phpBB is configured to be able to use different languages and comes with English as the default. There’s several different language packs that can be downloaded. Unfortunately except when using UTF-8 encoding, these language packs can cause incompatibilities if people try to view the same content with different language packs. The language packs publicly available are usually in one of the popular native encodings, not in UTF-8. However, it is possible to convert a language pack to UTF-8, and most current browsers handle UTF-8 well. Anyway, to get to the point, to change the encoding for a language pack, go into the language directory of the phpBB install, then go into the language pack directory, e.g. lang_english. The lang_main.php file defines the charset for web pages for that language pack, e.g.:
$lang[‘ENCODING’] = ‘UTF-8’;
Both UTF-8 and BIG5 are supersets of ASCII, but not of ISO-8859-1 (aka Latin-1), so unless non-ascii characters are used then just changing the ENCODING setting is enough to convert english to a different charset. There’s also an email subdirectory in each language pack which contains templates for emails the web site sends out. The charset used is specified on the second line of each file.
For language packs that are not limited to ascii, one can use iconv to convert the language pack files to a different charset. For example, to convert lang_chinese_traditional_taiwan to UTF-8 you can use the following for each file in the language pack:
iconv -f BIG5 -t UTF-8 < oldfile > newfile
I’ve already done conversions to UTF-8 for Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional (Taiwan), English, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish if anyone wants copies. The advantage with UTF-8 is that users on my phpBB can mix any languages together even on the same page and it will be readable no matter which language someone has set their profile to. Using native encodings would mean someone that is set to Japanese would not be able to read a Chinese posting without manually setting the charset for each post.
An example multilingual phpBB thread is here: forums.tcp.com/viewtopic.php?t=4
I would be happy to assist the admins here in any language settings or conversions if the above isn’t clear enough.