Learn how to add a simple and free WordPress plugin that will allow your visitors to easily translate and instantly view the content on your site in over 100 different languages …
How To Translate Your WordPress Site Into 100+ Languages
Being able to display your site’s content to visitors from different countries in their own language can significantly boost your readership and increase sales of your products and services.
The WordPress community has already translated WordPress into over 100 languages and are currently working on translating many more.
Google Translate is a free service that can instantly translate words, phrases, and web pages between English and over 100 other languages.
By combining the power of WordPress with services like Google Translate, visitors from all over the world can easily and instantly translate and view the content on your site in the language of their choice with the simple click of a button.
(WordPress lets visitors translate your site into their own language!)
The step-by-step tutorial below shows you how to do this without touching code using a simple and free WordPress plugin.
To install the Google Language Translator plugin from your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New and enter “Google Translator” into the Keyword search field (if you need help see our tutorial on installing WordPress plugins).
Locate the plugin and click on the ‘Install Now’ button …
(Install Google Language Translator plugin)
After the plugin has been installed, click ‘Activate’ …
(Activate the plugin)
After the plugin has been installed and activated, go to Settings > Google Language Translator to configure the plugin’s settings …
(Configure the plugin’s settings)
This brings you to the Google Language Translator settings screen …
(Google Language Translator settings screen)
In the Main Settings section, you can specify whether to activate or deactivate the plugin, choose the original language of your website, and select which languages you want your site to be translated into …
(Google Language Translator – Main settings)
The Language Switcher Settings section lets you specify a range of different settings for the language switcher feature, including width, text color, background color, hide/display, and layout options. You can also choose to show or hide flags, show or hide the Google Toolbar and Google branding, and the alignment of the translator …
(Google Language Translator – Language Switcher settings)
Choose to display flags if you want to draw attention to the translation feature …
(You can display or hide flags)
You can rearrange the order of the flags using drag and drop (remember to save to update your settings) …
(Drag and drop flags to change their position)
The Advanced Settings section allows you to change flag size and select which flag to display for certain languages (e.g. select the Portuguese or Brazilian flag for Portuguese language translation) …
(Google Language Translator – Advanced settings)
Configure the Floating Translation Widget Settings if you want to use this feature …
(Google Language Translator – Floating Widget settings)
The settings screen also provides options for behavior settings, and plugin usage.
Configure the other options on this screen and click the ‘Save Changes’ button to update your settings …
(Other plugin settings)
If you have configured your WordPress site for Google Analytics, the Google Language translator plugin can automatically detect and add your Google Analytics ID to the settings field.
To learn more about adding Google Analytics to your WordPress site, see the tutorial below:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a simple and free WordPress plugin that will allow your visitors to easily translate and instantly view the content on your site in over 100 different languages.
"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie
Learn how to configure your WordPress site for use in another language …
How To Configure WordPress For Other Languages
Have you ever wondered if WordPress can be translated into different languages?
The answer is … yes, absolutely! You can translate WordPress into almost any language available and reach new international markets.
Although WordPress displays content in U.S. English by default, the software has the built-in capability to be used in other languages. WordPress makes available themes and translation files for other languages and provides language support for over 70 languages.
In this tutorial, you will learn about the international language capabilities of WordPress and how to configure your WordPress site’s default language.
To learn how to easily create a multilingual site using WordPress plugins, see the tutorial below:
If the language you want is not listed, read the “Introduction” section in the above page for alternative options. These options include links to the WordPress Language File Repository and access to translation teams where you can check to see if a translation is currently in progress.
How To Convert WordPress Into Other Languages
Installing WordPress Language Files Automatically
To install an international language version of WordPress automatically, do the following:
Choose Settings > General from your WordPress navigation menu …
(Settings – General)
This brings up the ‘General Settings’ screen. Scroll down to the bottom section and select a language from the ‘Site Language’ drop-down menu …
(Select your language)
Click ‘Save Changes’ to update your settings …
(General Settings – Save changes)
Your WordPress dashboard and all of the default WordPress terms in your installation files will be translated to the language you have chosen …
(Your WordPress site has been automatically translated!)
