Using a language pack in Moodle-stage How to apply a language pack to a Moodle-stage site
1. Go to the site in Moodle-stage (http://moodle-stage.une.edu.au). It should look just like a
2. Click on ‘Edit settings’ in the settings block.
3. Scroll down the settings page to the language section.
4. Where it says ‘Force language’, choose the language pack you want to apply from the drop-
down list. If the language you want is not in the list, it has not been installed yet. Contact
Cate or Louise at email@example.com to request it.
5. Click the ‘Save changes’ button at the bottom.
6. The menus, buttons and options should be in the new language. In this case I chose Chinese. How a language pack works
You’ll notice some things have not been translated. This is because of the way Moodle builds the web page and uses the language pack. A language pack is just a long list of placeholders with the phrase that should appear for that placeholder. Packs for different languages will have the same placeholders but the text each placeholder equates to differs between the packs. The page looks up these placeholders when it is built and gets the different text based on which language pack it was given.
For instance, at the top of the page under the Moodle logo is the crumb trail. The left-most part in English reads as ‘My home’. The page uses a placeholder here (call it X). In the Chinese language pack there is also a placeholder X, which equates to the text ‘我的主页’. In German, the placeholder
X has the text ‘Meine Startseite’, and so on for each language. Changing the language pack just
substitutes the values of these placeholders. Moodle does not use a translation engine. When you enter text as a user, you can’t enter these placeholders. They are done in the programming code. Anything you enter as a user is kept exactly as you type it. Hence the English activities and unit codes when the site has been changed to Chinese. Pictures are also not translated.
Language packs can be customised. If you find a translation that could be improved, it can be overridden. Moodle looks for these overrides first, before checking the main language pack. Similarly, for new parts of the program, a language pack can be created so it can change language with any sites it appears on. The ‘Quick site search’ box in the top left corner of the screen shots currently
doesn’t have other language packs but theoretically could.
The language packs found at http://download.moodle.org/langpack/2.3/ (which are the ones we are
using) are an open-source project. This means they can be used free of charge and are built on donated time and effort by the Moodle community. If you wanted to contribute translations, please contact us.
If you want a particular site to have multiple languages, please note that the language pack itself can’t be changed for different sections of the unit’s site. If you want different languages appearing at the same time on the screen, they would have to be entered as the kind of fixed text that doesn’t get translated at all.
You’re probably well aware of translation engines on the web and their varying accuracies. While I
was experimenting with the language packs my browser (Chrome) conveniently offered to translate
the site to English.
Translated to English
The translation’s a bit flawed but it is close enough to make the question much easier than it was for