Bonjour, guten tag and buenos dias, Google Forms!How to display a Google Form in a particular language

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Update: Something's changed at Google's end, and this tip no longer works... at least, not in the four browsers I checked it in. I'll be on the lookout for workarounds, but in the meantime, any suggestions are welcome. And thanks to the commenters who've pointed it out.

Google Forms are one of the lesser-known and more powerful features of Google Docs. They let you capture data from your users in a Google Spreadsheet, via simple web-based forms that can stand on their own or sit embedded in a web page. Like this:

Now, suppose you need to create that form in, say, English and French. Not hard: two forms, two spreadsheets, and you're done. But when you look at the French version, the questions may be in French but all of the interface text is still in English:

Here's how you fix that: just change the URL for the form by adding a parameter for the language you want the form to appear in... in our case, "fr" for French.

This is the original embed code that Google creates for the form:

<iframe src="http://spreadsheets.google.com/embeddedform?key=pnY7RN2L8C5h3PQUcS0RKIg"
width="310" height="455" frameborder="0" marginheight="0"
marginwidth="0">Loading...</iframe>

Change that source URL to read http://spreadsheets.google.com/embeddedform?key=pnY7RN2L8C5h3PQUcS0RKIg&hl=fr. Adding &hl=fr is all it takes:

You can find a list of codes for each of the languages Google supports here, from Afrikaans (af) to Zulu (zu).

Comments

Anonymous says

March 8, 2010 - 2:56pm

Hi, thanks for the tip... unfortunately it doesn't look like it's working right now. Your forms above still features an English language interface. Is it because Google can tell I am browsing in English? Or have they changed how this works?

Thanks,

Helen

Anonymous says

March 8, 2010 - 2:57pm

Hmm... wait, it seems to work in IE, just not in Firefox. Weird. (Annoying.)

Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous says

April 19, 2010 - 12:09pm

Doesn't work in Chrome either...

Chris Hill says

April 20, 2010 - 1:47pm

FYI - Found this page when trying to resolve this problem myself this evening. After much gnashing of teeth, I realised that this *does* still work, but the language settings you have set in Google Docs will override this. When signed in to Google Docs, I saw the form in English regardless of the language code specified in the URL. However, when I signed out of Google docs, it appeared in French.
This applies to all forms (yours or other people's forms).

Lica says

May 28, 2012 - 12:03pm
You sir, saved my life! Thank you for this precious tip. I already changed language settings in google docs, but somehow the interface was still in Portuguese. Crazy google. BTW, I did the alteration in Firefox and it worked just fine. Thank you again! cheers Lica

RavanH says

November 23, 2013 - 10:12am
Hmmm... too bad. I came here searching for a solution as the "&hl=fr" method did not seem to work on my site anymore. Turns out it does not work here too. All examples on this page are with Dutch interface (my browser language) :(

Anonymous says

November 25, 2013 - 11:52pm
Still working, thank you!

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