Trouble renaming a number of elements within Elgg (latest release 1.7)

Good evening all. I am new to Elgg, and in the process of testing the limits of the platform for a project my language school has in mind. We are testing out a few platforms in order to build a very basic LMS system (videos, audio, multiple choice quizzes, resources to print out etc, built in dictionary etc) - and so far we are happy with Elgg.

My first problem begins here. I need to rename a number of labels and elements within Elgg:

  • groups --> courses
  • users/members -->students and/or teachers (profile types)
  • files -->content
  • pages --> (still be to decided)
  • etc

And also we need to disable a few features while keeping others, such as invite friends and user-registration. As access will need to be office/admin granted and set-up.

Other than that I'll be tweaking the css at a later date.

I'm more a designer than a developer; but have looked at PHP before. How difficult would it be to rename the few elements, for a start. U have already used a find/replace program on the elgg directory, and did nothing but crash the system.