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Screen languages 15.png

In the Language Manager you can configure the available languages installed. You can set a default language displayed to new users, though Joomla! allows registered users to select a preferred language in the front-end.

Version Changes

In Joomla! 1.0.x the Language Manager was accessible from Site -> Language Manager -> Site Languages menu item. As only the front-end was localized in Joomla! 1.0.x, only the site languages were listed. The published language was selected in the Language drop down list of the Locale tab in the Global Configuration screen.

In Joomla! 1.5 a language is a type of extensions, so the Language Manager was moved to the Extensions menu.

Column Headers

Both the Site and Administrator tabs have the following column titles

  • Language Name The names of the installed languages on this web site.
  • Default The default language of the site, marked with a yellow graphical asterisk in this column.
  • Version The version number of the installed language.
  • Date This is the creation date of the language.
  • Author The name of the language translator is displayed in this column
  • Author E-mail The e-mail address of the translator

These details are fetched from the XML file included in the language pack.

Typical Usage

Language Manager is available by clicking its icon in the Control Panel of the administration back-end or from the Extensions -> Language Manager menu item.

To set the default language, choose the radio button of the preferred language and click on the Default toolbar icon in the top right corner.

New languages are installed with the help of the Extension Manager, then they appear in the Language Manager for configuration. You can select either Site or Administrator to display the languages for these interfaces. You can set the site in one language and administration to another. Individual articles can also be configured to use a different language (in the Advanced Parameter pane when editing the article).

Quick Tips

You can switch between the already installed languages for the Site and the Administrator by selecting the desired language and clicking on the Default icon on the upper right part of the screen.

Points to Watch

The switching between the languages does not respect the users presettings in User Manager. If you switch to another language, the user can view the site on that language they have preset in their user settings.

Important: Do not delete the default language files by using FTP because it issues in error both of frontend and backend!


The languages listed in the Language Manager can be installed in the Extension Manager from Extensions -> Install/Uninstall menu item. The unnecessary languages can be removed on the Languages tab of the Extension Manager.

When several languages are installed, the default interface language can be overridden by a registered user on the Edit Your Details screen opened from User Menu -> Your Details menu item in the front-end after logging in. Users with administration privileges (managers, administrators and super administrators) can select the language of the back-end as well.

The selected language is displayed for the appropriate user in User Manager parameters.