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Overview of multilingual features in SharePoint

If your organization spans a diverse population, you may want to make user interface elements of your site or page and news content available in different languages. To do this, you can use the multilingual features in SharePoint. The features described here are not automatic translation tools, but the multiple language interface feature changes the display language for the user interface, while page translations lets you choose to create multiple versions of source content that you can then manually translate. 

Multiple language user interface

Use the multiple language interface (MUI) feature to create sites in languages other than the default language for SharePoint. The user interface of your site refers to the elements on your screen that you use to interact with SharePoint, such as the menus, the navigation items, and the recycle bin. Once you've chosen the languages to make available, users who have changed their personal language and region settings will see the site interface in their preferred language.

User interface elements include:

  • Site title and description

  • SharePoint default menus

  • Default columns

  • Custom columns (list or site)

  • Navigation bar links

  • Managed metadata services

  • The Content Editor web part on classic publishing pages

The MUI feature changes only the display language for default UI elements. Custom UI elements that you have added are not translated.

To learn more about the MUI feature, see Choose the languages for a SharePoint site user interface.

Multilingual communication sites, pages, and news

If you're working on a communication site, we recommend using modern multilingual features. You can use the page translation tools for communications sites to create copies of your default language page that can be manually translated for display on different language sites. To learn how to use this feature, see Create multilingual communication sites, pages, and news.

Classic multilingual features

If you are using SharePoint server versions earlier than SharePoint Server 2019, you can use the variations feature. See Using the variations feature for multilingual sites.


  • Beginning September 2018 the Machine Translation Services are being deprecated in Microsoft SharePoint. The Machine Translation Services can still be used but coding against them in Visual Studio results in a warning. This change will not impact any previously created variation labels or the ability to schedule translation activities or workflows based on previously created variation labels. If you create new variation labels no translation will be available for the labels. The steps impacted by this change have been noted below.

  • Instead of using on-demand, manual translation services, we recommend using Bing translation APIs. The Machine Translation Server API will be marked as deprecated but will be available through the SharePoint CSOM for now. You can find out more about the API in this article on Machine Translation Services in SharePoint.

See Also

Overwrite site translations

Create a new subsite in a different language in SharePoint Server

Change regional settings for a site

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