Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 supports hosting site collections, sites, and content in multiple languages on the same servers across your farm. This support is an enormous step forward from previous versions, which required the product to be installed in a specific language version that could host content only in that single language.
SharePoint Server 2007 extends this multilingual support with several features that simplify the implementation and maintenance for the administrators and the utilization for the users. Multilingual support does, however, create myriad planning decisions that should be addressed prior to implementing your farm. These decision points are introduced throughout the chapter in the discussions of the technology itself.
Before you install language packs on SharePoint farm servers, you must install the necessary regional and language files on at least your front-end Web servers. Because roles within your farm might change, installing and configuring these regional files on all members of your farm could prevent problems later on. All members of the farm should be configured with the same options, including having all the same regional and language files installed.
Regional and language files are used by the operating system to provide support for displaying and entering text in multiple languages. These files include keyboard files, Input Method Editors (IMEs), TrueType font files, bitmap font files, codepage translation tables, national language support (.nls) files, and script engines for rendering complex scripts. Most language files are installed by default on Windows Server 2003; however, you must install language files for East Asian languages and languages that use complex script or require right-to-left orientations. The East Asian languages include Chinese, Japanese, and Korean; the complex script and right-to-left-oriented languages include Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, the Indic languages, Thai, and Vietnamese.
Microsoft recommends that you install only the language files you need. The East Asian files require about 230 megabytes (MB) of hard disk space. The complex script and right-to-left languages do not use much disk space, but installing either set of files might cause some slowdown in performance when entering text.
You must be an administrator on the computer to install these language files. Once the language files are installed, the languages are available to all users of the computer. You need your Windows Server 2003 product disc to perform this procedure. Alternatively, you need to know the location of a shared folder that contains your operating system installation files. Restart your computer after supplemental language files are installed.
To install additional language files, perform the following steps:
On your server, in Control Panel, select Regional And Language Options.
In the Regional And Language Options dialog box, click the Languages tab. In the Supplemental Language Support section, do one or both of the following:
Click Install Files For Complex Script And Right-To-Left Languages (Including Thai) if you want to install language files for Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, the Indic languages, Thai, and Vietnamese.
Click Install Files For East Asian Languages if you want to install language files for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
When prompted, insert your Windows Server 2003 product disc or provide the location of your Windows Server 2003 installation files.
When prompted to restart your computer, click Yes.
As this process indicates, the language files must be installed in the server operating system to be available to the SharePoint Technologies platform.