Have you ever thought of translating your site to approach more audiences around the world? Translation is perhaps the easiest way to make your site more accessible for people without language barriers. Not all people on the internet speak English as their mother tongue. Even you who read this right know may not speak English when communicating with your family and friends. You can also appeal non-English speakers to read your content or even buy your product because you site speaks their language. Isn’t it also nice to have WordPress dashboard in your own language? Let’s get started to learn how you can translate WordPress site!
Find a Theme That Is Ready for Translation
Before you begin anything, you have to know that not every theme can be translated. You need a theme that is ready to be translated such as our themes. It is because a theme should have been localized first in order to allow you for translating (which is too technical). If your theme right now isn’t translation ready but you want to translate it, you should consider finding another theme that is capable of that.
You can translate your site manually by editing the PO file on your PC using a tool such as Poedit. There are also WordPress plugins that simplify your work. One great free plugin that helps you to translate WordPress site is Loco Translate. It allows you to translate your site directly on the WordPress admin panel.
Translate WordPress Site Using Loco Translate
1. Navigate to Plugins > Add New on your WordPress dashboard, then search for Loco Translate. Install and activate the plugin.
2. After activating, go to Loco Translate > Themes from the sidebar menu, then select the theme you want to translate.
3. You will see a list of language. Select one from the available languages you want to edit.
If you want to add another language, select (+) New Language, choose WordPress language option and the language you want to translate on the drop-down list. Make sure the location you choose is Author, then click Start translating button.
NOTE: If you find the message below when you want to add new language, just click Skip template. Our themes have default template included but Loco Translate fails to locate it.
4. You may start your translation now. You can select the text inside the theme you want to translate on the Source Text list, then add the translation on the available translation area. For example, if you want to translate word ‘recommended’, you have to find and select it first on the Source Text list then add the translated text inside the translation box.
5. Click Save button again as soon as you’re done translating, then click Sync.
6. The last step is to activate and use the new language. Go to Settings > General from the sidebar menu. On the bottom of the page, change the language in the Site Language options, then click Save Changes.
It will change the default language both on your WordPress dashboard and on your site.
Loco Translate is really helpful to change your site into another language. But if you wish your site has more than one language, you may use WPML plugin. They have done a great job to make your site as a multilingual site. This way the visitors can also switch to their language preference when visiting your site.
Tips on Translating
- The point of translation is to translate the meaning, not the word. You shouldn’t translate everything literally as languages have their own context. Take the points you want to convey in your content, then make sure that they can be relayed on the target language.
- Do not rely on Google Translate or other auto-translate tools to create the translation. There are many aspects that can’t be covered by translating tools only such as language structure and context in use.
- Try to keep the style of the content. The formality, informality, or even humorous feel you get in the original content shouldn’t disappear. If your original content is written casually, your translated content should be the same.
- If you don’t know the language well, you should hire a translator instead.
That’s all I can share with you about translating your site. Have you done translating your site? How do you feel about it? Don’t hesitate to share your thought 🙂