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Multilingual Plone UI package, enables maintenance of translations for both Dexterity types and Archetypes

Project description


Talking about multi-language support in Plone is talk about Products.LinguaPlone. It has been the defacto standard for managing translations of Archetypes-based content types in Plone through the years. Somehow its functionality never made its way into the Plone core and today it is in legacy status. Nowadays, Plone faces the rising of Dexterity content types and its incoming adoption into the Plone core in the near future (4.3) and complete the transition to Plone as default content types in Plone 5. was designed originally to provide Plone a whole multilingual story. Using ZCA technologies, enables translations to Dexterity and Archetypes content types as well managed via an unified UI.

This module provides the user interface for managing content translations. It’s the app package of the next generation Plone multilingual engine. It’s designed to work with Dexterity content types and the old fashioned Archetypes based content types as well. It only works with Plone 4.1 and above due to the use of UUIDs for referencing the translations.

After more than 7 years, a GSOC, redesigns, reimplementations due to deprecated libraries, two major Plone versions finally we are able to say that is finally here.


  • 1.x - Plone 4.x with Archetypes and Dexterity

  • 2.x - Plone >= 4.x, < 5.0 with (Dexterity) and real shared content

  • 3.x - Plone >= 5.x


PAM is composed of two packages, one is mandatory:

  • (core, UI, enables Dexterity support via a behavior)

and one optional:

  • archetypes.multilingual (enables Archetypes support)


To use this package with both Dexterity and Archetypes based content types you should add the following line to your eggs buildout section:

eggs =[archetypes]

To use this package with you should add the following line to your eggs buildout section:

eggs =


After re-running your buildout and installing the newly available add-ons, you should go to the Languages section of your site’s control panel and select at least two or more languages for your site. You will now be able to create translations of Plone’s default content types, or to link existing content as translations.


These are the most important features PAM provides.

Root Language folders

After the setup, PAM will create root folders for each of your site’s languages and put translated content into the appropriate folders. A language folder implements INavigationRoot, so from the user’s point of view, each language is “jailed” inside its correspondent language folder. There are event subscribers in place to capture user interaction with content and update the language in contents accordingly, for example when user moves or copy content between language folders.

Babel view

An evolution of the LP translate view, unified for either Archetypes and Dexterity content types. It features an already translated content viewer for the current content being edited via an ajaxified dynamic selector that shows them on the fly on user request.

Language independent fields

PAM has support for language independent fields, but with a twist respect the LP implementation. As PAM does design does not give more relevance to one translated object above the others siblings (has no canonical object), fields marked as language independent get copied over all the members of the translation group always. The PAM UI will warn you about this behavior by reminding you that the values in the field on the other group participants will be overwritten.

Translation locator policy

When translating content, this policy decides how it would be placed in the site’s structure. There are two policies in place:

  • LP way, the translation gets placed in the nearest translated folder in parent’s hierarchy

  • Ask user where to place the translated element in the destination language root folder

Language selector policy

While browsing the site, the language selector viewlet allows users to switch site’s content language and ease access between translations of the current content. There are two policies in place in case the translation of a specific language does not exist (yet):

  • LP way, the selector shows the nearest translated container.

  • Shows the user an informative view that shows the current available translations for the current content.

The “Media” folder - a shared “Language Independent Folder”

The root language folders are used to house the content tree for the corresponding language. However, there are some use cases where we need content that does not belong to any language. For example, for assets or side resources like images, videos and documents. For this reason PAM supplies a special Language Independent Folder to house these kind of objects. After PAM setup, there is a special folder called “Media”, which can be accessed through the “Go to shared folder” item of the “Translate” menu. All items placed in this folder will have neutral as their default language and will be visible from the other root language folders as if they were placed there as well.

Note: Language Independent Folder’s have also been historically known as “Neutral root folder”, “language neutral folder” and “language shared (folder)”. Also don’t confuse Language Independent Folders with Language Independent Fields

Translation map

In order to ease the translation tasks, we devised a tool that displays in a useful way all the current translated objects and its current translation information. The map also shows a list of missing translations in case you want to build a mirrored (completely) translated site.

Google Translation Service integration

If you are subscriber of the Google Translation service (a paid service), you can setup your API key on Languages site setup. Then, you will notice a new icon in the babel view that takes the original field on the left side and using Google Translations service, translates its contents and fill the right side field.

LinguaPlone migration

You can migrate your existing LP powered sites to PAM using the Migration tab in the Languages control panel. The migration has been divided into 4 steps for separation of concerns and for improving the success of each of the required procedures.

