Sharepoint English version VS Regional versions


For anyone that works in a country that officially doesn’t speak English the more probable choice of Sharepoint version would be the specific regional one. It has all options and labels translated, the back-office and out of the box front-office are also in the specific language, so why should we even consider to choose the English version?

Well, the answer is a bit frightening because you are probably better off with the English version than your regional one and here are the reasons why:

  • By installing the specific language pack of your language you will have the same result as the regional version, with the difference that the Central Administration of the Sharepoint will be in English, but all other back-office and front-office of a site created using your specific language pack will be in the desired language.
  • Whenever you have a problem the error messages in english usually have information on them available in the Internet, while the translation of these messages rarely appear in a search.
  • Because Sharepoint is a product with a huge range of application and therefore being used worldwide by a lot of users, the focus on bugs and problems is very big and it is still a product that can improve a lot (i.e. in terms of Content Management). The release of Hotfixes, Updates and Service Packs have been done in a growing number, but there is a tiny detail . . . if your regional product is not part of the “main” languages for Microsoft you will have to wait a few weeks if not months for your version of the update, while the English and all other “main” languages have it as soon as it is released.

On the other hand there can also be problems on using the Fantastic Templates from Microsoft in your specific language version, in my case I had the Sharepoint in English with the Portuguese (Portugal) Language Pack, so when I tried to use the “Room  and Equipment Reservations” template for Portuguese (Portugal) from the fantastic 40 templates, I had some lists in English and some in Portuguese, and the WebPart that showed the resources alocation didn’t work, but that probably is another issue.

Well, in the end you should be aware of all these topics in order to either advice your client or to choose yourself. One thing is certain if instead of being Portuguese I was Brasilian I wouldn’t have this problem, because Portuguese (Brasil) is one of the “main” languages for Microsoft.

Computer developer/consultant from Portugal. You can find me at ricardo.magalhaes@gmail.com

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Posted in Sharepoint

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