Joomla! 1.5.x has native support for localization. However, no matter what language you choose during installation, you will get a default installation of Joomla! Web site in English. In order to get front end and back end interfaces displayed in your language, you will have to install language packs.
What if you can have a completely Chinese experience with Joomla! right from the installation to the sample Web site contents? Will it help you to envision a Web site built with Joomla! in Chinese? Since we have already the fully translated sample data for the defatul Joomla! installation as well as translation files provided by Joomla! Taiwan, we decided to answer those questions with a small patch to make Joomla! completely (well, almost) Chinese. (Download location is provided at the end of this article.)
Before installing Joomla!, you has to uncompress the Joomla! installation pack into a folder. Once you've done that, you extract our patch into the same folder. Some files will be added into the installation folder, and some will be replaced.
Next, open your brower and go to your Web site address at your local machine or remote hosting server. You should see Joomla! installation page already set to be displayed in Traditional Chinese, i.e. zh-TW - 正體中文(台灣).
While you are going through the installation steps, you can see all the pages except the GNU license are in Traditional Chinese. This gives you a familir environment to check your server settings and set up your Chinese Joomla! site. They are the fruits of hard work by Joomla! Taiwan.
While you are on the main configuration (主要設定) step, please remember to select "Install Default Sample Data" ("安裝預設範例資料") and press the "Install Sample Data" ("安裝範例資料") button. Otherwise, you won't see the sample content after the installation is finished.
Continue following the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Click on the link to your Web site, and you will see a Joomla! site displayed entirely in Chinese. It can be used a starting point for your own Chinese Web site.
Of course, we didn't forget that administrator back-end is also an essential part of Joomla! experience. Our translation includes a SQL script to localize the back-end modules and plug-ins. So when you are on the administrator back-end, you are still in a comfortable environment language-wise.
Unfortunately there are some parts of Joomla! system which are infeasible to translate. Therefore you will still see a small percentage of the system in English, mostly in the back-end.
If you are interested in building your own Joomla! site in Chinese, you can download the patch here. (You will have to register with Joomla! Taiwan Forum to download.)