An Example of a Multilingual Site

Template and sample database showing one way to create a multilingual site.

There are different ways to use Spip to create and manage a multilingual site.

This sample database (one section in French and one in English, each containing 4 articles within 2 sub-sections) shows just one way to create a site which is simple and multilingual.

The home page offers a choice of languages.
On subsequent pages, you can easily navigate to the corresponding section or article in another language by using a drop-down menu.

This structure should prove a useful starting point for those who are trying to use Spip to build a multilingual site for the first time.

An online demo of this site is available (for a limited time, at least) at The three “template” files are: accueil.html, rubrique.html and article.html.


1) Perform a new installation of Spip 1.8.2, 1.8 or 1.7.2. [1]

2) Overwrite the files contained in the file offered below.

3) In your Private space, activate the Complete interface.

4) Go to
and change the character set for the site to Universal alphabet (utf-8)

5) Go to
and select:
Enable the language menu for the articles? [No]
Enable the language menu for the sections? [Yes]
and click on Submit

... only for the sections located at the root? [Yes]
Managing translation links? [Yes]

6) On the page
click on “Restore the database” and follow the instructions.

Attention! The file to be restored is:
dump172.xml.gz if you are using Spip 1.7.2
dump18.xml.gz if you are using Spip 1.8
dump182.xml.gz if you are using Spip 1.8.2

7) Once the database is restored, the codes for accessing the private area are:
Login: admin
Password: spipdemo

8) Visit the site, and also take a look at the code of these files: accueil.html, rubrique.html and article.html.


[1The simple structure of this demonstration database works with both Spip 1.7.2 and Spip 1.8.x. However, if you intend to build a more complex multilingual site, I recommend using version 1.8.x.


3 discussions

  • Mahboub

    Thank you for updating the article. Creating a multilingual sites became easy this way.

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    Reply to this message

  • i currently use spip 1.9.2 and the sarka skeleton for a french english bilingual site. yours looks way cooler. i am a spip beginner and i would be interested in the skeleton you have develope برنامج تحميل make it slower than برنامج

    Reply to this message

  • 1
    Mark Baber

    Having borrowed numerous techniques from taize, I’ve built a trilingual (French, English, Russian) website with “multi” rubriques and translated articles.

    No tables, fully W3C compliant, no Flash.

    Uses Thickbox2, Forms&Tables, SPIP-Listes, SPIP 1.9.2b.

    Happy to share squelettes and offer commentary to anyone interested.

    • Daniel Mang


      i currently use spip 1.9.2 and the sarka skeleton for a french english bilingual site.
      yours looks way cooler. i am a spip beginner and i would be interested in the skeleton you have developed.


    Reply to this message

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Avant de faire part d’un problème sur un plugin X, merci de lire ce qui suit :

  • Désactiver tous les plugins que vous ne voulez pas tester afin de vous assurer que le bug vient bien du plugin X. Cela vous évitera d’écrire sur le forum d’une contribution qui n’est finalement pas en cause.
  • Cherchez et notez les numéros de version de tout ce qui est en place au moment du test :
    • version de SPIP, en bas de la partie privée
    • version du plugin testé et des éventuels plugins nécessités
    • version de PHP (exec=info en partie privée)
    • version de MySQL / SQLite / PostgreSQL
  • Si votre problème concerne la partie publique de votre site, donnez une URL où le bug est visible, pour que les gens puissent voir par eux-mêmes.
  • En cas de page blanche, merci d’activer l’affichage des erreurs, et d’indiquer ensuite l’erreur qui apparait.

Merci d’avance pour les personnes qui vous aideront !

Par ailleurs, n’oubliez pas que les contributeurs et contributrices ont une vie en dehors de SPIP.

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