SAP Language Codes Supported by SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA

Published on 10 Apr 2021

SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP are currently translated into 39 languages. And more than 500 additional language keys are available, which include country variants. Considering its vast scope, SAP arguably has the best language support of any enterprise software. Let’s dive in and find out which languages are included.

Which Languages Does SAP Support?

Language support varies across SAP’s product portfolio. SAP’s flagship solution, SAP S/4 HANA, currently supports 39 languages, as does its predecessor, SAP ERP. This number has not changed in a while, but if you want to be sure that a certain language is supported, the place to check is the Product Availability Matrix on the SAP Support Portal (see SAP Note 2583075). Here is the full list of SAP-supported languages along with the associated two-character language codes:

This list applies to SAP S/4HANA On-Premise 1909, which as of this writing and based on no data at all, I assume to be the most commonly used S/4 release. It also applies to all versions of SAP ECC 6.0 EHP6, which is the release that added support for Kazakh and Hindi as the newest SAP languages. On older landscapes that are not on Unicode yet, things get a lot trickier, since many languages are not supported on non-Unicode systems.

But what does it mean for a language to “be supported”? For three of the four S/4HANA editions, and for SAP ERP, it means two things above all. For a supported language, its language key for the language can be activated as a logon language, and there is a language pack available from SAP that you can import. To download these language packs, the place to go is SAP Note 330104.

Language Coverage

When you import a language pack for a language, does that mean that all texts in your SAP will be available in that language? The quick answer is, it doesn’t. SAP’s language packs are not created equal, and the only language that every single text in an SAP system is available in is English. For practical purposes, this does not make a big difference for many languages, since a lot of texts are never shown to end-users. But the fact is, not all components are translated into all languages, and that does make a difference. There is an SAP Note for most major product versions that lists all components that are not translated into all languages, and which languages are supported for those components. For SAP S/4HANA On-Premise 1909, you can find this information in SAP Note 2825302.

Beyond the 39 Languages

If you only look at the language codes that you can activate, SAP supports even more languages. It is a pretty long list – last time I checked, 565 languages had a dedicated SAP language key. You can find the full list in SAP Note 73606. For these languages, there are no language packs available, but it is possible to add your own translations. The most common way to use these languages is to create custom developments (SAP GUI or Fiori apps) that you translate into these languages on your own. This way, you can support smaller locations (such as sales offices) in countries with custom forms and master data in languages that SAP does not provide translations for.

Language Variants and Customer Languages

Among the supported language keys, several languages occur more than once. These are county variants, such as French (Canada) and French (France). For many languages, SAP provides language packs for one of the country variants. For instance, the FR language code points to French (France), and while French (Canada) does have a language key, there are no French Canadian translations available from SAP, at least not for SAP S/4HANA. And if you want to support a language that is not on the list at all, there are customer language keys use can use, such as Z1. With those keys, you can support any language that uses Unicode characters, as long as you are willing to do your own translations.

The Best Language Support in the World

Considering the vast scope of SAP S/4HANA, the level of internationalization and language support is quite impressive. The translation effort alone is staggering – a single language version contains many millions of texts. SAP internationalization is also best in class, which is all the more impressive if you consider that some SAP code has been there for more than two decades. Admittedly, there is a lot of language-related complexity baked into the SAP stack, but I believe there is no other enterprise-class software with this level and quality of language support.

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