Language Packs, MUI & Variations
Multi-lingual User Interfaces (MUI) differ from Multi-lingual Sites (Variations). I.e. application may need labels change but content is not translated. I think of MUI as chrome language resource switching whereas variations are used for translating content.
Language packs I would load :
- en-US (default & in place)
- zh-CH (Chinese)
- Japanese? But it really comes down to your situation.
- MUI can be added at any time and allow the site/application to display multiple languages.
- MUI can be enabled at site collection or web level.
- Not all site definitions and templates support MUI so we should apply it only at the web level, is my current thinking.
- Language packs cannot be uninstalled.
- Variations may be needed either for translating content in SP2010 or for delivering to specific devices such as Smart Phones and tablets. Having the language packs is the easy part, implementing variations needs design/is complex.
- Install language packs on all WFE and app servers in the farm
- Language packs are a good idea to install even if you are not using MUI or Variations as it helps index documents in search when the documents are run in another language.