The Joom!Fish component supports you with design and creation of multilingual websites.
This topic itself isn't that easy as the first impression you might have and so the handling of this component isn't that easy.
This tutorial helps you to do your first steps using the extension within your Joomla 1.5 application. Get your mainmenu links translated and with that gives you a basic understanding of the work process used by the Joom!fish.
It is important to understand that the Joom!Fish extension is not an automatic translation tool for your site. Automatic translations are fine to rough understand what a text says but you need expensive tools and still more experience to use them if you like to get a more readable or professional translation. Translation experts say: "You need to localize your content more than to translate it."
Now do not worry and get the Joom!Fish installed on your site and see that isn't hard to localize your site!
1. Step: Installation of the Joom!Fish
The Joom!Fish extension is a combined package of component, modules and plugins for Joomla!. The installation is fully automated and only requieres you to install the component.
Please download the latest stable release (see download) and after that login to your Joomla 1.5 administrator. Within the administration go to Extensions -> Install/Uninstall and use the functionality Upload Package File to install the extension. After the installation you will see a screen with the installation information and all the extensions installed.
Please make sure that prior the installation your webserver has access rights to all extensions directories. Speically check the /mambots/ subdirectorys as in some installation the access is not granted. In those cases the installation will fail.
The Joom!Fish package is configured to allow upgrades as well. In order to update to the next versions you just need to perform a new installation and your extensions will be renewed. All data and configurations are not changed. Independent of this feature it is recommended to make a backup before any installation or update of extensions.
2. Step: Language installation
Now it is time to install the additional languages in which you like to present your website. The installation is based on the standard Joomla! language files. Those files can be found on the Joomla! extension website. Again please use the Joomla Install Feature to install these packages. It is important that you install at least the front-end language files. There is no limit if languages within Joom!Fish and you can install as many as you like.
3. Step: Language configuration
After you have installed the language the next step is the configuration how to use them within your site. As you can define active and inactive (translation in progress) languages as well as a "natural" name Joom!Fish comes with an additional language manager. Please go to the language configuration (Components -> Joom!Fish -> Languanges) and active all languages you like to provide to your website users. You can give each language a name which should be visible in the front-end or administrator. Using the standard language files you should see the flags as associated to the most often used country. If you like to change the flags you can enter your own path where the flags are stored.
Using the standard template of Joomla the extension installed a frontend module for the language selection next to the search field. When you change the languages within the frontend then all static text should change.
How to translate content?
After you are sure that the basic configuration of your site works for the static text translations let's try to translate dynamic content that is included in the database.
4. Step: Translation of information in the database
For the first simple test we try to translate the menu names in your website. The most easy way to do this is to go to your standard menu manager in the Joomla Administration (e.g. Menus -> Main Menu). Activate the checkbox of the menu you like to translate (in our example Home) and select a language in your Direct Translation Module which is located next to your Joomla Administration menu and Preview, Logout functions. You can identify this module on the Joom!Fish logo and the text "translate to:".
After you selected one language a modal window will open presenting you the translation dialog for your menu. In this dialog you will find your original text and translation next to each other. Please enter the translations in the fields and activate the published checkbox on the right hand side. After you saved your translation you will get a short message telling you that the translation is saved.
When you change the languages within the frontend then the menu should show your translated menu names.
If the menu item does not change it can be e.g. that you did not published your translation. Similar as with your standard articles the publishing of a translation is a security feature to not let information on your site being published which is not reviewed.
5. Step: Translation of additional information
The administration interface of Joom!Fish gives you a second possibility to translate any information that is stored in your database. For this feature you use the Translation (Components -> Joom!Fish -> Translation) dialog. When you first enter the dialog it presents an empty list of information. After you selected a language and the type of information you liked to translate you will see a list of all the information stored in this specific type. The overview gives you additional information e.g. if the translation is not up-to-date (yellow symbol) or not existing (red symbol). For all valid translations you see a green check symbol. By clicking one of the titles in the row or the edit function you get back to the translation dialog you have already seen in step 4.
For all other dynamic content within your database the translation process is exactly as described in step 4. It might be needed to install additional configuration files for your 3rd party extensions or configure their specific database schemas. But in general there is no limitation of information that can be translated using the Joom!Fish.