Language Files & Localization

This article overviews how language files are used and managed in a Umbraco CMS website.
Language files are used to translate:
  • The Umbraco backoffice user interface so that end users can use Umbraco in their native language. This is particularly important for content editors who do not speak English.
  • The member identity errors in an Umbraco website enabling end users to use Umbraco in the website language.

Supported Languages

Current languages that are included in new Umbraco installations are:
  • English (UK)
  • English (US)
  • Danish
  • German
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Hebrew (Israel)
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Dutch
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Swedish
  • Chinese
  • Chinese (Taiwan)
  • Czech
  • Turkish
  • Welsh
  • Ukranian

Where to find the language files

Core language files

The core Umbraco language files are found at the following location within the Umbraco source:
These language files are the ones shipped with Umbraco and should not be modified.

Package language files

If you are a package developer, see here for docs on how to include translations for your own package, package language files are located in:
The App_Plugins version of the Lang directory is case sensitive on Linux systems, so make sure that it start with a capital L.

User language files

If you want to override Umbraco core translations or translations shipped with packages, you can do that too, these files are located here:
By default, these files are empty but you can add any new keys you want or override existing ones with your own translations. The nice part about the user files is that they will not get overwritten by the installer when you upgrade your Umbraco versions.
In order for these files to deploy when you do a dotnet publish, you need to add the following to your .csproj file:
<Content Include="config/**" CopyToOutputDirectory="Always" />

Using the language keys

Using core or custom language keys from your code:

From .NET

ILocalizedTextService is used to localize strings, and is available through dependency injection. First, inject the service, and then use the Localize() method available in the namespace Umbraco.Extensions to localize the string with the format [area]/[key]:
public MyClass(ILocalizedTextService textservice)
var localizedLabel = textservice.Localize("dialog/mykey");

From Angular

In the Umbraco backoffice UI, labels can be localized with the localize directive:
<localize key="dialog_myKey">Default value</localize>
The localize directive can also be used as an attribute like below where the value of the title attribute is then populated with the dictionary key "title_name" from the language file using "@title_name".
<button localize="title" title="@title_name">
<localize key="dialog_myKey">Default value</localize>
Or from a controller by using the LocalizationService which returns an async translation in a promise:

Help keep the language files up to date

As Umbraco is a continually evolving product it is inevitable that new text is added on a fairly regular basis to the English language version of these files. This may mean that some of the above languages are no longer up to date.
If a translation is missing, the key "alias" used will be shown within the user interface, as an example:
The language files are XML files with a straight-forward layout as seen below.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
<language alias="en" intName="English (UK)" localName="English (UK)" lcid="" culture="en-GB">
<name>The Umbraco community</name>
<area alias="actions">
<key alias="assignDomain">Culture and Hostnames</key>
<key alias="auditTrail">Audit Trail</key>
In the above example of a missing translation for "assignDomain", locate this string in the en.xml file and then copy the whole "Key" element into the relevant language file. Then you can translate the text, as an example here is the Spanish version of the above snippet:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
<language alias="es" intName="Spanish" localName="español" lcid="10" culture="es-ES">
<name>The Umbraco community</name>
<area alias="actions">
<key alias="assignDomain">Administrar hostnames</key>
<key alias="auditTrail">Auditoría</key>
If you do update any of the core language files or you add a new language, don't forget to help the rest of the community by submitting a pull request so that your changes are merged into the core.