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Select and changing the language

You can control the multiple language-specific settings within the portal.

Change the default portal language

After the installation you can change the default language of the portal.

To do this, use the Global Settings portlet.

Select Administration, Portal settings, Global Settings. From the pull down list, select the desired default language for the portal.

This can be, for example, en for English. For a list of languages supported by the portal refer to the topic about Language support.

The Global Settings portlet does not work in portal cluster configurations. For portal clusters set the portal default language in the portal Localizer service by using the administrative console. For details about how to set the language refer to the topic about Setting service configuration properties.


A portlet can support one or more locales. All portlets must have their own default language specified in the deployment descriptor. Otherwise the portlet cannot be installed.

Change titles for pages

You can edit titles for pages in the portlet for Managing Pages using the configure option for the locale specific settings. Select Administration, Portal User Interface, Manage pages. Click the Edit Page Properties icon, expand the Advanced options, and select the option for setting page titles and descriptions. You can enter a different title for each available language.

Language selection by the user

The user can select the preferred language for rendering portal content during the enrollment process. The user can select from a list of available languages. If required, the user can later change the selected language in the self care portlet by selecting Edit My Profile. The selection list shown to the user for choosing a language shows all available portal languages.

The user's language selection does not become effective until after the user has logged in.

Language determined by the portal

The portal determines the language for rendering the portal content by a search process along the following sequence at login time:

  1. The language encoded in the URL takes highest priority. The portal does not encode a locale into the URL by default. However, you can add code to the JSPs to support dynamic language selection. For details about this refer to Dynamically changing the language during the session.

  2. If the user has logged in, the portal displays in the preferred language selected and stored in the user repository by the user.

  3. If no preferred user language can be found, the portal looks for the language defined in the user's browser. If the portal supports that language, it displays the content in that language. If the browser has more than one language defined, the portal uses the first language in the list to display the content.

  4. If no browser language can be found, for example if the browser used does not send a language, the portal resorts to its own default language.

  5. If the user has a portlet that does not support the language that was determined by the previous steps, that portlet is shown in its own default language.

The sequence listed above describes the language selection process that is applied for each user at logon time. For pages viewed by anonymous users only the last three steps for determining the language apply. This applies, for example, before login and after log off.

The language determined by this selection process is applied to the complete portal. If the portal or one component does not find the appropriate resources for the language as selected by this sequence, it tries to find the resources in a similar language.

For example, if the determined language was US English (en_US), the next closest option is English (en).

This search sequence applies to all portal components individually down to portlets. For example, if a portlet does not support the language selected by the portal, it is shown in default language of the portlet.

This way, the portal can show individual portlets in different languages.

If a page does not support any of the languages determined by the steps above, then the object ID of the page is displayed in the navigation rather than its title. Such an object ID can be, for example, 7_0_5T .

Parent topic:

Language support

Related concepts

Set the language fallback filter

Related tasks

Dynamically changing the language during the session

Related information

Supporting a new language
Changing the character set for a language