Localization – or showing users with different language preferences content in their preferred language – is not SharePoint’s strongest suite. It never was, and probably will never be, unless Microsoft perfects Machine Translation at some point. And even then it would probably require extra subscription, as Cognitive Services APIs are not available (above the peasant-tier) for free now either. In this article I’ll go through a few survival strategies for multilingual organizations – and I’ll try to expand the content as more options pop up!
Please note, that this article revolves mostly around Classic SharePoint. Microsoft’s current implementation of Modern SharePoint offers little-to-nothing for a controlled localization. It offers a curious way to use MUI to offer multilingual chrome with non-localized content, and that’s about it… But some of my tips work in Modern, too.
Different out-of-the-box localization features in SharePoint
So, what can SharePoint do out-of-the-box? There are a couple of features one can use – let’s go through them!