Making a Language Pack for Joomla

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CORE language packs

Joomla! uses three language packages, one for the front end, one for the administrator and one for installation. Ideally you will create all three.

Files encoding

  • ALL FILES MUST BE SAVED AS UTF8 NO BOM (for non-ascii glyphs as in accented letters, etc.)


Many people find it helpful to use the Translation manager extension. This helps by automating the creation of the files.

Translation pack

A translation pack consists of an xml file, a blank index file and a set of *.ini files containing the language strings for your language. The easiest way to understand this structure is to look at the files in the language/en-GB folder of your Joomla! installation.

This is an excerpt from en-GB.mod_login.ini

 ENCRYPT LOGIN FORM=Encrypt Login Form
 FORGOT_YOUR_PASSWORD=Forgot your password?
 FORGOT_YOUR_USERNAME=Forgot your username?

To create a package for your language you change the strings to the right of the = signal.

Language naming convention

Language naming convention in Joomla are: language + ISO code.

Name of package should start with your language's ISO code + description + version:



The locale is used to sort translated lists when present on the server. Information on available locales may be found here.

Guidelines for developers

Guidelines for developers to facilitate translation: Language Guidelines for 3rd Party Extensions