Step 0 (optional) - Reindex the language index

The migration of LinguaPlone content depends on an up-to-date Language index. Use this step to refresh this index. Warning: Depending on the number of items in your site, this can take a considerable amount of time. This step is not destructive and can be executed as many times as needed.

Step 1 - Relocate content to the proper root language folder

This step will move the site’s content to its correspondent root language folder and previously will make a search for misplaced content through the site’s content tree and will move them to its nearest translated parent. Warning: This step is destructive as it will alter your content tree structure. Make sure you have previously configured your site’s languages properly in the ‘Site Languages’ tab of the ‘Languages’ control panel. It’s advisable that you do not perform this step on production servers having not tried it in development/preproduction servers previously. Depending on the distribution of your site’s content and the accuracy of the language information on each content object you may need to relocate manually some misplaced content after this step. Despite the fact that this step is ‘destructive’ it can be executed as times as needed if some problem is detected and afterwards you fix the problem. Please, refer to the procedure log when it finishes.

Step 2 - Transfer multilingual catalog information

This step will transfer the relations between translations stored by LinguaPlone to the PAM catalog. This step is not destructive and can be executed as many times as needed.

Step 3 - Cleanup after migration

This step will search and fix some lost dependencies to the ITranslatable interface hidden in the relation catalog and it gets rid of them. It must be run only when LinguaPlone is already uninstalled, so this step is hidden until then.

Marking objects as translatables


By default, if PAM is installed, Archetypes-based content types are marked as translatables


Users should mark a dexterity content type as translatable by assigning a the multilingual behavior ( to the definition of the content type either via file system, supermodel or through the web.

Marking fields as language independant


The language independent fields on Archetype-based content are marked the same way as in LinguaPlone:



There are four ways of achieve it.


In your content type class declaration:

from import directives


In your content type XML file declaration:

<field name="myField" type="zope.schema.TextLine" lingua:independent="true">
    <description />


In your code:

from plone.multilingualbehavior.interfaces import ILanguageIndependentField
alsoProvides(ISchema['myField'], ILanguageIndependentField)

Through the web

Via the content type definition in the Dexterity Content Types control panel.

Internal design of plone.multilingual

All the internal features are implemented on the package plone.multilingual.

The key points are:

  1. Each translation is a content object

  2. There is no canonical object

  3. The translation reference storage is external to the content object

  4. Adapt all the steps on translation

  5. Language get/set via an unified adapter

  6. Translatable marker interface(s)

There is no canonical content object

Having a canonical object on the content space produces a dependency which is not orthogonal with the normal behavior of Plone. Content objects should be autonomous and you should be able to remove it. This is the reason because we removed the canonical content object. There is a canonical object on the translation infrastructure but is not on the content space.

Translation reference storage

In order to maintain the relations between the different language objects we designed a common object called a translation group. This translation group has an UUID on its own and each object member of the group stores it in the object catalog register. You can use the ITranslationManager utility to access and manipulate the members of a translation group given one object of the group.

Adapt all the steps on translation

The different aspects involved on a translation are adapted, so it’s possible to create different policies for different types, sites, etc.

  • ITranslationFactory - General factory used to create a new content

    • ITranslationLocator - Where we are going to locate the new translated content

      Default : If the parent folder is translated create the content on the translated parent folder, otherwise create on the parent folder.

    • ITranslationCloner - Method to clone the original object to the new one

      Default : Nothing

    • ITranslationIdChooser - Which id is the translation

      Default : The original id + lang code-block

  • ILanguageIndependentFieldsManager - Manager for language independent fields

    Default: Nothing

Language get/set via an unified adapter

In order to access and modify the language of a content type regardless the type (Archetypes/Dexterity) there is a interface/adapter:


You can use:

from plone.multilingual.interfaces import ILanguage
language = ILanguage(context).get_language()

or in case you want to set the language of a content:

language = ILanguage(context).set_language('ca')

Translatable marker interface

In order to know if a content can be translated there is a marker interface:


Source Code

Contributors please read the document Process for Plone core’s development

Sources are at the Plone code repository hosted at Github.


