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When using the SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) within an NW Environment in a large organizational landscape business requirements may require different linguistic and language settings for multiple user bases.

Portal Languages & How They Are Maintained

Now regarding this scenario and the languages used in the Enterprise Portal there are a few important points to highlight. The language that the portal is displayed in depends on the following hierarchy, with the languages at the top of the list taking precedence over those at the bottom.

  1. Component (iview) language (defined in the portalapp.xml)
  2. Portal Mandatory language (defined in the
  3. User language (defined in the user#s profile).
  4. Request language (defined by the browser).
  5. Portal Default language (defined in the
  6. System Default language (default locale defined by the OS).

So for example, if you have your portal user language (as in point 3) set to German, but the language of the iView that is the logon page (as in point 1) set to English, that logon page will be displayed in English.

Wanting the Portal to use only one Language...keeping it simple

From a high level perspective let us refer to a sample scenario in which you want to keep configurations simple and use only one pre-defined user language base for all users e.g. English. (This can always be changed down the line if required).

  1. Login to the Portal Server.
  2. Navigate to the following path in the SAP installation directory \\usr\sap\SID\JID\j2ee\cluster\server0\apps\\irj\servlet_jsp\irj\root\WEB-INF\portal\system\properties
  3. Open the file ''.
  4. Deactivate the default language settings of the portal by adding '#' before the parameters as below.
    • #request.defaultlanguage=en
    • #request.defaultcountry=us
  5. Add the following parameters to the file
    • request.mandatorylanguage=en
    • request.mandatorycountry=us
  6. Save the file and restart the portal

The parameter 'request.mandatorylanguage=en' will override the browser language settings of the end users and will display the contents in 'en' (English) only.


Defining & Installing Languages

The Enterprise Portal can holster and translate multiple strings and elements from the "default" out of the box language into a different language which is defined as "supported" in the locale service.

  1. To view the locale you can logon to the SAP NWA (Netweaver Administrator).
  2. http://<host>:<port>nwa
  3. Find and view the Portal Application & Service
    • locale_list_service
  4. From this point of access you can determine and configuration the language values for all relevant properties.
    • Use NLS supported language abbreviations
    • Enter abbreviations in lower case
    • Use comma (,), semicolon (;), or space as separators.
  5. Any changes made require a restart of the service to come into affect.
  6. Restart the application.

Portal - Which Languages are supported?

The number of supported languages is diverse and lengthily and includes English, German, French, Dutch, Polish. You can view the full listing in the official help guidance documentation below:

I have a language translation issue...what do I need to check?

As with all issue scenarios the first process of troubleshooting follows the concept of simplification

If you encounter a language based issue there are a few avenues of analysis to follow.

  • One key point to check and review is whether the issue is confined to one particular web browser platform. If you are able to reproduce the issue across all browsers e.g. IE, Chrome, Mozilla etc then this would signify the "Language Setting" itself needs troubleshooting as opposed to the environment in which it functions.

Is the issue for all users?

  • Is adequate language translation not occurring for all users or a select few? If the issue is confined to a small user base here we could be dealing with language personalization setups

Some Elements of the Portal - Not Translated

In some cases across the Portal Landscape and through applications you might notice some elements and strings not being translated and this may be due to hard-coding. The recommendation here would be to analyze and review potential note fixes to determine if it is a noted issue.

Browser Overriding Portal Language.

In some instances upon logging into the Enterprise Portal (EP), LDAP Users without an explicitly defined language setting are presented with the incorrect language display for Portal elements. Instead the language returned by the Portal is derived from the Web Browser Platform.

The cause of such an occurrence would be browser caching and the recommendation would be to clear the Portal Caches and retest the behavior once the mandatory language steps (as above) have been followed correctly.

Remember when you are defining the language setting(s) for the Portal there are a wide range of difference factors and properties to consider. When we consider the Portal as a central conduit means of access to a vast collection of information, data and applications language setting discrepancies can come into affect quite easily if the right diligence is not pursued.

The first point of language setting and review comes into affect at the point of logging on so this can be used as a cross-reference point:

If you face an issue with a language feel free to reach out to me:

Active SCN Forum Contributor - Follow Me @ troy.cronin2