Language Copy or Live Copy | An Important Decision

Does this question seem familiar – should we use Language Copy or Live Copy? From experience, I can tell you that every AEM customer does ask this question, not once but multiple times during AEM adoption. My colleague Praffull is writing this series of blogs about Site Structures. Today while having lunch, we were discussing about the next Blog post. It occurred to me that we need to talk about Language Copy and Live Copy first before anyone starts thinking about Site structure. So here is my contribution to Praffull’s efforts.

Adobe has described the these two concepts in the AEM documentation quite clearly.

Live Copy: A live copy is a copy of specific site content for which a live relationship with the original source is maintained. The live copy inherits content from its source; synchronization performs the actual transfer of content. Prime use case is to reuse content at multiple locations. One very good example of the usage of Live Copy is for sharing the content on multiple sub-sites – example Car Dealership Sites.

Language Copy: A language copy is a copy of an existing site that is to be translated to another language. There is no live relationship as established in case of Live Copy. It is one time copy of the content. Please note, there is no translation as part of the Language Copy Creation. However, Language Copy should be used if you wish to translate the content eventually. You may chose to partially translate the content. Thumb rule: create Language Copies if you intend to translate content.

There is a common myth – Language Copies can’t be updated/synchronised. After reading the documentation most AEM users think that if they have to synchronize content between two sites, they must use Live Copy. However, that is not the case. The decision for using Live Copy vs. Language Copy should be based on whether you are going to translate content or not. If you do wish to translate content, then please evaluate using Language Copy instead. Language Copies can be updated as well and synchronized with their source. AEM has Update & Translate workflows available Out of the box that can synchronize changes between the source and language copy. However, in order to use these workflows, one needs to structure the content in a way that language roots (pages with ISO locale code) are all at the same level.

I and Praffull will be happy to discuss with you if you have any follow up questions or want to discuss your Site Structure. Please do not hesitate to write to me at



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