With Joomla 2.5 and 3.x it's relatively easy set up a multilingual website without using 3rd extensions... in 10 steps!

  1. Install Language Pack
    • To translate Joomla's system labels like "Read more..." in different languages
  2. Define Content Languages
    • Add languages that can be assigned to content (categories, articles, menu items, modules, etc)
  3. Enable & Configure "System - Language Filter" plugin
    • Add language code to URL, enable "Menu Item Association" (see 8.)
  4. Create Root Category for every Language
    • For easier maintenance it's better to group all categories for a language under a "Language Root Category"
  5. Create Articles
    • Assign the right Category + Language to each article
  6. Create Menus (every Language own Menu)
    • Create a Menu for each language
  7. Create Menu Items & Menu Item Association
    • Create Menu Items, set a default homepage per language, group similar menu items from different languages
  8. Create Menu Modules (every Language own Menu Module)
    • Create a Menu Module per language and assign to that language's Menu
  9. Create Language Switcher Module
    • Create this Module to display the language icons that can be selected to select one of the languages
  10. Redirect old incoming links
    • A tip for collecting huge amounts of old URLs, 
      and creating redirects to the new URLs using:
      • A sitemap component (Xmap)
      • A browser (to display the HTML source)
      • A spreadsheet (Excel / OpenOffice Calc)
      • and .htaccess

Presentation given at: