Going global in a matter of Minutes:
One of the greatest benefits of the Internet is that it allows us to be global without losing our diversity. We use English as our lingua franca – or common language – but we still want and can get a translation of anything we want in our native tongue. So for such needs, there has to be a way to translate your WordPress theme to another language, which is frankly invaluable in our multicultural world.
There are two ways to go around this, one of them requiring an external program, and one of them requiring a WordPress plugin. In order to keep everything about WordPress, I’ve chosen the second option for our theme translation endeavor.
A brief introduction:
In order to translate a WordPress theme to be compliant with GNU get text localization, which for reasons of simplicity we will assume it is. It can otherwise be made, after reading the manual for the function. Most themes already are, so we shall assume that for your theme as well.
The process, in theory, boils down to creating Portable Object Template files, whose extensions end in .po and .mo , for every language, and using them in our theme. For doing that , we could either get an external editor like POEdit, or install a plugin like Code styling Localization to help us do it inside WordPress.
Steps to using the plugin :
- 1. As with any plugin , make sure to install it. Keep in mind that the required WordPress version is any version above WordPress 2.5. After installation, activate the plugin and look for it in the admin panel, in Tools, which is located in a column on the left side, on most installations at least. From there , look for Localization.
- 2. In the Localization page, make sure to use the filters to find out your active theme which will require translation.
Compared to other themes in the list for localization ,the currently activated theme will be highlighted in green. Once you see it , look on the right hand side. There is a table which contains all the available languages and translations for this theme. Click on Add New Language to add you language
- 3. Adding your new language is pretty self-explanatory, but still for the purposes of being thorough, we will explain even the smallest steps of the process. The first thing you see will be a screen with flags representing the different languages available. They’re listed with the name of the language, in that language (for example Español is Spanish for Spanish) followed by the country variation (for example Equador).
Click “create po-file” on the end of the list. This will create the portable object file we mentioned earlier, in the introduction part of this tutorial.
- 4. Click “Rescan Now” to start scanning the template for strings that are supposed to be translated. Just so you know, you need to click the scan now button for the process to start. The plugin neatly displays the scanning progress with a progress bar, and displays the number of files which will be affected by this.
- 5. Click Edit on one of the languages you just created. This will take you to the most important menu of the whole plugin where the actual translation process happens. Here, you’ll be able to see the original theme language on the left, and the translated string on the right. This might take lots of time depending on your knowledge of the translation language, but will surely yield a successful translation in technical terms.
- 6. After you’re finished editing, create the .mo file. You’ll do that with a single click on the “generate .mo file” button.
- 7. That’s basically it, your translation is up and running.
With Codestyling Localization, you can translate not only themes, but also plugins and widgets, ensuring the same quality and understanding of your website for visitors around the world. There’s no limit as to how many languages you can have, and the plugin is free of charge, so basically the translation of your own site in many languages depends solely on you. Good luck with your new, global blog!