Old Release

This documentation relates to an old version of VIVO, version 1.7.x. Looking for another version? See all documentation.

VIVO can display pages and data in different languages.

VIVO can be installed and configured to provide limited support for languages other than English. As of release 1.7, the support is limited to:

  • Displaying user-oriented pages in other languages
  • Filtering data from the data models, to display the most language-relevant data.

As of release 1.7, there is no support (or limited support) for:

  • Displaying administrative pages in other languages
  • Interactive editing of language-specific data.

Language support in VIVO will be extended in future releases.

Configuring VIVO for another language

Language support in VIVO requires three steps of configuration

  1. The language files must be added to your VIVO installation
  2. The build script must be directed to include the language files
  3. The runtime properties must specify how to use the language

For more information about language support, consult Changing the appearance of VIVO, in the section called VIVO support for languages other than English.

Adding language files to your installation

Is the language distributed with VIVO?

Demonstration language - Google Spanish

In ViVO release 1.7, a set of files for a "demonstration" language is included in the distribution. These files were created using the Google Translate service to produce Spanish words and phrases for VIVO. These files are likely to be grammatically incorrect, and should not be used in a production instance of VIVO. They are included only as a proof of concept.

Is the language available at GitHub?

GitHub holds two repositories of language files. Files for VIVO are stored in vivo-project/VIVO-languages, and files for Vitro are stored in vivo-project/Vitro-languages. You must use both sets of files for language support in VIVO.

Each repository is structured by release number, with sets of language files that are appropriate for that release. So for example, we see:


As you can see, the repositories contain two sets of language files for release 1.6. The files labeled es are a Spanish translation contributed by the VIVO team at IICA (http://iica.int), as part of a project with eScire (http://escire.mx/). The files labeled en-US are for American English. These are not useful to add to VIVO, since American English is already the default language. They were created as a basic template that translators may use when creating files to support other languages.

Where should these files be stored?

If you choose to use the Spanish translation from GitHub, you can clone the repository to your local machine. Then, copy the files from


to your VIVO installation directory at


Similarly, the files from


should be copies to your Vitro installation directory at


Note that your Vitro installation directory will be at [VIVO]/vitro-core if you are working from a distributed release. Otherwise, if you are working from the GitHub repositories, it will be in its own working directory.

Creating language files

If the language you want to support is not available in the GitHub repositories, you should consider creating the files for your installation. The task involves translating a few hundred words and phrases and about a dozen short pages. For more information about creating language files, consult Changing the appearance of VIVO, in the section titled VIVO support for languages other than English.

Including languages in the build

The language files will not be included when VIVO is built, unless they are specified in build.properties.


Property name


DescriptionLanguages (in addition to American English) that will be built into your VIVO site. The languages must be found in the languages directory of the VIVO distribution.
Default valueNONE
Example valuees_GO

Specify languages at run-time

You must set values in runtime-properties to tell VIVO how to support other languages.

Property name


DescriptionIf this is true and the VIVO finds values in more than one language for a particular property, VIVO will display the value that is best suited to the user's preferred language. If this is false, all values are displayed. 
Default valuefalse
Example valuetrue
Property name


DescriptionForce VIVO to prefer a specific language or Locale. If this is set, users will not be allowed to choose a language or Locale, and browser settings for Locale will be ignored. This is useful if you want your installation to support only one language, and that language is not American English.
Default valueNONE
Example valuefr_FR
Property name


DescriptionA list of supported languages or Locales that the user may choose to use instead of the one specified by the browser. Selection images must be available in the i18n/images directory of the theme. This is useful if your installation supports more than one language.
Default valueNONE
Example valueen, es, fr_FR
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