Multilingual support in SharePoint 2007 – Product language VS Language template packs

    There is two easy and important concepts in SharePoint 2007 that we always use but sometimes we don’t know the exact difference between Product language and language template pack:

  • Product language

Which means the language that you will administer your farm with (Central Administration interface language), when you buy your version of SharePoint DVD; you specify the SharePoint product language, note that:

    1. ONLY ONE language can be used to administering your farm.
    2. If you want to change the language of the farm, you have to un-install and re-install SharePoint from all the farm servers.
    3. The product language doesn’t have to be same as the hosting Windows server language (adding the necessary language support from Controls panel—> Regional and Language Settings will be enough for this purpose).
    4. You may find problems when dealing with stsadm command with multilingual websites; the messages appear as rubbish in the command prompt(CMD doesn’t support Arabic messages ), check to solve this problem

  • Language Template packs

It is a package you download for free from Microsoft web site, it enables you to create a site collections, sites and subsites in languages different than the product language (i.e. when you install English SharePoint product language in your farm then you want to create an Arabic site collection; you need to install the Arabic language template pack ), note that:

    1. Windows Regional Language and Settings are also needed, (i.e. if you want to install the Arabic language pack template on your farm; then you need to install the Windows Arabic support from the windows CD)
    2. The business administration (administration under site settings in each site) is in the same language of the site language. (i.e. if we have Arabic product language and we create a French site; the site setting menus of this site will be in French ).
    3. If you create an Arabic site; then the  site tool bar, navigation bars, lists, and column headings appears in Arabic.
    4. Always after installing the Language template packs, you need to re-run the SharePoint products and technologies wizard to setup the new language configuration.
    5. You can remove this language template pack from add/remove programs in control panel
    6. My site: You can enable user to select my site language on the first creating time. This is done by checking “Allow user to choose the language of there personal site” from the SSP.
    7. Some error messages, dialog boxes and notifications may appears in English because Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation, Microsoft ASP.NET, and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 are limited in localization.

Also Note that:

The above comparison applies to both WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007.

To download Arabic language pack you can go to:, you will see the following:






    Then you should select the “Arabic” from the dropdown list then press “Change” button you will get:






    Then you can download it, By pressing “تنزيل”!


About Jamil Haddadin

Sr. SharePoint consultant & Trainer
This entry was posted in Sharepoint - Administration and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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