I have installed CiviCRM 4.7.2 on Joomla and then copied the French language file (l10n/fr_CA/LC_MESSAGES/civicrm.mo). This allowed me to change the default language to fr_CA and most of CiviCRM is now French.

Now I'm looking to install the French language database data file (civicrm_data.fr_CA.mysql) to have the countries, activities and many more strings in French, but it seems this can't be done once the install is complete? Is that right?

The only way I can think of to install this database file is to reinstall CiviCRM but by first replacing the original (English) civicrm_data.mysql file with the content of the civicrm_data.fr_CA.mysql file in the install package. Is this the only way? It feels like a strange hack and the i18n install guide does not mention this database file.


2 Answers 2


I managed to install CiviCRM in Joomla with the database translated strings, but I had to replace the civicrm_data.mysql file with the content of the civicrm_data.fr_CA.mysql file.

Here is what I did, step by step, in case someone else is trying to accomplish the same thing:

  1. Uncompressed both civicrm-4.7.2-joomla.zip and civicrm-4.7.2-l10n.tar.gz in /tmp
  2. Unzipped /tmp/com_civicrm/admin/civicrm.zip and deleted the zip file.
  3. Copied /tmp/civicrm/l10n/fr_CA/LC_MESSAGES/civicrm.mo into a newly created /tmp/com_civicrm/admin/civicrm/l10n/fr_CA/LC_MESSAGES/ directory.
  4. Copied /tmp/civicrm/sql/civicrm_data.fr_CA.mysql as /tmp/com_civicrm/admin/civicrm/sql/civicrm_data.mysql (overwriting the original file)
  5. Zipped directory /tmp/com_civicrm/admin/civicrm as /tmp/com_civicrm/admin/civicrm.zip and deleted the directory.
  6. Pointed Joomla to install from the /tmp/com_civicrm directory.
  7. Once installed, from Joomla's control panel, went to CiviCRM - Administer - Localization - Languages and changed the default language to français (Canada).

That's it! CiviCRM en français ! I don't know if there is an easier way, but that's the only solution I found working.


Indeed, the text that is created in the database needs to be set in the proper language at installation.

Once you have installed, you need to do it via the UI, one by one... painful

If you install the i18n folder *before" the installation, you have the option to choose the language you want and it will choose the correct mysql sql for that language behind the scene

How long have you used your civi? might be easier to re-install and import your contacts if you just started

  • I have only been tinkering in our dev environment, so I can easily re-install. In the civicrm.l10n.tar.gz file, there are two folders: l10n and sql. Where in the directory structure should I copy them?
    – Mathieu
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 12:15
  • just untar it in the root of your civi and it will install both
    – Xavier
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 14:13
  • After untaring the civicrm-l10n.tar.gz file, I copied the resulting civicrm directory under com_civicrm from the install package. In Joomla, I typed in the install directory name and then clicked "Install". After a minute, it comes back with "CiviCRM component files and database tables have been INSTALLED successfully" but I am never prompted for a language selection and the tables are created with English strings. I also tried copying the civicrm language directory under com_civicrm/admin and that didn't work either. Is it possible this only works on Drupal?
    – Mathieu
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 21:13
  • Looking at the configure.php from the Joomla installation zip, it seems to only be calling civicrm_source($sqlPath . DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR . 'civicrm_data.mysql');, never looking for a language version of this file. I guess it couldn't because it never prompts for a language while installing.
    – Mathieu
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 21:25

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