Changing language names displayed in drop-down menu in form

Hi everyone,
Is it possible to change the language names displayed in the drop-down menu in a form? We are offering translations in Northern and Central Kurdish (the language names are automatically being displayed in the form as “Northern Kurdish” and “Central Kurdish”) but the participants are finding this very confusing because they use the names Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish) and Sorani (Central Kurdish). Hence we would like to change the names displayed in the drop-down menu.
Many thanks,

Hello @hannah_p,
As far as I know this name comes from the ::language colum name(s) in your XLSForm. (Or the “Translation” names in KoBo/Enketo). So, you may try to change it there.

Do you use XLSForms (Excel) or KoBo Formbuilder for your form design?

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Hi @wroos,
Thank you for the quick response! I use XLSForms but as far as I understand the language names entered in the Excel form need to match the names specified in the list of language codes, as explained here: Adding Another Language to your XLSForm — KoBoToolbox documentation
So I entered the language names as specified in the list ( I assume that the system is not able to recognise a language if the name in the Excel form does not match the official code so I was wondering if it is possible to just change the name displayed in the form.

@hannah_p. could you share with the community the header of the language name and code provided to the xlsform?

@Kal_Lam, sure!

This is the information provided about the languages in the list mentioned (

Type: language
Subtag: kmr
Description: Northern Kurdish
Added: 2009-07-29
Macrolanguage: ku

Type: language
Subtag: ckb
Description: Central Kurdish
Added: 2009-07-29
Macrolanguage: ku

I entered the following code in the xlsform:
label::Central Kurdish (ckb)
label::Northern Kurdish (kmr)

The form was correctly imported and the survey works fine. I would just like to change the language names displayed in the drop-down menu at the top of the form.

Could you explain this with a screenshot so that we could better understand it?

@Kal_Lam: I would like to replace “Northern Kurdish” with “Kurmanji” and “Central Kurdish” with “Sorani” (the participants do not use/understand the terms Northern and Central Kurdish).

@hannah_p, maybe you could do the following to check out…

  • Download your current xlsform.
  • Upload the same as a dummy project and collect some dummy data for it.
  • Then change the language from Northern Kurdish with Kurmanji and Central Kurdish with Sorani.
  • Then replace the edited xlsform to the dummy project and redeploy.
  • Try collecting the data it should see as you wish.
  • Please also check your data by downloading your dataset. See if there is an issue. If there are no issues you could proceed further.

If this works in your dummy project try it out in your working project.

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In addition to Kal_Lam.

  • Try to keep the (kmr /ckp) in bracket.
  • Do a first uplad/preview test with the Online validator

@Kal_Lam and @wroos, Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I have tried your suggested solution and it works! All the best, Hannah

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I think the language dont necessarily have to follow that list. I create forms with different local languages of my country and I didnt mind checking their official code but still works. Just replace the name after :: with the name of the language that you want e.g. Kumanji and Sorani