Language configuration

This page describes how language is configured in Magnolia.

Setting an editor’s language preference

To set a user’s language preference:

  1. Open the Security app (Apps > Security).

    Type security in the Find Bar.
  2. Select the user profile you wish to edit.

  3. Click Edit user.

  4. Select a language from the Language dropdown.

When the user signs in the next time, the UI is displayed in their preferred language.

Available system languages

System languages are configured in Configuration > /server/i18n/system. Each locale has language and country properties that define the locale when combined. This allows you to define regional variations such as zh-TW for traditional Chinese or pt-BR for Brazilian Portuguese.

      fallbackLanguage: en
          enabled: true
          language: en
          enabled: true
          language: pt
          country: BR
          enabled: true
          language: pt
          country: CN
          enabled: true
          language: zh
          country: TW
          enabled: true
          language: zh
From Magnolia 6.2.4, both Java 8 and Java 7 locale IDs are supported in configuration.

Fallback language

One of the languages is always a fallback language. If no target language content is found, the system displays content in the fallback language instead.

Enabling multilanguage content

To enable multilanguage content:

  1. Enable multilanguage authoring.

  2. Set i18n=true:

    1. In form fields.

    2. On content type properties.

  3. Define locales for the site.

Enable multilanguage authoring in /server/i18n/authoring. This allows editors to enter the same content in multiple languages.

      class: info.magnolia.multisite.i18n.MultiSiteI18nAuthoringSupport
      enabled: true
Property Description


required, default is true

Enables multilanguage content entry.



A class that implements info.magnolia.ui.api.i18n.I18NAuthoringSupport such as:

  • info.magnolia.ui.framework.i18n.DefaultI18NAuthoringSupport supports multilanguage content entry for one site.

  • info.magnolia.multisite.i18n.MultiSiteI18nAuthoringSupport supports multilanguage content entry for many sites (DX Core). This class reads the available locales (languages) from the site definitions. So you need to define them for each site.

Set i18n=true

In form fields

Set the i18n property to true in all fields where you want to enter multilanguage content.

Example: Multilanguage content is enabled for the title text field.

      $type: textField
      i18n: true

On content type properties

Add the i18n property with the true value to all content type model properties where you want to enter multilanguage content.

Example: The text field description is enabled for multilanguage content entry.

  workspace: tourvehicles
  rootPath: /
  autoCreate: true
    - name: description
      i18n: true

Define locales for the site

Define the languages that editors should be able to choose as locales in the site definition under <site>/i18n/locales.

Example: en, de and cs locales in an example test site definition.

    enabled: true
    class: info.magnolia.cms.i18n.DefaultI18nContentSupport
    fallbackLocale: en
    defaultLocale: cs
        country: CZ
        language: cs
        enabled: true
        country: DE
        language: de
        enabled: true


Property Description


optional, default is false

Enables support for localized content. Used to rewrite URIs and getting nodes based on the current language.



Class that implements info.magnolia.cms.i18n.I18nContentSupport such as:

  • info.magnolia.cms.i18n.DefaultI18nContentSupport which supports a language prefix such as /en/* in the URL and stores localized content in a node using the naming pattern <name><locale>, for example subtitle_en.
    Use this implementation if your site is organized into a single tree, in which the locale prefix usually points to the root of a site.

  • info.magnolia.cms.i18n.HierarchyBasedI18nContentSupport which stores and serves localized content in a hierarchical structure.
    Use this implementation if your site is organized into multiple trees, in which site roots are usually named after the locales.

  • info.magnolia.cms.i18n.RequestLocaleAwareI18nContentSupport which reads the locale from the request. This implementation does not render language specific URLs.


optional, default is en

Content is served for the fallback locale if content is not available for the current locale.



If no locale can be determined, the default locale will be set. If no default locale is defined, the fallback locale is used.





Locale ID that consists of language and country such as zh-TW for traditional Chinese or pt-BR for Brazilian Portuguese.



Country code such as BR for Brazil. See Java 8 locale IDs.



Language code such as pt for Portuguese. See Java 8 locale IDs.


optional, default is false

Enables the locale.

Configure locales for the fallback site

If i18n is enabled in the configuration of your content app, you need to configure locales for the fallback site or extend a site definition with locales.

Then, when editing structured content, the locales of the fallback site will be used while showing the language dropdown.

Once multilanguage content entry is enabled, the page editor displays a language dropdown.

Authoring language selector

When you select a language from the dropdown, dialogs show a language identifier such as fr next to field labels. This makes it clear what language editors should be entering.

The language identifier is not displayed for the fallback locale, unless the i18n property is set to true in the definition of the given dialog. For example, if your fallback locale is English you won’t see (en) next to the field label.

English as fallback language

Displaying the locale dropdown and a locale identifier in the dialog is Magnolia’s default way to let editors choose a language. You can implement your own alternative such as separate tabs for each language. If the number of supported languages is not very large, the tab approach works well. The default approach works with any number of languages while keeping UI changes minimal.

The Content Translation Support module allows you to export and re-import page content in translation-friendly CSV and Excel formats.

Storing and serving localized content

Magnolia stores translated content in the repository and serves it at a language-specific URL such as Language variations are stored in a single content hierarchy. You have the option to disable the localized content storage and create a separate site hierarchy for each locale instead.

Enable i18n content support in /server/i18n/content.

      enabled: true
Property Description


required, default is true

Enables multilanguage content storage and delivery.



Class that implements info.magnolia.cms.i18n.I18nContentSupport such as:

  • info.magnolia.cms.i18n.DefaultI18nContentSupport supports multilanguage content for one site.

  • supports multilanguage content for many sites (DX Core). This class reads the available locales (languages) from the site definitions. So you need to define them for each site.

One hierarchy or many

Magnolia can store multilanguage content in a single JCR content node. This means you only need one site hierarchy even if you serve content in many languages. However, there are cases when you may want to create language specific sites. See: Multilanguage structure.

If you go with the default one-hierarchy strategy, translations are stored as separate properties under a single content node. In the example below, a Text and Image component is translated into English, German and French. The system creates subtitle and text properties for each language under the 01 component node. Each property is suffixed with a language identifier: _de or _fr. Since English is the default locale (defaultLocale) on this site, no _en suffix is used.

    imageLocation: left
    subtitle: Translation
    subtitle_de: Übersetzung
    subtitle_fr: Traduction
    text: <p>Translation of the user interface text is a community-supported project.</p>
    text_de: <p>&Uuml;bersetzung der Benutzeroberfl&auml;che Text ist eine Gemeinde unterst&uuml;tzt das Projekt.</p>
    text_fr: <p>Traduction du texte de l&#39;interface utilisateur est un projet soutenu de la communaut&eacute;.</p>

Language-specific URL

Localized content is served to visitors at a URL that identifies the locale:

Locale URL

Default locale




Correspondingly, the HTML element on the public page identifies the language with standard lang and xml:lang attributes.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html xml:lang="en" lang="en" class="no-js">

Magnolia does not redirect visitors to the localized URL automatically. You need to configure this behavior on the Web server. There are various strategies how you might want to do this but these are not provided out-of-the-box:

  • Allow the visitor to select a language or region from a dropdown, then redirect them to the correct URL. This is a common strategy on airline websites. Airlines serve customers in many countries and languages and allow users to select their home country regardless of where in the world they happen to be.

  • Detect the visitor’s origin from their IP or the referring page, then redirect them to the localized site.

  • Detect the visitor’s preferred locale from their browser settings, then redirect them to the localized site.

UTF-8 page names

Magnolia supports UTF-8 character encoding for Unicode. UTF-8 is able to represent any character in the Unicode standard and is backwards compatible with ASCII.

To enable UTF-8 character encoding in page names:

  1. For JBoss AS, add the following section in standalone.xml or domain.xml right after the extensions section.

    standalone.xml or domain.xml
            <property name="org.apache.catalina.connector.URI_ENCODING" value="UTF-8"/>
            <property name="org.apache.catalina.connector.USE_BODY_ENCODING_FOR_QUERY_STRING" value="true"/>
  2. Enable Unicode support for content node and page names. Set the magnolia.utf8.enabled property in a file.
    # Activate UTF-8 support to pages
    magnolia.utf8.enabled=true (1)
    1 This allows you to use a variety of non-ASCII characters in node names.
    The value must be the same on both the author and public instance. Publication between instances with a different UTF-8 setting is not supported.

Sites built using Magnolia Templating Essentials templates identify the encoding as UTF-8 with an HTML meta element.

<meta charset="utf-8">

Al Arabiya is an example of an Arabic language site built with Magnolia. The Arabic script is written from right to left a cursive style. The characters are included in UTF-8.

Arabic language site built with Magnolia


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