Language Supplementation


English and German are the only two languages that are complete in every SAP system. In general, any other languages are not completely translated. This means that at least some of the texts do not exist in these other languages. Since missing texts can sometimes cause processes to crash, they need to be replaced in some way. The language supplementation function in the language transport tools enables you to do this.

The language supplementation function enables you to replace texts that do not exist in the target language with another language. This language is known as the supplementation language. Always use one of the two standard languages (English or German) as the supplementation language. After you have supplemented your language, the text is available in the supplementation language (such as English), but under the language key of the target language (such as French – FR).

Supplement your language in the following cases:

·        After you have installed an SAP system that contains languages other than English and German

·        After you have upgraded an SAP system that contains languages other than English and German

·        After you have imported Support Packages into a system that contains languages other than English and German

Remember that you must supplement all languages that exist in the system, except English and German.

For additional information about language supplementation, see SAP Notes 596982 and 315375.

Technical Background

When you supplement a target language, any texts that do not exist in this language are replaced by texts from the supplementation language. This procedure copies the texts from the supplementation language to the appropriate locations of the target language texts. The same text in the supplementation language then exists with the language ID of the original language, and also with the language ID of the target language.

When the transport tool R3trans imports a transport request, it attempts to reconstruct the state that exists in the export system. If a text does not exist in the export system, but this text has been generated in your system (for example, by the language supplementation function), then the transport request gives this text a deletion flag. This means that the supplemented text will be deleted in the target language. The text is then displayed in the original language, or the process crashes when the text with the target language ID is requested.

The transport of the deletion flags can cause texts that you have already supplemented to disappear after the import of a SAP Support Package. For this reason, you must perform a language supplementation after each import of a Support Package.

To reduce the amount of work, we recommend that you define a strategy for the import of Support Packages. Import a group of Support Packages into your system at regular intervals, for example, every three months. Then supplement your languages.


In your system, you have specified that language FR (French) is supplemented with language EN (English). There are 100 English translations of a program whose original language is DE (German) and for which 100 original German texts exist. However, only 50 of these texts have been translated into French. After you have imported this program into your system, you must perform a language supplementation for FR. After the language supplementation, texts exist that have FR as their language ID. These include the missing 50 supplemented texts in English.