How to Translate or Localize Layers
Layers and all Layers Child Themes come translation-ready and include several translations already which will load if your WordPress install is loaded in the same locale, or if you have a language switching plugin that supports front-end switching to a supported locale.
Instead of creating a file containing the human-readable text from a particular theme, we’ve included that file with the theme itself. All you need to do is add the translations in your own language.
Here’s a quick rundown of the three file types you will deal with in translations and what they are for:
- .pot: This file is a “portable object template” that contains all of the text to be translated. Since it’s just a template, it serves as the basis for your translation. It doesn’t contain the translations themselves.
- .po: The “portable object” file contains the original text and the translations. This is the file you edit and which contains the orginal English text elements from the theme.
- .mo: This is the “machine object file.” When your translation is complete, you will convert or export your
- .pofile to this file type so that WordPress can use it. Typically if there is a po, you’re good to go.
There are two primary ways to translate your theme – using an application on your computer, or using a plugin in WordPress.
Using A Plugin
For themes that include language support, you can easily translate the theme using a plugin such as Loco Translate
For specific help with translating text coming from the WooCommerce plugin, see Translating WooCommerce
To find your theme in the plugin:
- Go to →
- Locate Layers or Layers Pro in the list and click the +New Language link
- Select your language and click Start Translating
- Click Sync to load the english text strings
- Enter your translations by selecting a text in the top section, and entering your translation in the bottom
- When you’re done, click Save
For detailed instructions on using Loco Translate, please visit the Plugin homepage.
Using the Sitepress Multilingual plugin, go toextension, or enter ocmx into the text domain field. You must have a .mo file created in your language with Codestyling Localization for the second option to work.→ and either enable String Translation if you have the
Next, go to→ and select the post types and taxonomies you want to be translatable.
Using PoEdit (Advanced)
There are several translations editors out there, but PoEdit has been around for several years and is a favorite among developers and translators in the WordPress community. It’s also free and well documented.
- Download a copy of your theme. Go to your Obox Dashboard and download a copy of your theme. Unzip the file to your desktop.
- Download Poedit. When the download completes, unzip the file to your desktop and open the application. You will see the Welcome to PoEdit screen.
- Click Create new translation
- Browse to your desktop and open the theme folder, then open the lang or languages folder
- In the lower-right of the file browser window, select PO Transaltion files (*.po) from the drop-down, select the en file and click Open
- You will be prompted to select the language of your new translation. Select one and click OK
- The translation screen will open and show you all of the text strings found in the theme.
- Highlight each line and enter the translation in the box at the bottom.
Some strings contain Unicode or HTML. For these, copy the original content into your translation, and translate just the words. This ensures the symbols or HTML elements are carried over.
- When you’re finished, click the Save button at top-left. It should bring you back to the same lang or languages folder you opened the original file from. You will notice your files are named with the country and language abbreviation for the language you chose. Click Save on the file browser.
- You will need to upload the new .po and .mo file to your web server via FTP or your hosting control panel file browser. Make sure it goes into your theme’s language folder, example wp-content/themes/gigawatt/lang
- If your WordPress install is already set to this language, you don’t need to do anything else. If this is a secondary language you are offering users to switch to, you will need a content translation plugin such as WPML or qTranslate.
Important: Not all of the text on your site is controlled by the theme translation file. You may have plugins or content that injects text also. Plugins can be translated using the same process as above. For translating WooCommerce and any text in your products/shop/cart, see Translating WooCommerce
Translating WordPress themes is a complex topic. This article focuses primarily on translating hard-coded text in the theme files, but there are other things to consider such as widgets, theme option text and your own content.
The following resources will help you gain additional perspective on translations in WordPress.
- Barry van Someren’s tutorial on translating WordPress themes with the Google Translator Toolkit
- Translating WordPress