Both English and French are enabled under Languages Options.

However, I have yet to see the green buttons several posts have mentioned.

For the email greeting, I had attempted to use the solution proposed by a German user. In French one uses Cher and Chère, but this does not work.

{capture assign=l}{contact.preferred_language}
{/capture}{capture assign=g}{contact.gender}{/capture}
{if $l="fr_CA"}
   {if $g="Female"}Chère{else}Cher{/if} 
{contact.first_name} {contact.last_name}

All I get is Network Error.

1 Answer 1


Languages options allow you to limit the preferred language for your contacts. It's not related to multilingual setting.

To enable multilingual, you need to go to :

  • menu Administer -> Localization -> Language, Currency, Locations
  • go to the latest section "Multiple Languages Support", check the box "Enable Multiple Languages" (this will change the structure of your database so do a backup first) and Save
  • go to this page again, and you should see a "Add Language" with a dropdown list : choose one and Save

Now you should be in multilingual mode and should see the green/grey buttons where applicable.

Concerning "email greeting", i think you need to enable smarty in this context. Try to add in your civicrm_settings.php (see also https://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Smarty+in+mail+templates) :

define( 'CIVICRM_MAIL_SMARTY', 1 );
  • I tried the Enable Multiple Language Support. Thank goodness it was my sandbox site. It started creating new tables and blew up in the middle. I will revisit this after a few more versions go by.
    – Codedogs
    Sep 9, 2017 at 0:44
  • Just to let you know, we use the multilingual option with dozens of CiviCRM installations and i haven't seen any crash while changing the unilingual / multilingual option for years. The problem might be with your hosting provider (timeout ?). In any case, if you don't give a more detailed report of what went wrong, there is very little chances that we could help you / resolve the problem. You might want to go to chat.civicrm.org -> translation channel to have specific support about it.
    – samuelsov
    Sep 12, 2017 at 15:39
  • Pretty certain it was a timeout. Any suggestions to get around this?
    – Codedogs
    Sep 13, 2017 at 19:32
  • Depending on your hosting, you might be able to raise the limit by adding in your civicrm.settings.php : ini_set('max_execution_time', 120); // 120 is the number of seconds your php script could take. If you got a blank screen and want to see the exact error, you can add to your civicrm.settings.php : ini_set('display_errors',1); ini_set('display_startup_errors',1);
    – samuelsov
    Sep 19, 2017 at 13:35
  • It could also be a hosting limitation on triggers or views. Difficult to speculate without the exact error message (which should be in your ConfigAndLog directory).
    – bgm
    Nov 29, 2017 at 15:30

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