How to Create Multi-Language Forms

We’ve now released the first international version of FormSmarts. Form users now see instructions, error messages, and confirmation messages in their preferred language. FormSmarts is already available in 27 languages, and more translations are under way.

The languages supported are: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Ukrainian . If your language is not listed and you are willing and able to translate FormSmarts into your language, sign up here.

Other changes worth mentioning:

  • Create forms in any language. Because of the character encoding that was used, web forms could before only be designed using a West-European language. FormSmarts now supports all languages.
  • Now using ISO date format. The date format accepted was changed to the ISO format YYYY-MM-DD. Note that because most users enter dates with a date-picker, the impact of this change is very small in practice. The format used on the confirmation page and in email notifications has not been changed.
  • New form URL format. The default form URL format was changed to accommodate forms which title is not in English. The previous URL format that was based on form title is still supported for backward compatibility.

How the Language of a Form is Selected

Each time a form is loaded, FormSmarts customizes it based on the language preferences set in the user’s browser. Common text, error, help and confirmation messages will be displayed in the form user’s preferred language, not necessarily in the language you used to create the form. For example, if you built a form in English but some of your visitors have set Spanish as their preferred language, those users will see the form questions and the text you entered in English, and help and confirmation messages in Spanish.

Setting a Form to Use a Specific Language

Dynamic language selection explained in the last section provides the best user experience in most cases. This approach however becomes awkward when the main language of the form and the preferred language of the form user employ a different reading direction. If you have built a form in a right-to-left (RTL) language (Arabic or Hebrew) and expect all form users to understand that language and a number of them to use a browser set to a left-to-right (LTR) language auch as English, then you should set the language of the form as explained next.

Dynamic language selection most-usually provides the best user experience and we recommend against setting forms to a specific language except in the case discussed above.

To set the language of a form to a specific language, set the lang parameter of the form URL to the ISO code of that language. So if the URL of your form is and you would like to set it to always display in Hebrew, you would need to use the URL or change the URL in the form snippet published on your site to

PayPal Integration

If you’re using FormSmarts' PayPal integration on a payment form aimed at users in locales with a non-Western European language, you need to set up your PayPal account to use the UTF-8 encoding.

Give Feedback

We welcome your feedback about this new version of FormSmarts. Please report any problems you may find.

4 Responses to “How to Create Multi-Language Forms”

Il existe maintenant un site pour les utilisateurs francophones de FormSmarts.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 25th, 2009 4:19 am

I didn’t realize when making the form that the language used for displaying a form can change every time the form is viewed. Cool.

Posted by: Ann | Apr 7th, 2009 5:00 am

Dear Support,

I need to put my form on right-to-left side because is in hebrew language.
How can I do this issue.

On IPhone is in correct side.

Thanks in advance

Posted by: Isaac | Jun 19th, 2012 7:32 am

Forms are displayed in the language set as your preferred language in the settings of your browser. If your preferred language is set to a RTL language like Hebrew, the form will display right-to-left. On mobile devices, your preferred language will be automatically set to the language of the operating system. So if your iPhone OS in Hebrew, forms will show in Hebrew, right-to-left. However, if your computer was purchased abroad or you have downloaded a browser with another language (e.g. US English), your preferred language will be set to that language. You can change your preferred language in the Preferences of most desktop browsers (not Safari). The form will then show right-to-left as you expect.

To prevent a form in a right-to-left language from ever displaying left-to-right, FormSmarts allows you to force the language of a form. Please read the “Setting the Form to Use a Specific Language” section on this page.

FormSmarts Posted by: FormSmarts | Jun 19th, 2012 7:50 am

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