I'll admit, my previous experience with developing FileMaker solutions in other languages was limited: I changed the labels in different runtime packages to support advertising research in India (Hindi), China, Japan, and various countries in Europe. Pretty basic, but it worked.
Mike Duncan of Soliant takes it a couple of steps further, and provides a demo solution, as well. Duncan's blog post shows how to localize labels on the fly for different languages, and provides a framework for displaying other information in the selected language, was well:
There are plenty of reasons to build in support for multiple languages in your FileMaker development. For example, one day I noticed one of our clients had a sign posted in a common area that contained instructions in no less than four different languages. That was in Chicago, in the heart of the Midwest. Never mind globalization and expanding markets, which are other reasons you may want to add multi-language support to your solution, there is need for this functionality where you might not expect it.
Of course, the term “Localization” encompasses more than just translating field labels for your user interface. Other considerations may include translating field content, converting date formats, currency formats and even current exchange rates, among other issues.For the scope of this article, we will focus on translating our user interface, or UI, for the sake of simplicity. This may be all you need, but should get you started in any case.
Duncan's solution uses variables set on startup and the Let statement heavily, as well as using ExecuteSQL to grab the values from a table on the fly regardless of context. For that reason, this solution is not for the faint of heart. Get ready for some expert level thinking. There is a downloadable file link at the end (registration required) to help you through.