Translating your default WordPress installation files into another language does not automatically translate your site content into that language. You will need to create content into the language of your choice, or use a WordPress translation plugin
To learn more about translating content in WordPress using translation plugins, see the tutorial below:
If you can’t translate your WordPress site automatically using the method described in the previous section, you will need to manually install and configure your WordPress site to use translated language files. To manually install an international language version of WordPress, you have two choices:
You can follow the instructions provided for your language listed here: WordPress in Your Language. These will show you how to install WordPress in another language.
If instructions are not available, follow the tutorial below to install language files into your WordPress site. This will translate key terms on your site into the language of your choice.
Here are the steps you need to follow to manually install and configure an international language version of WordPress on your site. This will convert the key terms used throughout your WordPress site, but not your actual content. For help translating your actual content, see this tutorialwhere we explore language translation plugins.
Note: If you make an error in the steps or you do not specify the correct language, WordPress will default back to English. If you need help with these steps please contact a professional developer.
First, download the .mo language file (Machine Object file) for your language (see WordPress in Your Language for help on this). This file is typically included in the translated versions of WordPress …
Note: Do not try to edit .mo files directly (you need special software editors to do this).
The naming convention of the .mo files is based on the ISO-639 language code (e.g. pt for Portuguese) followed by the ISO-3166 country code (e.g. _PT for Portugal or _BR for Brazil). So, for example, the Brazilian Portuguese file would be called pt_BR.mo, and a non-specific Portuguese file would be called pt.mo.
Note: For a complete list of country codes and language codes see the bottom of this page.
After downloading the language files to your computer, extract the contents and locate the .mo file (typically, this will be located inside the “wordpress > wp-content > languages” directory) …
Important: Always backup your WordPress files and database before making changes to your WordPress application! If you need help with this step, contact us or refer to our tutorials on how to backup your WordPress files and database.
Open up your FTP software and create a new folder in your /wp-content or /wp-includes server directory called /languages. Next, upload the .mo file to the languages folder you have just created in your server …
Next, download your wp-config.php to a location on your computer that you will be able to easily find. Note: It’s always a good idea to download an additional copy of files you plan to modify to a “backup” folder …
Open your wp-config.php file in a text editor (remember to always back up your files before making any changes to your WordPress site) and change the following line to add the filename of your language translation file …
Edit this line according to the .mo file you’ve just downloaded. For example, to change your WordPress site to use Brazilian Portuguese, you would change the above line to the following:
You can also use the above method to change your WordPress default language from en_US to some other variant of English. For example …
Below is an actual example of a wp-config.php file that has just been modified as shown above …
Once you have added your language code, save your wp-config.php file.
Upload the modified wp-config.php file to your WordPress installation root directory, replacing the existing wp-config.php file …
You will be asked to confirm whether you want to overwrite the existing file on your server. Click the “Overwrite” button to proceed …
Once again, ensure that you have a full backup of your WordPress files and data before making any changes to your site. This way, if anything goes wrong, or you just want to restore WordPress to its previous configuration, you can easily reverse any damage by simply re-uploading a copy of the unmodified wp-config.php file you have just backed up to your server, overwriting the newly modified file.
Open your Internet browser and bring up your WordPress site. Your site or blog should now display many of the key terms in the newly-installed language …
Note: If you are dealing with multiple WordPress site installations (e.g. WordPress MultiSite), then you can either set the language on a per-blog basis through the “Site language” option in the Settings >General subpanel or set the default language for the entire network under the Network Admin > Settings panel (“Default Language”).
Once you have converted the core WordPress terms on your site to the new language, the next step to having your site published in another language is to translate the content of the site itself. This can be partly achieved through the help of translation or multilingual plugins.
To learn more about translating your content into other languages, see the tutorial below: