I've been trying to work with CiviCRM 4.7 on Wordpress 4.7 in Bahasa Indonesia, and have been struggling a bit. I came across this post: localization on wordpress, which was somewhat helpful.

My quandary is this: I (like a lot of folks it seems) installed CiviCRM in English, and later went back to make it a multi-lingual site, and added the l10n and sql files for local languages. After doing some research, it seems as though the consensus is to install it in the local language from the get-go. However, now that I've already installed in English, and want to add a language, what is the best way forward?

I understand that one reason behind starting localization from the install is that the sql files help to populate option groups, message templates, etc. when CiviCRM is freshly installed. Is there some way, short of a total reinstall to essentially do a "refresh" so that these settings can be copied into the database?

2 Answers 2


To change it to the local language you do not need to make it a multi-lingual site as far as CiviCRM is concerned? I assume you mean that you installed the language pack. If you then want to change the language of your CiviCRM install you go to Administer/Localization/Languages,Currencies,Locations and change the language to what you want it to be. Unless I have completely misunderstood your question, but then you might want to expand a little on what you want exactly :-)

  • Hi ErikH - sorry for the lack of specificity. I understand that I don't need to make a site multi-lingual, and could use it in a single language, whether that be English or another language. I did install the language files, in both the l10n and sql folders (siteroot/wp-content/uploads/plugins/civicrm/civicrm/l10n and .../civicrm/sql). However, doing so fails to update the system workflow message templates into the new language I've added, which is what I'm after. I assume that this is the precise reason most folks seem to recommend installing the foreign language at the start.
    – Justin
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 12:36
  • Exactly :-), or translate the workflow message templates manually. Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 16:50
  • So to move forward I need to...backup my files and DB > deactivate and delete the CiviCRM plugin from WordPress > place CiviCRM files with language files back in the plugin folder on the server > reinstall CiviCRM, choosing the local language during the install? Sorry if I'm being dense, but this just seems like a very roundabout way of getting CiviCRM to recognize that there are new .mo and sql files in the system.
    – Justin
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 5:30
  • Hi Justin, I have no idea, never dealt with the issue myself. I would indeed re-install. I agree it is a very roundabout way and I look forward to your community contribution to improve it :-) Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 8:06

In the end, I created a separate installation of CiviCRM in the local language, and then exporting the tables identified in the localization SQL file, and porting them into my original, English-based install. This was particularly important to ensure all of the dropdown options, not just the nav menus, were translated. Seems to have done the trick!

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