implementing multi-lingual site

I've been asked to implement a multi-lingual Omeka site and have been pointed to the Bracero History Archive,, as an example. Does anyone have details about how their English/Spanish functionality was implemented?

One way I can imagine doing this would be to run two different Omeka sites pointing to the same database, with tweaks to set the theme based on the site.

I got a prototype working by copying the following to a subdirectory (eg, /XX):

  • db.ini
  • .htaccess
  • index.php
  • paths.php
  • themes

I didn't need to copy all omeka files because I could update paths.php to point to the parent directory.

Last step was to update XX/themes/themedir with the new language.

Hello Ben,
This looks like a very interesting approach. I am very interested in creating a multi-lingual site and would appreciate some more details on your methodology.

One idea for a quick way to create a multi-lingual site, which is definitely not a perfect option, is to add the Google Translate plugin. A dropdown menu appears in the site's footer, allowing the user to select which language they use when viewing your site.

This does not allow the site's creators to exercise much interpretative control in the translations, but it is an option.

It is an option, but like you said, not perfect, especially when grammar counts. It would be great to be able to specify a 'content' language when you create 1) A new collection 2) A new exhibit in ExhibitBuilder and 3) a new page with SimplePages. Right now I am trying to mimick this kind of functionality with tags. This of course only deals with the content of the pages and not the interface elements - which your internationalization development branch might be able to conquer eventually. Wouldn't it be great to be able to switch languages and have both interface and content switch at a click!

Hi everybody,

Melvin is right: "Wouldn't it be great to be able to switch languages and have both interface and content switch at a click! "

...any chance to see this implemented in the near future?

Thanks, and by the way, great work!

We're diligently working on the "interface" portion of this problem, but not the "content" side.

It's an interesting idea, but it's not something I'd hold my breath on for the new future.

Hi all,

Does anyone have suggestions or more details for implementing Ben's idea of two Omeka sites pointing to one database?

I'm trying to build a bilingual site, and have an english and spanish instance up and running. Where I'm stumped is how to get items created in one to also display in the other, so as to avoid duplicating item and metadata creation.


PS-thanks for the language abilities in 1.5!

Hi all
Someone have suggestions about a bilingual site?


Hi all...I found this tread looking for idea what is the best way of implementing bilingual sites as well. These conversations was 3 years ago, I wonder if anybody have successfully implementing bilingual site and don't mind to share the tricks/technics/tips on how to achieve it.

Thanks guys,


Hi Melania and everyone,

We are also starting a project which requires a bilingual site (metadata/content as well as interface) and are very interested in learning how others have achieved it!



Currently, the simplest is to install two instances of Omeka and to make some links between them. An old message in dev list may indicate that the next version of Omeka will be multilingual, but that should be confirmed by core team.


Daniel Berthereau
Infodoc & Knowledge management

Thanks Daniel.

I did a small plugin to allow to switch the language on the public interface.
Feedbacks are welcome!