Adding a new language to Magento

October 17, 2011

OK, this one is really easy and short.Magento Commerce

Adding a new language to Magento can’t be easier than this. One thing I have noticed is that it’s really easier in this case to not use Magento Connect Manager. Sometimes it doesn’t work and for this specific case, it might easy to do it by hand so, let’s get started:

  1. Go to the site: and download the proper language that you are looking for.
  2. Extract and upload the files you downloaded to your Magento’s root directory. Keep in mind it will upload files to your app folder in Magento, but unless you try with a language that you already have there, it won’t overwrite anything as it’s a new language.
  3. Once you finish uploading, go to your Magento’s Admin.
  4. Go to: System>Manage Stores.
  5. Click on “Create A Store View”.
  6. Once there comes the really important thing: Put the name you want for the “Name” field, but in your “Code” field, make sure you enter your main theme followed by a “_” (underscore) and then the name of the language you want to use. Even if you used a new template that you did or purchase it would be under a main template type (default or base). Let’s say you have a new template you purchased called “MAG0873″ and its folder resides under “default”. Also, let’s say you installed Spanish language, then you would put “default_spanish” in this field.
  7. Save it and now go to:  System>Configuration.
  8. There, select your new Store View name from the “Current Configuration Scope” item in the top left column.
  9. Now, go to the option: General>Locale.
  10. After that, uncheck the option “Use Website” and make sure you change “Locale” field to the language you downloaded (be specific according to the dropdown list!).
  11. Save it after changing it and now clean your cache and refresh your FrontEnd.
Now, few important things:
If you didn’t deactivate the original Store View a new dropdown will appear in the FrontEnd to change the language and the new Store View’s Name will appear there. Once you select it, the entire template should switch its language.
It might happen it switches language but, it also shows old/default template, well, no worries, this means you need to set up your new Store View to use the proper template according to your design set up. The next steps are specific for the persons who install templates through the System>Design option as I do (which I think is the easier and faster way).
  1. Go to System>Design
  2. Add a new Design.
  3. In the “Store” field, select the new Store View you recently created.
  4. Now select the “Custom Design” you previously installed in your system.
  5. Save it.
Now, your store should be using the proper design in the proper Store View (language).
Ok, now it happens that the hoe page doesn’t show exactly as you had it on the original (English) language? Well, it might be happening that the Home page is set up for an specific Store View. To fix it, just go to CMS>Pages, now click on the “Home” record (assuming you are using default settings that come with Magento) and then in its options make sure you have “Store View”  field set up to “All Store Views”. Save it now.
Remember all of these changes require to either have cache off or just refresh your cache, so go ahead and do it if necessary and refresh your home page, it should be displaying properly now, right?
I hope this helps you all.

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20 Responses to Adding a new language to Magento

  1. Amir Amin on October 31, 2011 at 10:27 am

    You are really the one.

    Many thanks, And i wish GOD bless you

  2. Thanks on December 6, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Perfect! Thanks man it was simple and easy! Nr. 6 tip is what everyone forget to explain for beginners. Very useful post!

  3. Mattiz on January 7, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Excellent! Very helpfull

  4. Adam on April 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Hi – I am getting a ‘Page not found’ error when I select the French option from the dropdown box.

    Any ideas would be warmly received as I am at my wits end with this thing.


    • Helder Martins on April 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm


      Unfortunately I can’t help you too much as there is not much information on what exactly was done to get that ‘Page Not Found’, however, I would recommend checking the cache and trying to clear it out and if that doesn’t work, proceed to hard delete the cache, by deleting manually the content of the folder var/cache inside your Magento installation.

  5. Ghazanfar on September 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I accidentally deleted default Website Name, Store Name and Store View Name. Is there anyway to recreate/recover them so it will match the original values?

    • Helder Martins on September 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      I don’t think so. I would try copying those files over from the source file that you download from Magento, but I’m not sure that will work. I suggest reinstalling from scratch.

  6. Ghazanfar on September 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I am using Magento 1.7

  7. Benja on October 19, 2012 at 4:53 am


    So easy this way… I dont know why I always use Magento Connect…

  8. Naeem Akhtar on January 9, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Followed each step, but the newly added language not appearing in dropdown menu? Have no clue what went wrong.

    • Helder Martins on January 9, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Try clearing Magento’s cache and browser’s cache. If that doesn’t work, manually clean var/cache folder in Magento’s installation folder.

      • Naeem Akhtar on January 10, 2013 at 4:29 am

        how to convert whole website into hindi.

        • Helder Martins on March 15, 2013 at 10:25 am

          I’m sorry, I’m not sure I can help you with that. I guess it would be following up the steps and downloading the hindi language file, but I don’t know if it exists.

  9. Naeem Akhtar on January 10, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Hi Helder Martins,

    Thanks. Now it shows the language (Hindi (India)) in drop down, but the problem is, it only convert Rs. into hindi characters, remaining website is in the default (English) language. Unable to find any solution to convert whole website into Hindi language. Please help. Thanks.

  10. Sara on March 15, 2013 at 9:28 am


    Thanks a lot Helder for this superb article. I have followed every step and things working fine except for not all words are translated into German (Germany). Some are translated and some remain in English. Please reply, what are possible measurements to be taken for this..?

    Its really urgent. Thanks a lot once again.

    • Helder Martins on March 15, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Hello Sara,

      Some of the items in Magento in my experience do not translate with the language file. It is possible that you will have to get directly into the code or use the tag feature that is built in, to change some of the things manually.

  11. Heriberto Torrado on May 14, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Tranks a million.
    This works like a charm.


  12. on June 24, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Thanks for the useful information!
    In a new Magento shop, is it better to add all the categories and products before or after adding languages?

    • Helder Martins on June 25, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Well I think it shouldn’t really matter, because either way you will have to enter their different languages names, so basically the order you do it won’t really matter.

  13. stefan birnstingl on January 15, 2014 at 4:19 am

    hey :) )))) thank u so much! i tried so much before – now it worked :)

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