How to structure a multilingual community


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #1

Let’s try build an overview of the different ways in which you can organise a bilingual community. This is definitely not an exhaustive list yet, so please share your examples.

“Other languages” category with sub-categories for specific languages

Alongside your ordinary categories, make one category for “Other Languages”. Add one sub-category for every other language you want to cater to.


  • Clean separation between languages
  • Can potentially use category-restricted tags as a 3rd level of categorisation, creating localised tags like “Artesano” (“Artisan”) that mimic the top level categories.


  • Multilingual speakers need to keep track of two of more categories with identical content (as far as they’re concerned)

Forum-wide language tags

Create a global tag for each language you’d like to support on your forum. Encourage users to tag their posts with the language they’re using.


  • No need for an extra set of categories
  • Multilingual speakers don’t need to keep up with multiple categories for the same type of topics.


  • Tags are hard to enforce. There’s no guarantee that when you’re browsing the French tag you’re actually seeing all French-speaking topics.

Advice for bilingual communities
Advice for bilingual communities
Multi-language forum (2 questions)
Best set up for multilingual forums?
Localized categories plugin
(Christoph) #2

I think have quite an elegant version of the “other languages” category. They use several such categories for different languages and added a language bar above the header (via css I suppose, but they forgot to add it to the mobile css).

They even managed to somehow exclude the language categories from the “all categories” page (also via CSS?) And also the “latest” page seems free of non-english topics, but that may be because there are non at the moment.

However, another downside of this solution is clearly that the illusion of beeing on, for example, a German WD forum is shattered when you click on “latest” because what you get are not the latest German posts.

(Michael Howell) #3

Is there anybody who uses completely separate instances of Discourse for multi-lingual communities? This seemed like the most obvious way to do it (especially since you can set each language-subcommunity to default to use the same language in the Discourse UI).

(Thiago Machado Da Silva) #4

I’m setting them up, but I do:

and so on… they are in a multisite configuration

I prefer that each one has a link to each others in the Header (the one has)


I like your approach. How you did it?

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #6

There’s nothing special to @swfsql’s approach.

  1. Set up a dedicated Discourse forum for each language. No need for a multisite configuration.
  2. Use a theme component like Custom Header Links or Brand header theme component to create the menu you need.