Language and translation

Both the interface and content language can be changed to suit your needs.


The Interface Language is used to change the language throughout your site. By default, Academic activates the English language pack as the display language.

Available Language Packs

Choose from 25+ interface languages including:

  • Català (ca)
  • Česky (cs)
  • Dansk (da)
  • Deutsch (de)
  • Ελληνικά (el)
  • English (en)
  • Español (es)
  • Eesti (et)
  • Euskara (eu)
  • Français (fr)
  • Magyar (hu)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (id)
  • Italiano (it)
  • 日本語 (ja)
  • ភាសាខ្មែរ (km)
  • 한국어 (ko)
  • Latviešu (lv)
  • Nederlands (nl)
  • Polski (pl)
  • Português (pt)
  • Română (ro)
  • Русский (ru)
  • Svenska (sv)
  • Türkçe (tr)
  • Українська (uk)
  • Tiếng Việt (vi)
  • 中文 (简体) (zh)
  • 中文 (繁體) (zh-Hant)

Setting the Language

Choose the languages you wish to use from the list above, noting their identifiers in brackets. Alternatively, a new language pack can be created by following the guide in the next section.

Follow the brief instructions in your config/_default/languages.toml to configure which language packs you wish to use.

To change the default language used by Academic, set defaultContentLanguage to the desired language identifier in your config.toml file.

Create or Modify a Language Pack

The interface text is stored in language files which are collected from Academic’s themes/academic/i18n/ folder, as well as an i18n/ folder at the root of your project.

To edit the interface text, copy a language pack such as themes/academic/i18n/en.yaml to your own i18n folder at the root of your site folder, so you have a path like i18n/en.yaml. Open the new file and make any desired changes to the text appearing after translation:. Note that the language files are formatted in YAML syntax.

To create a new language pack, translating the interface text to another language, follow the above instructions, but name the new file in the form i18n/X.yaml where X is the appropriate ISO/RFC5646 language identifier for the translation.

If you translate the interface into a new language, please consider contributing it by opening a Pull Request on our GitHub.

To translate the navigation bar, you can edit the default [[main]] instances in config/_default/menu.toml. However, for a multilingual site, you will need to duplicate this file to config/_default/menu.XX.toml and translate its menu items, where XX is the language identifier (e.g. menu.zh.toml for Simplified Chinese). Thus, the navigation bar can be displayed in multiple languages.


In this section, you will learn how to create content in multiple languages.

Move all you existing content in content/ to a sub-folder named with the appropriate ISO/RFC5646 language identifier. For example, if your existing content is in English, move your content to content/en/.

To create content in an additional language, create a sub-folder in content/ named with the appropriate ISO/RFC5646 language identifier. Then place your translated content in here, just as you would for your primary language content.

If a page has been translated into multiple languages, a language chooser will appear in the navigation bar to allow the user to select which language they would like to view the page in.

You may also need to configure config/_default/languages.toml with the relevant content directories. This can be performed by creating a config section for each language and setting its contentDir to the relevant path.

For further details on Hugo’s internationalization and multilingual features, refer to the associated Hugo documentation.