GNU General Public License, version 2


This is the planned feature list for PAM:


  • Babel view

  • Root language folders

  • Non invasive language selector

  • Universal link

  • Language selector policy

  • Neutral root folder support

  • Catalog based storage

  • Translation map

  • Google Translation Service integration

  • LinguaPlone migration

2.0 (PLIP 13091)

  • The first version compatible with PLIP 13091 (

  • Update, get rid of legacy code and transfer some of the PAM logic to the Plone core (

  • Perform the same for other parts of Plone core to integrate some monkey patches and update legacy code from Products.PloneLanguageTool


  • XLIFF export/import

  • Iterate support: we know there are some needs about iterate integration

  • LinguaPlus/linguatools set of useful tools

  • Outdated translations alerts and translation workflows support

  • support

  • Add support for Deco layouts and content types

  • Pluggable translation policies

  • Pluggable language policies negotiations

Credits has been developed based on LinguaPlone by:

Design and development –

Iskra (Ramon Navarro Bosch, Victor Fernandez de Alba)

Additional funding/sponsorship:

Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Centre for New European studies (Jonathan Lewis)

Also many thanks to

Jan-Carel Brand:

For language independent field implementation on AT

Anne Walter:

For pushing for a initial working version

Thomas Massmann, Martijn Pieters, Martin Aspeli, David Glick


2.0.2 (2016-03-10)


  • Really don’t show the Google Translate button when no API key set [djowett]

  • Migration error (archetype to dexterity in Plone 4.3.x), check if pam is installed when subscriber is used. [bsuttor]

  • Clarify naming of Language Independent Folders [djowett]

  • Pin archetypes.multilingual to 2.x releases of that product [djowett]

  • Fix ‘is a translation’ viewlet [djowett]

  • Rebuild translations with / i18ndude [djowett]

2.0.1 (2015-11-04)

  • fixed babel_view lookup with more specific interface [agitator]

  • fixed content relocation within migration from linguaplone [agitator]

  • Move @@multilingual-selector registration from PloneRoot to Navigation root This allows to hide language folders in nginx and to use different domains. [do3cc]

  • Now require plone.theme > 2.1.4. This fix issues with Plone 4.3.5 and up [do3cc]

2.0.0 (2015-03-24)

  • Add Traditional Chinese translation. [l34marr]

2.0a4 (2015-03-04)

  • Remove dependency on and [joka]

  • Add more common api functions and test them. [jensens]

  • Refactor locations of code in dx to bundle stuff at a sane place. [jensens]

  • Remove BLACKLIST_IDS, with LIF this is superfluos. [jensens]

  • Remove LanguageTool patch, meanwhile superfluos. [jensens]

  • Add new to support new parameter --setuptools-version. [saily]

  • Fixed language independent fields in ++addtranslation++ requires plone.z3cform >= 0.8.1 [jensens, agitator]

  • Add uninstall hook to run uninstall profile on deactivation [datakurre]

  • Fix behavior registration on activation for all Dexterity types without dependency to [datakurre]

  • Do not block acquisition on LRF for acl_users, portal_url (both broke login form) and portal_catalog any more. [jensens]

  • Feature: Introduce a set variable BLACK_LIST_IDS which is used as a central place for blacklisted object ids not to take into account as neutral content or in LRF. It unifies the formerly cluttered different combinations of tests with same goal. [jensens]

  • Cleanup: Pep8, utf8-headers, readability, …, code-analysis now runs. [jensens]

  • Fix issue where universal link ignored the language cookie [datakurre]

  • Fix Plone 5 compatibility issues [martior]

  • Add a manual folder to LRF migration view [datakurre]

  • Fix schema editor plugin to not break schema editors outside FTI (e.g. collective.easyform) [datakurre]

2.0a3 (2014-05-30)

  • Show ‘Translate into’ menu in plone-contentmenu only when having permission to translate. [saily]

  • Use Modify portal content permission for Edit action on Language Root Folders. [saily]

  • Move devel to src folder, update,, buildout.cfg and .gitignore to fit that new structure. Updated docs. [saily]

  • Prepare tests to Plone 5 [saily]

2.0a2 (2014-03-27)

  • Fix alternate language viewlet [saily]

  • Fix tests. Don’t rely on translateable strings in functional tests, translations may change. [saily]

  • Add uninstall profile. [thet]

2.0a1 (2014-03-25)

  • In the findContent method of the migrator script, do a more explicit test if a content is a real, Dexterity or Archetypes based content object. [thet]

  • createdEvent subscriber works now in request-free environments too. [jensens]

  • Download latest v1 [saily]

  • Fix an import issue in [saily]

  • Add code analysis to plone-test-4.x.cfg and plone-test-5.x.cfg [saily]

  • Huge PEP8 and Flake8 cleanup. Please run bin/code-analysis before commiting. A git pre-commit hook should be added automatically through buildout. [saily]

  • Ensure permission is present. [saily]

  • Merge and into one file [saily]

  • Rename to [saily]

  • Rename to [saily]

  • Remove five.grok in browser directory. [saily]

1.2 - 2013-09-24

  • Better testsetup for robot tests using it’s own layer. [saily]

  • Revert translation: display of default pages of folders (it doesn’t show content which doesn’t have ‘is_default_page’ attributes). [bogdangi]

  • Add new option to allow users to bypass permission checks when updating objects with language independent fields. [saily]

  • Add a new alternate languages viewlet, see: [saily]

  • Remove Twitter-Bootstrap css code from multilingual.css and set stylesheet rendering to authenticated users only.

