Today I participated in a session about Drupal's multilingual system in Drupalcon, Paris. The panel was hosted by Doug Green of Civic Actions, and co-presenters were Damien Tournoud of AF83 and me. We spoke about the transforming of the multilingual system, between Drupal 5, Drupal 6 and Drupal 7, and went over the strong and weak points of the system.
The Drupal multilingual system has considerably evolved since the dark days of Drupal 5, when core and contrib had to be hacked, in order to get things right. Drupal 6 introduced node translation in core, and a much improved i18n package, with strings translation, and various manners to translate taxonomy terms.
Where is multilingual going in D7?
Damien presented some patches to have all of the node (including the title) as fields, and then to have fields translatable. This means each translated version of a node, will not duplicate it. This will prevent problems we have today, for example with Organic Groups, where one needs to maintain relations between nodes, and would like to keep it across languages.
Thanks Damien and Doug for participating and for the invitation to participate!