How to Translate WordPress Themes and Plugins with Loco Translate

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, nearly powering 32% of the website on the internet. Like other backend platforms, WordPress default language is English. Most of the themes and plugins available are also in the English language.

Not everyone wants to build their site in English. You may want to build your website or write content for your visitors in your native language.

Is it possible to translate your site in your local language?

Yes, absolutely. As you are using the most popular WordPress platform, you can translate any theme or plugins. There are plenty of ways to do it. The most preferred approach is by using a translation plugin.

In this article, I will show you how to translate WordPress themes and plugins with Loco Translate plugin.

What is Loco Translate?

Loco Translate is a free WordPress plugin that enabled the in-browser editing of WordPress translation files. It is useful for translating your WordPress theme or plugins into any language. Besides, for developers, this plugin also comes with localization tools for extracting strings and generating templates.

Here are some notable features:

  • Built-in translation editor
  • Direct creation and updating of languages files
  • Extraction of translatable strings from source code
  • Support for PO features
  • Protected language directory
  • Configurable PO file backups with diff and restore capability
  • Built-in WordPress locale codes

In simple words, Loco Translate offers a user-friendly way of translating WordPress themes and plugins directly from your dashboard.

Translate WordPress Themes and Plugins with Loco Translate

The process of translating WordPress themes or plugins is not as complicated as it seems. For this tutorial, I will demonstrate how to translate the Blossom Feminine theme using Loco Translate.

Step 1: Install and Activate Loco Translate

To install the Loco Translate plugin, go to Admin Dashboard > Plugins > Add New and search for “loco translate”.

Installation of Loco Translate plugin

When you see Loco Translate in the search result, click on Install Now and then click on Activate. When the plugin is activated, you will see a new menu item Loco Translate on the dashboard.

Step 2: Set Your Default Site Language

By default, the WordPress CMS is in the English language. Before you start translating your theme or plugins, you need to change your site language to your language in which you are going to translate it.

To change the site language, go to Settings > General from your dashboard. Then scroll down till you see Site Language. The language you see at the top of the dropdown is the language your site is currently set at. Currently, the Blossom Feminine language is set to English.

Now, click on the dropdown list, and you will see the languages available. Choose the language for your site and click on the Save Changes button.

Once done, your site language will be changed to the language you have selected. I have chosen Español from the list and saved my changes.

Step 3: Translate Theme or Plugin Strings

Now all things are set, and you are ready for translation. Click on the Loco Translate menu on the left sidebar menu. It will list all the themes and plugins installed on your site.

List of all themes and plugins installed

To begin the translation of theme or plugin, click on the theme or plugin name. In this tutorial, I will translate the theme, but the process is similar for plugin too. On the next screen, you will see something as shown in the screenshot. Click on the New language link.

Adding New Language in Loco Translate

After clicking on New Language, you will have to select your language from the dropdown. The Start Translating button will then be active once you have chosen your language. Click on the Start translating to begin translation.

Creating language file in Loco Translate

On the next screen, you will see the total number of strings that you can translate and the number of translated strings. It also shows your progress of translation in percentage. On the dashboard, there are two different sections: Source Text (strings that need to be translated) and language translation box (where you add the translated text).

Theme translation dashboard

To translate the text, select the string in Source Text and write your translated text in the bottom box, as shown in the screenshot below.

Strings Translation in Loco Translate

You can start starting the strings one by one or search for specific strings to translate it. Once you are done translating the theme or plugin, click on the Save button at the top.

Now, you can visit your site to see the changes. Here’s the preview of before and after translation.

Before Translation
After Translation

You can follow the same process to translate any WordPress plugins installed on your site.

Final Thoughts

If you want your site to be in your native language, you can translate the theme and plugins you have installed using Loco Translate. Loco Translate is easy to use and is very convenient. It takes care of all technical aspects like file creating, synchronization, and much more.

I hope you learned how to translate WordPress themes and plugins easily. If you have any questions related to translation, do let me know in the comment section below.

Which is your favorite WordPress translation plugin? Please feel free to let me know.

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