We need CiviCRM Member Form in six or more different languages. The site will be in three languages, but we want the Member Form to be in as many languages as possible. I can't find any information about CiviCRM multilingual support, except for a few random sentences in the documentation that indicate multilingual is supported. Where can I find more information about the set-up, user interface and languages that are supported. Does multilingual implementation require an extension?
i think you are right that there is not a lot of information about this currently. Multiple language can be enabled on the Localisation screen ie at http://d46.demo.civicrm.org/civicrm/admin/setting/localization?reset=1
Some documentation about it is here http://gitbook.civicrm.org/the-civicrm-community/localising-civicrm.html http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=88408149
Once multiple languages have been enabled, when you are creating eg a Contribution Form you should see new green buttons next to fields that will allow you to provide a translation of the text.
NOTE: we have had issues when trying to run CiviCRM with more than 2 or 3 languages so you need to test this on a dev site of course.
RANDOM IDEA: I haven't thought about this previously but if you are using Drupal then there may be options to provide alternative language versions of a webform_civicrm form that is connected to your Member Form
As Peter has said, CiviCRM's current support for multiple languages is restricted by the underlying architecture. Basically an extra column is added to the tables for each field that needs to be represented in the additional language. For example if 5 languages are enabled then the table could have 5 times more columns. The issue with this is that mysql has a restriction on rowsize and therefore once you enable these extra languages and start populating the text for them you may find issue with DB failures when attempting to use the administrative interface to populate that information. At the moment there isn't a workaround to this problem within CiviCRM but as Peter's highlighted you could look at having WebForm do something based on language.