How to serve multiple languages

If you used the django CMS installer to start your project, you’ll find that it’s already set up for serving multilingual content. Our How to install django CMS by hand guide also does the same.

This guide specifically describes the steps required to enable multilingual support, in case you need to it manually.

Multilingual URLs

If you use more than one language, django CMS urls, including the admin URLS, need to be referenced via i18n_patterns(). For more information about this see the official Django documentation on the subject.

Here’s a full example of

from django.conf import settings
from django.conf.urls import include, url
from django.contrib import admin
from django.conf.urls.i18n import i18n_patterns
from django.contrib.staticfiles.urls import staticfiles_urlpatterns


urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^jsi18n/(?P<packages>\S+?)/$', 'django.views.i18n.javascript_catalog'),

urlpatterns += staticfiles_urlpatterns()

# note the django CMS URLs included via i18n_patterns
urlpatterns += i18n_patterns('',
    url(r'^admin/', include(,
    url(r'^', include('cms.urls')),

Monolingual URLs

Of course, if you want only monolingual URLs, without a language code, simply don’t use i18n_patterns():

urlpatterns += [
    url(r'^admin/', include(,
    url(r'^', include('cms.urls')),

Store the user’s language preference

The user’s preferred language is maintained through a browsing session. So that django CMS remembers the user’s preference in subsequent sessions, it must be stored in a cookie. To enable this, cms.middleware.language.LanguageCookieMiddleware must be added to the project’s MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES setting.

See How django CMS determines which language to serve for more information about how this works.

Working in templates

Display a language chooser in the page

The language_chooser template tag will display a language chooser for the current page. You can modify the template in menu/language_chooser.html or provide your own template if necessary.


{% load menu_tags %}
{% language_chooser "myapp/language_chooser.html" %}

If you are in an apphook and have a detail view of an object you can set an object to the toolbar in your view. The cms will call get_absolute_url in the corresponding language for the language chooser:


class AnswerView(DetailView):
    def get(self, *args, **kwargs):
        self.object = self.get_object()
        if hasattr(self.request, 'toolbar'):
        response = super(AnswerView, self).get(*args, **kwargs)
        return response

With this you can more easily control what url will be returned on the language chooser.


If you have a multilingual objects be sure that you return the right url if you don’t have a translation for this language in get_absolute_url

Get the URL of the current page for a different language

The page_language_url returns the URL of the current page in another language.


{% page_language_url "de" %}

Configuring language-handling behaviour

CMS_LANGUAGES describes the all options available for determining how django CMS serves content across multiple languages.