Drupal 8 Translation

Back in November, I shared some useful advice in my post 5 Tips to Multilingual Site Translation in Drupal, and now I’m back with a rundown on the cool new features you can expect in Drupal 8 translation.

Before we get into the new [hotness] of Drupal 8 translation, though, I’d like to point out a fundamental change in the translation options compared to what Drupal 7 offered: Drupal 8 no longer supports node translation. In my opinion, this change is a no-brainer. Node translation required the duplication of nodes for every language you wanted available for your site. It made content editing much harder and it made managing static links to other sites’ content almost impossible. Entity translation was available in Drupal 7, but it’s standard in Drupal 8.

Entity translation gives you a few benefits out of the box:

  • No need to duplicate nodes. All translations are contained in one node.
  • The ability to share assets between languages (e.g. images, files, etc.) without the use of additional modules.
  • Simplified editing experience for multilingual content.

Now, onto the new and exciting Drupal 8 translation. Above all, translation in Drupal 8 is easier. No need to hunt for a bunch of contrib modules or fumble through config. Drupal 8 has translation built into core. Now some of you may be asking, “What does that mean?” Well, downloading modules—like i18n, i18nviews, Admin Language, and transliteration—is no longer necessary. These modules are built into the Drupal 8 translation system and are ready to go with just a few button clicks. Drupal 8 core ships with four multilingual modules: Configuration Translation, Content Translation, Interface Translation, and Language. After enabling these modules, you will be able to add languages to your site and configure them as needed. Among many nice features, one that stood out to me was the ability to select and configure all your translatable content and fields in one place.

Screen Shot of Drupal 8 Translation Configuration

In the above screen image, you can also see the depth of what’s translatable out of the box in Drupal 8. Everything from Content to Shortcut Links. Below, we take a closer look at the screen that gives you the ability to indicate what entities are translatable as well as which fields should be translated.

Drupal Screen Shot of Drupal 8 Translation Configuration

If you’ve heard me talk or write about translation in Drupal, you know I’m a huge fan of translation services, in particular Lingotek (an Oomph partner). Lingotek has a full release of their module for Drupal 8. Released in January 2016, version 8.x-1.2 is being used on 21 sites and counting.

While researching Drupal 8 translation, I came across a great post you should read by Gábor Hojsty, titled Drupal 8 Multilingual Tidbits. This is a comprehensive look at Drupal 8 translation and it even offers some insight into configuration management with translation. If I may also insert a bit of shameless self promotion, take a look back at that November post of mine, 5 Tips to Multilingual Site Translation in Drupal. It serves up some good general tips on Drupal translation, whether you are using Drupal 7 or 8.

In summary, Drupal 8 translation makes it much easier to get a multilingual Drupal site up and running right out of the box. Some may be looking for pointers on how to get started with Drupal 8 translation. I say the best way to get started is to play around with it. Install a test site at simplytest.me using their Drupal 8 Multilingual demo and take translation for a test drive—you won’t be disappointed.
To learn more about Drupal 8 translation and to get a full list of the new features in Drupal 8, please visit http://www.drupal8multilingual.org/features.