Totara 12 will no longer be fully supported from October 2023. Urgently consider upgrading to a later version.

Help documentation for up-to-date versions is available here.

Totara Learn offers a wide range of languages, including right-to-left display support where appropriate. You can see a full list of available language packs from our website.

Installing a language pack

There are a number of different language packs available for Totara. 

To install a language pack:

  1. Select Site administration > Language > Language packs.
  2. Select the languages you require from the list of available language packs. 
  3. Click Install selected language pack.

All language packs, apart from UK English, are stored in the sitedata/lang directory.

Installing language packs

Language settings

Site administrators can set language defaults across the site via Site Administration > Language > Language settings.  

LSelect whether you wish Totara Learn to detect the user's default language from their browser settings.  If this option is disabled, the site default language is used.Users can change their preferred language via their User preferences.
Default languageChoose a default language for the whole site.Users can override this setting using the language menu or the setting in their personal profile. The dropdown menu will display all installed language packs.
Display language menuChoose whether or not you want to display the general-purpose language menu on the home page, login page, etc.This does not affect the user's ability to set their preferred language in their User preferences.
Languages on the language menuLeave this blank to allow users to choose from any language you have in this installation of Totara Learn or create a custom language menu by entering a comma-separated list of language codes that you want.  e.g. en, fr, de, nl

Language codes have a two or four letter format.  For example:

  • en (English)
  • en_us (US English)
  • fr (French)
  • it (Italian)

Language codes are shown in brackets after the language pack name.

Cache language menuIf enabled, the list of available translations is cached. The cache is automatically refreshed when you install or delete a language pack via the inbuilt language packs management tool. If you install a new language pack manually, you have to use Purge all caches feature to refresh the cached list.Purge all caches can be found under Site administration > Development > Purge all caches.
Cache all language stringsCaches all the language strings into compiled files in the data directory. If you are translating Totara Learn or changing strings in the Totara Learn source code then you may want to switch this off. Otherwise, leave it on to see performance benefits.-
Site-wide localeChoose a sitewide locale; this will override the format and language of dates for all language packs (though names of days in the calendar are not affected).You need to have this locale data installed on your operating system (e.g. for linux en_US.UTF-8 or es_ES.UTF-8). In most cases, this field should be left blank.
Excel encodingChoose the encoding for Excel exports. It is recommended you leave this setting as the default (Unicode) unless you have a particular reason for needing Latin encoding.-

Change a word or phrase

The language editing interface enables you to easily change any word or phrase used within the site. For example, you may want to change the word 'Course' to 'Area'. When language editing you can also check for untranslated words in specific areas of the system.

  1. Select Site administration > Language > Language customisation.
  2. Choose a language pack to change.
  3. Select Open language pack for editing.
  4. Once the language pack has loaded, select Continue.

    Installing a language pack

  5. Complete the Filter strings form to locate the text you are looking for. See the 'Filter Strings' section below for details on the types of filters available.
  6. Select Show strings to show the component name where the string was found.
  7. Enter the new word or phrase in the Local customisation field.

    Customising a language pack

  8. Select Apply changes and continue editing to make further changes or click Save changes to the language pack to save all updates. 

Confirming a language pack customisation

Filter strings

Filter optionsDescriptionNotes
Show strings of these componentsClick or Ctrl+click to select one or more files that contain the string you want.Components represent the areas, modules and plugins within Totara Learn.
Customised onlyCheck this field to display only those strings that have already been changed within your site.-
Help onlyCheck this field to display only contextual help text.

Contextual help is identified by a question mark icon ()

Modified onlyDisplays only the strings that have have been changed since last saving the string into the language pack.Customised strings (already saved in a file) are highlighted in green. Modified strings (not saved in a file yet) are highlighted in blue.
Only strings containingInsert one word or a phrase that must appear in the string. For example, if you put the word 'learner' here, you will get only those strings that contain this word. The Only strings containing filter can be used to perform a complete search for a term used in your Totara site for the selected language pack.
String identifierIf you know the string identifier (it is the first parameter of the get_string() function), type it here.For example: totara_appraisal.php, report_participation, certificate.php

Show language string origin

This option is designed to help translators. When this option is enabled, if you add the parameter strings=1 to a request URL, it will show the language file and string id beside each string that is output.  To enable, go to Site administration > Development  > Debugging and check the box next to 

On this page

The Totara Academy has a course dedicated to Localisation in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to localise your system, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

Provide feedback about this page using the link in the bottom right of this page. 

Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?

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