Deep Dive into SharePoint Multilingual Webinar Recording and Questions


On March 10th, Drew Madelung and myself had the pleasure to host a webinar with Senior Program Manager Divyachapan (DC) Padur, and Senior Software Engineer Matt Mooty from Microsoft.

Multilingual in modern SharePoint Online is a brand-new feature that just came out, so we had over 300 attendees and a ton of interesting questions on the feature, so make sure you watch the webinar, and also check out the Q&A below. I highly recommend you watch the webinar and the demos inside before the questions, as some of the questions might not make sense if you have never seen the feature before!

SharePoint Multilingual

Modern SharePoint Multilingual FAQ

Q: What is the timeline for the Global Rollout of this feature?

Targeted release tenants will see this option starting in March 2020, and it will go in General Availability starting with May 2020.

Q: What can we do to get the feature faster in our organization?

The fastest way to get the feature is to make sure that your Office 365 tenant is set in Targeted Release

Q:Will the modern SharePoint Online Multilingual feature work for Team Sites as well, or only for Communication Sites?

In this first release of multilingual, it will be only for communication sites. If you have business cases for it to work on Team Sites as well, please add it / vote for it on UserVoice and let Microsoft know it’s important!

Q: Once we create a site in SharePoint Online with a certain language as the default, can we change the default language?


Q: Is this going to be available on-premises in SharePoint 2019, or online only?

Online Only. It remains to be seen if it will be included in a potential SharePoint Server vNext, but it will not be available in SharePoint 2019.

Q: Will we be able to enable this on existing communication sites, or only new ones?

You will be able to enable it on any existing / new communication site in SharePoint Online

Q: What languages will be available with this feature?

All of the different languages supported in SharePoint Online will also be supported for SharePoint Multilingual

Q: Will this work for languages written from right to left as well?


Q: Will content be deep linked? Meaning if I am on Page XYZ in English and I switch to French, will I be redirected to the linked page, or to the home page of the French site?

Content is deep linked, so you will be redirected to the version of that page in French

Q: Where are pages created / what is the general information architecture for SharePoint Online Multilingual?

Insite the SitePages folder, there will be one folder per language that you enable for that multilingual site.

Q: I am currently using the SharePoint Online PnP multilingual solution. What is the migration path to go to this out of the box version?

There is no official migration path, but the PnP team might be working on documentation to allow you to migrate. As this relates to PnP best to ask directly on the PnP Github on the multilingual solution.

Q: Can the translator of a page be an Active Directory Group instead of only a user? Can it be a guest user if the translator is external?

The translator can be set to an Active Directory e-mail enabled security group, or a guest. You need to make sure to also give contribute permissions to the group/guest as setting a user as a translator does not give them any permissions at all, it’s simply for notifications.

Q:Is machine translation supported? Can we automate any translation of the content or is it all 100% manual?

All translation is manually done by a user, there is no integration with any automatic translation service.

Q: Are there any Power Automate ways to interact with this feature?

Not at this time

Q: Will the SharePoint mobile app be aware of the translated pages and behave the same way? So a user would see the news from a site in their preferred language

That is planned but there is no release date set.

Q: What happens if a page is simply updated?

The translators will receive an e-mail notification that content might need updating, and they can use the version history to see what was changed in the original language, and decide if they do the update in their own language or not

Q: If a user goes to the root of a multilingual site, will they be shown the default language or their preferred language?

If their preferred language is available, SharePoint will automatically show that user the content in their preferred language. Their preferred language comes from their Active Directory profile. You can Set it by following this article:

Q: What happens if a user’s preferred language is French, but the site is only in English (default) and Spanish?

The user will be redirected to the default language of the site.

Q:Can we hide content that hasn’t been translated yet from users?

When a page is created in a new language it will be in draft mode by default. End Users won’t see it until it gets published by a user with the appropriate rights

Q: Will the translators receive the e-mail notifications in their preferred language?

The translators will receive notifications e-mail in the default language of the site

Q: Can there be content differences between translated sites, so only specified section of the site get translated?

Translation is done on a page by page basis, so if you translate some pages but not others you can have only parts of a site translated. There is no restriction that translation pages have similar content.

Pages not translated into a user’s preferred language will be available in the site default language.

Q: Can the navigation be translated as well?

The navigation (both site and hub) can be translated the same way as the rest of the content. Even when switching language in the content (ex: Spanish user going to English page) the navigation will be shown in their preferred language.

Q: Can we have different navigation items per language?

No, the navigation will show up in all languages, so you cannot have a different amount of headers per language.

Q: What about translation of the non-page content? Content Types / List & Library Titles / Column Names / Documents?

List & Library Titles and Columns are translatable through the existing MUI feature. See this article for more information.

Q: How does multilingual content work with the Search API and Content Rollup more in detail? Is there a specific managed property that you would need to filter on?

Content rollup does have a new clause in the query template specifically for multilingual. It uses the SPTranslationLanguage, SPTranslatedLanguages, and SPIsTranslation managed properties.

Q: How does the Microsoft Translator API fit into this?

Microsoft is still considering options for automatic translation.

Q:Is there an Admin Dashboard / Setting planned in the future to control Navigation and Site Pages translation easier than having multiple accounts with different languages?

Microsoft are working on it but cannot share a planned release date.

Q: Can Office 365 users set their language preference from Office Delve?

Please follow these instructions:

A huge thank you to DC and Matt for taking the time not only for the webinar, but also to help answer the questions below! To view all the information on Multilingual from Microsoft you can also check

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