Drupal 8: New Multilingual Features

Last week I was in Dublin for Drupal Dev Days. While my main activity was conducting a Community Tools workshop on the Friday of the camp, I was there the whole week, while an intrepid team of people have been meeting up at the venue in the final sprint to the Drupal code freeze, which was on Monday, July 1st! (Holy cow!) One of the groups who has been plowing ahead at full steam is the Multilingual team. I even got to help out with some wording in one of the issues someone was working on. While I was chatting about multilingual with a number of people, it occurred to me that I haven't really taken a look at the work that has been done. So, as my next installment in our blog series exploring Drupal 8, that seems like a great place for me to poke about. (Note that this series is about Drupal 8, which is still very much a work in progress. Things are likely to continue to change, and we are just looking at snapshots of the work throughout this series.)

One of the great things about this initiative is that its leader, Gábor Hojtsy, has been super organized and communicative. He even has a website all about the Multilingual Initiative, where you can see what the goals are, what the progress has been, and how you can jump in and help out. When I decided to start exploring the current state of things, in addition to the below video of me kicking the tires a bit, I went to that site to get a pulse of things. In a series of blog posts, Gábor covers some of the main things going on:

  • Language is first in the installation process
  • Importing the language is automated for you
  • More core modules (fewer contrib will be needed)
  • English is now entirely optional
  • More flexible language detection and selection options
  • "Special" languages for the fuzzy areas (Core comes with "Not applicable" and "Not specified" now, and you can add more)

If you've ever had to deal with a non-English or multilingual site, this is a pretty sweet list of improvements. So, here is my video tinkering around with things a bit, even though I don't know exactly what I'm doing.

You should give this a spin as well, and if you are interested in the translations part of this work, you should read the Drupal 8 alpha releases are out - what does this mean for translators? post that explains why we can't really start translating quite yet, and the work we still need to do to get there.

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