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Translations are no longer shown after the Power BI March 2021 Update (2.91.701.0)

In previous versions of Power BI Desktop it was possible to add language specific captions and descriptions for tables and fields using the "cultures" part of the tabular model (e.g. the tmsl in the DataModelSchema file in templates (pbit)).


With the March update, these translations are no longer used in the Fields pane, and the raw names are shown instead. By not having friendly names in the model it becomes difficult and confusing for users to navigate it.


I hope either the March release has introduced another alternative for assigning friendly captions, or the translation feature will be reintroduced in the next release.



Niels Kühnel

Status: New
Community Support



You may try the latest version and check if it is affected by any preview feature.

New Member

Thanks, it is still an issue with the April update.


I have tried disabling all preview features, and even installed the latest version of Power BI Desktop in a clean VM just to be sure without any luck.


One of the things that puzzle me is that the external tool feature went GA with the March update, and the "Metadata translator" is one of the featured tools at the same time translations stopped showing. I assumed maybe it took advantage of a new feature in linguistic schemas or something else that had replaced TOM translations, yet it does not, and its translations also do not show up.


Have translations of captions in the field panel in Power BI Desktop deliberately been disabled?



Advocate II

Still an issue in June 2021

New Member

Confirmed to still be an issue in August 2021.


Steps for reproducing:

  • Under PowerBI Desktop Regional Settings, set Application Language to something else than English (example French-France). Restart.
  • Back in Power BI Desktop, open External Tools, Tabular Editor:
    • Under Model, Translations, create a new translation and set the same Culture as Power BI Desktop application language (in this case fr-FR).
    • Go through one of the tables and select a field. In the field Properties, French translation, provide a translated field name.
    • At the top of the screen, select the new translation.
    • Confirm in the tree that the field name appears in blue, showing the translated name.
    • Save model to connected database and return to Power BI Desktop.
  • Back in Power BI Desktop, save file and apply changes.


Expected behaviour (as it was working before March 2021):

  • Field name should change to use the translated name that matches the locale.


Actual behaviour:

  • Field name remains with the name as it was originall defined.


Note: The translations do appear in the published Power BI service, as long as the browser locale matches an existing translation. Also, the locale can be forced by appending "&language=fr-FR" to the report URL.

Advocate II

Here is the reply from Christian Wade :
This is by design. When we GAed external tools in March 2021, imposed this restriction because can't edit translations in the field list. One day, we may introduce a toggle to to switch between editable object names and read-only translations but not planned currently

Advocate III

@DidierTerrien ,


that is too bad. We work with five languages in our company. Not being able to translate fields is a real bummer. Maintaining five different versions of every report is simply not feasible (not to mention a waste of resources).


I found your earlier code to automatically translate fieldsnames in models and while needing to change a few things, it is very unfortunate to now learn that Microsoft doesn't support such translated models anymore, not even when adding: "?language=fr&formatLocale=fr-FR". A very peculiar decision imho.


Have you found any alternatives to translate the model (i.e. to have it working at least in the service)?




Frequent Visitor

This is a very big problem for me: I basically use translations to be able to use technical names in models, and user names via translations. Also, this way the same model can be used for different purposes.
Normally I model in SSAS, and if you use the translations there, they arrive.
But now I wanted to model directly in Power BI Desktop. And it is a real shock that the translations are not displayed.