Language policy

Europeana aims to provide you with a user experience and information in your own language (or one you understand) as much as possible. The millions of items presented on the Europeana website come from thousands of cultural heritage institutions all across Europe, and are described in dozens of languages.

How do I switch languages?

To choose your preferred language, simply use the language selector in the footer.

Why is there only support for some European languages?

The Europeana website’s user interface and navigation are available in all of the European Union’s 24 official languages, plus other languages that have been requested.

Can Europeana be translated into my local language?

We are able to support requests to translate the user interface into any other European national language, as per the Council Conclusions of 13 June 2005. In order for a request to be approved it must come from an organisation that can commit to maintaining the relevant translations and can sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to that effect. Enquiries about this option can be directed to [email protected].

Why do I still see English text after I switch languages?

While the user interface (including the website navigation and browse elements) and supporting documentation (such as Help pages) are made available in all 24 official languages, other content, such as editorial and educational material, is always published in English first. Translations to other languages are then provided later whenever possible. We are not funded to translate all material into all languages, however, an increasing number of our exhibitions are available in multiple languages, thanks to the work of our partners.

How does multilingual search work?

In order to be able to translate the information about an object on Europeana into multiple languages, we rely on our partners to provide the underlying data in specified formats which link to other multilingual data sources. Where possible, we also perform automatic enrichments using even more multilingual data sources. For more information, see our page on semantic enrichment.

Why don’t you use Google Translate?

At this time, machine translation of cultural heritage metadata is not always accurate or reliable.

What plans are there for improving multilingual search and translations? To learn more about how Europeana is improving multilingual experiences on this website, read our Multilingual Strategy.