure 1 below).

select site language Microsoft

Figure 1. Select a default language when you create the site.

Think carefully about the audience for the site as well as the primary language of the content authors. If your site is for a global audience, choose English as the default language. If your site is primarily for a local audience, you may want to choose an alternate default language if your governance policies allow for this. Learn how to create a communication site and select the default language.

2. All pages must be created in the default or primary language

The default language is especially important for multilingual sites because every page must be created in the default language. In other words, if your site language is English and you want the pages to also be available in French, you must create each page in English first and then make a French translation. You cannot have a French page that does not have a corresponding page in English.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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