We live in a world where cultural and country boundaries, while still important, are blurred by the Internet’s capability to connect two people who are geographically thousands of miles apart and enable them to communicate through text, voice, and video. The visitors who come to our websites may be our next-door neighbors or they may live half a world away. Catering to those who live beyond our region and do not share our native tongue is now more commonplace than ever. Website designers who break through the language barriers on their sites may attract audiences that they never dreamed of having in the past, and Drupal 8 makes that possibility a reality through its built-in multilingual capabilities.
Getting Started with Multilingual
The first step in creating a website with multilingual support is to determine which languages you wish to publish content in. Drupal 8 provides the capability to render your site in nearly any language spoken on the planet. Drupal does not do the actual translation of the content; rather, it facilitates the translation by providing the mechanisms that enable visitors to select which language they wish to see (from the list that you offer), and then rendering content that has been previously translated by humans into that language. After you determine the list of languages that you wish to support, the next step is to enable the multilingual modules that are part of Drupal 8 core. Visit the module administration page by clicking the Manage link in the admin menu at the top of the page, followed by the Extend link in the secondary menu. Scroll down the page until you see the list of multilingual modules that are part of Drupal 8. Most Drupal developers enable these modules even if the site is not multilingual.
Configuration Translation provides the ability to translate elements of your site such as the site name, vocabularies, menus, blocks, and other configuration related text on your site. The Content Translation module handles all of the content-related text, such as articles. The Interface Translation module provides an easy-to-use interface for translating elements of your site that are static strings, such as form labels, and the Language module is the module that enables the definition of which languages your site supports. Check all of the modules in the Multilingual category and then click the “Save configuration” button.
Configuring Multilingual Capabilities
The next step in the process is to configure the multilingual capabilities of Drupal 8. Start by navigating to the Configuration page. Click the Manage link in the admin menu, followed by the Configuration link in the secondary menu. On the Configuration page, scroll down until you see the Regional And Language section.