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I am trying to have my Magento work in french. Should I use a module for this or id there another better way?

This is the module I am looking at: http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/magento-community-modules-french-france-language-pack.html

I am unsure if this is the best module for this or if I should follow another path.

What are the best strategies for translation and should I use this module?

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The Magento Core Language Pack in French is available on Connect as well, and comes pre-installed in EE:

http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/magento-core-modules-french-language-pack.html

While I don't speak French, I would recommend use of core modules over 3rd party developer modules in general due to future support of new functionality (1.8CE and beyond into Magento 2).

It looks as if 98% of Magento CE (1.7) has been translated already into French:

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Source: https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/magento-ce-17/language/fr/

But that's just the core. There are many options to provide translations to your custom extensions:

  • Use translate.csv in your theme
  • Providing a locale-specific translation of your modules, e.g. app/locale/en_US/YourCompany_YourModule.csv
  • Use inline translation (javascript-based).

Best of luck!

  • I am trying to install the language package that you recommended and I get this error: "Couldn't resolve host 'magento-core'". Why is that? – jnbdz Oct 21 '13 at 20:52
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    Starting from Magento 1.5+ you need to use Magento Connect 2.0 keys. – philwinkle Oct 21 '13 at 22:01
  • I tried bu I am not seeing it... For some reason but I did find it on another website. But I am getting another error. – jnbdz Oct 21 '13 at 22:17
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You can always try out a language pack by installing it on a development environment of your shop. The official community packs described by @philwinkle generally covers all of Magento's native functionalities but for 3th party extensions you'll have to depend on any translation included by it's developer.

If you find any issues in the translation files I'd suggest correcting them in the translate.scv of your template app/design/frontend|adminhtml/[package]/[theme]/locale/translate.csv This will prevent you from overwriting them when you upgrade your installation.

On a side note, the Dutch translation pack was pretty horrible so a community driven version was created. You might want to look into starting a project like that on your own for 3th party extenions

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