Currently building a multi-lingual site. Developing locally using WAMP. Using trial version of 'Craft Pro'. Followed the step-by-step instructions of Craft's Setting Up a Localized Site

All works well except for one thing: Step 3: Define your translatable fields.

I can't make this work. When I check/tick my custom field's “This field is translatable” checkboxes, they don't seem to work as expected.


When I create an entry, put some values in the English locale, then hit save, all values get copied over to the French locale.

This means the moment I hit save, the French version of my site will display English content until I update it with the translation.

Am I doing something wrong?

I'm considering creating locale-specific sections to get around this problem.

Any help, much appreciated.

My current folder structure is as follows:

  • assets
  • craft
  • french
  • uk

1 Answer 1


No, you're not doing anything wrong. Craft copies the content over to all the other locales when you save an entry for the first time.

The idea behind this is to give content editors a base for the translation, and for some content it’s not even necessary to translate at all. Imagine a text field for city names for example, you don’t need to translate "Berlin" or "New York" for some locales, but for "Berlin and Munich" the German translation would be "Berlin und München".

One feature you might not have discovered is the "Default Entry Status" setting in the section settings. If you disable a locale by default, Craft will still copy over the content on the first save, but the entry won’t be live for this locale yet, you first have to explicitly enable the locale in the right pane of the edit entry view.

entry disabled for a locale

  • Ah brilliant! That worked perfectly. Is it possible though for the 'first save' to not copy content over?
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 15:07

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