I need some advices as how to workaround some issue we are having with languages on SPO.


Default SPO sites language is English. Users and folder's architecture are French. Weird translations appear.

What has been set :

Our large organization allows to request for new MS365 Groups with SharePoint sites attached. So, one user asked for a MS365 group and had a SPO site where they added folder architecture and datas.

By default (and I know it is a flaw in the process), the SPO site has been set to default language : English.

The regional settings are set to French and timezone to Paris. The language settings displays that default language is English and the multi-language translation were set to "disabled": The language settings When displaying the source code, the HTML Headers are set to : <html dir="ltr" lang="fr-FR">, so the internet browser should not propose to translate the page.

The issue :

The site is destined to be browsed and used by French users. Their Office account default language is set to French. So is the requesting user, who has set all the architecture. They set the folders and libraries names in French.

When some of their colleagues browse the site, there is a strange behavior : The folders names are weirdly translated.

What is strange is that this behavior is not -as we know- reproduced on other sites with the same kind of configuration.

I assume it could be because SP tries to translate the names from what it considers English (but really is French) to a new French. Which is bad.

What I thought of :

Of course I know one can not change the default language of an already created site. Neither through end-user interface, global admin interface nor through PowerShell scripts.

I tried to enable french translation in the SPO site Language settings, but unsure it would make a difference. I am waiting for user feedback on that change.

My need :

I know that I know nothing. I would be glad if you could give me some insight on language management on SPO sites ! Has anyone already met this same issue ? I would love if you could help me fix this wierd translations. Maybe I did some mistakes, so do not hesitate to point them, I'm always happy to learn and to improve my users' experience !

1 Answer 1


According to your description, is this the only site that has this problem? I just went to test and didn't revert your problem. In it you mentioned that the default language of the French user's Office account is set to French, so the HTML Headers setting should be normal when displaying the source code. Even if the page is translated into English, it will appear as "fr-FR" here. The strange thing is that the user's file name is translated (from French to the new French). Then I tried to translate the original Chinese page into English through the browser default translation in my test environment, so the same problem as you appeared, and the display source code was still "fr-CN". If you have unsuccessfully tried to enable French translation in the SPO website language settings, you could ask the user to check whether the browser's page language translation defaults to English. If it is not set, you can change a site to test to see if the same situation will occur. enter image description here

  • Thanks @Xuyan Ding ! After some research on my side, I came to the same conclusion as you. I will check with users when they run into this issue. Thanks a lot !
    – Gaelle
    Aug 26, 2022 at 10:20

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