  • Remove twitter bootstrap styles and make style rendered for authenticated users only. [saily]

  • Add an upgrade step to reimport css_registry [saily]

1.1 - 2013-06-19

  • Add translation: widget missing

  • Translating folder with default_page: menu items added

  • Add translation: display of default pages of folders [ksuess]

  • Bugfix: p.a.contentmenu fails if access to translation is not permitted. Solution: Introduce restricted access and use it in vocabulary for menu. [jensens]

  • Added ++add++ and factory support using session var to store where it comes from. It maintains the old programatic way so it’s possible to create translations using code. [ramon]

  • Extend travis integration to test against Plone 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and include following dependencies into tests: - plone.multilingual - plone.multilingualbehavior - archetypes.multilingual [saily]

  • compatibility on setup [sneridagh]

  • Added French translation [bouchardsyl]

  • take care to filter out translated contents wich do no have supported language information [kiorky]

  • added support for language neutral objects with country specific language codes by checking _combinedlanguagelist too [agitator]

1.0 - 2013-04-16

  • Remove ITG usage to ITranslationManager usage [ramon]

  • Shared folder working on old collections [fgrcon]

  • Shared folder correct name and reference on setup [ramon]

  • Instead of check for Dexterity, check if p.multilingualbehavior is installed. If it’s installed, then Dexterity is installed too [sneridagh]

  • Fixed travis integration, extend from plone buildout-cache. [saily]

  • Clean the migration template [erral]

  • Don’t assume a transition called ‘publish’ will exist [erral]

  • Show language name if no native language information is available. [saily]

  • Added Ukrainian translation [kroman0]

  • Add to travis-ci [saily]

  • Use drop-down instead of buttons on babel view if there are more than X translations [pysailor]

1.0rc1 - 2013-01-26

  • Improve and finish migration code and related ‘Languages’ configlet tab [pysailor, sneridagh]

  • Testing of migration code on production sites [pysailor, erralin, sneridagh]

  • Fix broken tests and new ones [pysailor, erralin, bloodbare, sneridagh]

  • New re-designed language selector and related helper views [erralin, bloodbare]

  • Not translated view improvements [erralin, bloodbare]

  • fixed getClosestDestination when translation doesn’t exist [gborelli]

  • Update deprecated imports to work with Plone 4.3 [saily]

1.0b3 2012-10-04

  • Select the original language in the dexterity babel edit form. [maurits]

  • Add after migration action on view [do3cc]

  • Multilingual Map [ramon]

  • Univeral link [ramon]

  • Catalog patch bug solving [ramon]

  • Language selector bug solving [sneridagh]

  • Babel view javascripts unification and optimization [ramon]

  • Neutral language folder and menu options added [ramon]

  • New tests [sneridagh]

  • Moving templates to templates folder [ramon]

  • Updating language options [ramon]

  • Menu refactoring [ramon]

  • Allow to see all content on adding translation [ramon]

1.0b2 - 2012-07-08

  • change language index to Language to LinguaPlone coexistance [ramon]

  • don’t rebuild the complete catalog on installing [pbauer]

  • add indexes via setuphandler instead of xml to prevents purging on reinstall [pbauer]

  • make babel-view align fields next to each other [do3cc]

  • updated .po files [gborelli]

  • Added script in order to simplify updating translations [gborelli]

  • Added italian translation [gborelli]

  • Do not fail when the front-page cannot be moved to a new folder during setup. [maurits]

  • Make it possible to override the portal_type that is used when creating a root language folder. [maurits]

1.0b1 - 2012-04-03

  • Added Google Translation Service ajax service [ramon]

  • Added babel view on AT [sneridagh]

  • Added babel view on dexterity [ramon]

  • Added the option to not filter language on folder_contents view [ramon]

  • Added to translation menu to edit a translated language [ramon]

  • Initial setup of a site moving content to language folders [ramon]

0.1a2 - 2011-12-04

  • Improved Control Panel [ramon]

  • Improved Language Control Panel site languages selector widget to be more usable.

  • Setup the root folder layout for each configured site languages on languages control panel save settings [ramon, sneridagh]

  • Adapt languageselector viewlet from LP [ramon]

  • Re-enable and adapt the searchResults patch again [ramon]

  • Cleaning description of packages and registerProfile of paml [sneridagh]

0.1a1 - 2011-10-03

  • Initial version [ramon, awello, sneridagh]

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