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A mixup in version differences between developer and server environments we ended up with two different items for some language items. That is, we have 2 items each in /sitecore/system/Languages for en-US and fr-CA. There is already content for both languages.

Deleting the unwanted language item gives a dialog that advises that all item versions for that language will also be deleted. Experimentation confirms that this is the case. Between en-US and fr-CA, that is the entirety of the website.

I have tried to recover the missing versions by moving the items from the web database to master. Some pages are broken after this trial.

Is there a way to delete one of the duplicate language items without also deleting all of the content item versions?

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  • Not sure if this helps but have you tried to use /sitecore/admin/dbbrowser.aspx? – Marek Musielak Nov 21 '18 at 20:09
  • Can you rename one of the languages and then delete it? Just an idea, haven't tried myself... – Peter Procházka Nov 21 '18 at 20:58
  • I didn't even know about /sitecore/admin/dbbrowser.aspx. Unfortunately, for me, it also deletes all the item versions for the language being deleted. – Daniel Govier Nov 21 '18 at 21:03
  • Renaming the language looks promising. I think I will have to rename them and then publish that change first. After that, I think I will be able to delete them. – Daniel Govier Nov 21 '18 at 21:13
  • Will create answer then – Peter Procházka Nov 21 '18 at 21:14
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Follow these steps to fix your problem:

  1. Rename languages to ones you are not using so far (you don't have versions of items in those languages so you won't lose them)
  2. Publish site
  3. Delete renamed languages
  4. Publish item itself and subitems of /sitecore/languages/ item
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    This worked. I did not need to publish the site after renaming the languages, I just published those items individually after renaming the newly duplicated ones. This carries those changes to the web database without losing any existing item versions. After publishing the renamed language items I deleted them and published the Languages folder with the Include subitems option. All the original item language versions were left intact. Thanks, Peter, it was a good idea. – Daniel Govier Nov 21 '18 at 21:24

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