Using Variations in Publishing Sites
In some cases you may want to publish pages or indeed entire sites in multiple languages. Or perhaps you want to give your users the option to view a site in a particular language. With SharePoint 2010 you can do these things using variations. SharePoint of course cannot translate content for you; what it can do is help you organize the content to allow your users to choose the language they prefer once the content has been translated. For completeness, the variations process is not restricted to different languages. It can be used to provide many different types of content to a variety of audiences or, for that matter, to different devices such as different types of smartphones.
Variations enable you to configure multiple sites within a SharePoint publishing portal, specifying one as the core content site and automatically or manually copying content to other specified sites, where it can be translated into the language or languages required. In order to use variations, you must enable the SharePoint publishing features for the site collection.
Variations are not available with standard SharePoint 2010 Team Sites. You can, however, use another feature of SharePoint 2010 to give users access to content in other languages: this is the Multilingual User Interface (MUI), which was introduced with SharePoint 2010. The MUI will enable you to change the display language used by sites, but it has no effect on content. You can ...