Imagine you have a global Drupal site with several languages. One market wants to add custom functionality for just the English language. From a technical standpoint would it be better to develop the custom functionality with multilingual capabilities by default?

I understand this is a high-level question, but was wondering on the pros and cons. The custom functionality would fit well with other languages, so two specific questions are for instance:

  • Is the consideration of multilingual often more expensive than developing the monolingual version?
  • On the long-term is it better to have the multilingual version from the start instead of adding it in a later phase? (updating code after functionality was pushed live).

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, making a module ready for multilingual use is so incredibly easy when you're building it that it makes a LOT of sense to do it. Retrofitting would be a real pain in the ass!

I'm not exactly sure what module you're building, but it could be as simple as wrapping any user facing copy with t().

  • I agree as well, but it will cost extra money to even do simple things like bootstrapping strings. Out of curiosity, any examples as to why retrofitting would be such a pain? Mar 23, 2014 at 20:36
  • @sPLUS I don't know exactly what your module is, but a few months down the road I'm guessing nobody will remember where all the strings are.
    – jdu
    Mar 23, 2014 at 20:39

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