Make Field Collection Fields Translatable in Drupal 7

On the Cornell AAP website, many nodes use field collections, and recently had to make some content types translatable.  Field collections are not translatable by default - there is a patch that needs to be applied.  I'm going to write about how to do this so you don't have to waste a good part of your day figuring it out.  

At the time this post was written the module and Drupal versions used are:

  • Drupal 7.42
  • Field Collection 7.x-1.0-beta11

1. Get the patch

Download the patch (field_collection-add_entity_translation_support-1344672-459.patch) from comment #459 and put it in modules/field_collection.

2. Apply the patch

Open terminal, cd to modules/field_collection then type in patch < field_collection-add_entity_translation_support-1344672-459.patch

3. That's it. Still not working?

I ran into two errors, both are very easy fixes. 

Error #1: PHP Fatal error: Class 'EntityTranslationFieldCollectionItemHandler'

Solution: move the file field_collection/ to field_collection/includes/ then clear cache. 

Error #2: EntityMalformedException: Missing bundle property on entity of type node

This error popped up when I was edited then saved a translated node.  For example, the default language was English and there was a Chinese translation. Saving the Chinese translation threw that error.  

Solution: delete the translation node (delete the Chinese translation node) then recreate the translation.