Project Online: Provisioning a PWA in another language? Tips and tricks

We have seen a few customer caught out by the experience when provisioning a new Project Web App in Project Online and I wanted to share with you some of the behind the scenes activity that goes on – and what to expect if you choose to provision in a different language.  In my example I am starting with a US English Project Online – it happens to be an E3 tenant and has Exchange, Lync etc. too – but I will be concentrating on the Project Web App experience.  I am choosing Czech as the language for my new PWA site.  I should also point out that currently (as of 9/26/2013) we are looking in to some anomalies we are seeing in different language choices – so I will be explaining what you should be seeing – as well as some of these anomalies we are currently investigating.

If you are one of the customers currently suffering with some English terms appearing then you have my sincerest apologies.  It has been escalated to the product group and a resolution is being worked on as I type.

One thing you may see initially is the left navigation may still contain some English words when PWA is first provisioned.  A timer job in the background applies some of the language information and this can take several hours to complete.  Mine was finished overnight – but probably took 5+ hours at least.  So patience may be needed until the full language provision has completed.

Mainly Czech - left nav in English

You can see here that it was provisioned in Czech as the default language – and you can make other languages available.  The expectation is that Czech is the native language so certain text such as the names of views and custom fields will also be Czech – but if you enable another language they will still see certain things in Czech.  This is one of the current anomalies we are investigating – View names, custom field names and some grid column headers are still showing English.  This does not appear to be an issue affecting all languages – more later. *** Update 10/1/2013 – it does now appear that ALL new PWA sites provisioned in a non English language will suffer from these same issues – existing sites are not affected. ***

If you have multiple languages available to users then the one they see will be governed by the setting in their SharePoint Profile.  Going to the About Me link under their login name top right, then clicking Edit profile – and then going to the ellipses and selecting Language and region will allow the selection of multiple display languages which can be ordered to the users preference.  See the blog referenced at the foot of this posting for a walk-through.

Provisioned in Czech - other languages can be made available to viewers

The BI Center should get provisioned in the same language as the main PWA – but here we are also seeing English.

All showing in English (incorrectly)

And initially we just see an English directly for reports.  This part – just seeing one directly is again a timing consideration – and all the other language versions should appear within a few hours.

Only English report folder showing

Overnight my main PWA site is looking better, with all Czech showing correctly (at least in this view) – although I’m half expecting at least one Czech reader will comment on some of the translations – and I’d be pleased to hear feedback.

Overnight the provision has completed and all is in Czech<br />

The BI Center is still shown as English though (another anomaly we are investigating)  – but through Server Settings, Language Settings (as this is a different site than the base PWA) we can choose Czech as an offered language for this site.  It should show Czech as the default language – and certainly provisioning a Spanish site this works as expected and Spanish is the default.

Incorrectly shows English as the default language - Czech has been selected to allow Czech version to be viewed

Apart from the word ‘Reports’ all looks good.

All showing in Czech - apart from the word Reports

And all the other language folders have appeared.

All the different language folders were finally provisioned overnight

We are working to understand what is broken that is causing the non-English sites to not switch 100% – and hopefully we will resolve this soon.

One other issue worth mentioning here is that the UI when provisioning does allow for the selection of languages that are not supported for Project Web App – and currently the provision will fail – you will just see the spinning circle and provisioning will never appear to finish (but nothing is actually happening – it has already failed).  We are changing this behavior – but not removing the unsupported languages – but will have a fallback language – and the site will get provisioned.  I aim to do another blog post once I have more details of the fallback languages for the unsupported languages of Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Estonian, Galician, Hindi, Kazakh, Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian (Latin), Thai.  I could take some guesses at what the fallback languages might be – but I certainly don’t want to cause offence or any international diplomatic incidents – so I’ll keep quiet.

On a related topic – some other good resources for language packs for On Premises installations can be found at also did a blog [post a little while back which talks about language packs for Project 2013, Project Server 2013 and Project Online – which can be found at