WooCommerce Translation – A Comprehensive Guide to Localize WooCommerce

Woocommerce localization (translation) is not a complicated job. All you needed is a translation file for your local language. To translate your own user generated content you will require a translation plugin. The whole process may be far from straightforward unless you have some good guideline. Let us try to give you a few.

Here is a small video.

Backend Localization

There are a number of ways you can translate the back end-of WooCommerce. You can read out numerous method here on the WordPress Codex. There are already a number of translations available on translate.wordpress.org.

The default language of WooCommerce is English. If you wish to switch to a different language, a translated version of the plugin such as Loco Translate can be downloaded from WordPress.org. Advanced users can also use PoEdit.

Preparing WordPress for your Language

Assuming that you want to prepare WordPress for your own language. This can be done by going to your Dashboard > Settings > General and change the Site language.Assuming that the translation file exists for your chosen language, your online store will be displayed in your own language.

However, if your interested language file doesn’t exist, you have to create it.

When you install or update WooCommerce, WordPress will look for a 100% complete translation in your language and automatically download it. If there is no 100% complete translation you can download it manually

Downloading Woocommerce Translations Manually

To download translations from translate.wordpress.org manually:

1. Go to https://translate.wordpress.org/projects/wp-plugins/woocommerce.

2. Search for your language in the list.

3. Click the title to enter in the section for that language.

WooCommerce translation

4. Click the heading under Set/Sub Project to view and download        a Stableversion.

WooCommerce Sub project

5. Once complete, scroll to the bottom of the page and choose to export your project in .mo format (Machine Object).

Export Project

6. Rename this project to woocommerce-YOURLANG.mo (e.g., Great Britain English should be en_GB) where YOURLANG is the language identifier.

7. Upload this into your WordPress language directory at                                                       wp-content/langauges/woocommerce/.

8. The translation file is ready to use.

Creating custom translations

WooCommerce has a language file (.pot file) with all of the English text. It’s located in the plugin folder in woocommerce/i18n/languages/.

You can also create your custom translations with Loco Translate or PoEdit.

Translating WooCommerce with Loco Translate

You can download the  Loco Translate(free plugin) or add directly after log in to Dashboard and then go to Plugins > Add New.

After the completion of installation and activation of Loco Translate, just go to the menu and the Plugins section.

Loco translate plugins

Then to add new language using the Add New Language link select WooCommerce.

Add Language Link

Select the language to add in the list or enter the language ISO code (ex: fr_FR, en_US etc…) and choose the folder to add the translation files to. Then click Start Translating.

Start Translating

If you want to have your own custom translating, the best choice is Custom, rather Author or System locations.

Now Save when finished:

Save Loco Translate

Translating WooCommerce with PoEdit

For hard-coded Woocommerce strings, PoEdit allows you to provide for custom translation. WooCommerce has a POT file that can be imported to transalte into PoEdit.

Woocommerce has two POT files, first one for the front-end strings and second one for the admin strings.

To start, open PoEdit and go to File > New catalog from POT file.

After selecting woocommerce.pot, PoEdit will show the catalog properties window.

Catalog Properties

Enter your name, details and then click Ok to save your .po file. Give the file name as you wish to translate, for example a GB translation can be saved as woocommerce-en_GB.po.

Translate the string

After Save the translating strings, the .mo file is generated automatically.

To Update your .po file, open the file and go to Catalog > Update from POT file.

Choose the file and it will be updated accordingly.

Translation without a localization file

If you want to translate or change a few words without editing a .POT file, you can use the Say What? Plugin. No custom code is required.

You will need the following:

  • Original string – text that you’re translating;
  • Text domain – WooCommerce;
  • Text you’d like to display.

Custom translations with WPML

There are many plugins to make WooCommerce Multilingual. Among those WPML is the best option to make WooCommerce multilingual.
When you will install WPML, you can translate practically anything: pages, posts, menus, taxonomies, custom fields, plugins, URLs and so on. It supports a wide range of languages and is frequently updated by their authors.

Advantage of using the WPML plugin:

  • When you will purchase it, you will get license for unlimited sites.
  • It supports all the major WordPress themes, e.g. Genesis or Elegant Themes.
  • It enables you to make your site more SEO-friendly. It also supports popular SEO plugins, e.g. WordPress SEO by Yoast.
  • You can create a multilingual and multi-currency WooCommerce store. It also accept different currencies or payment processors per language.
  • The availability of extensive documentation to give you a better understanding of all the requirements and processes.

Disadvantage of using WPML plugin:

The main disadvantage of using WPML plugin is the cost. You can get the WPML from wordpress.org with free of charge, but you need the paid version of WPML to work with it.

Custom translations with Polylang

Polylang is another plugin you can use to translate your WooCommerce store. It is easy to add the description of a post as per language requirements.

Note that in this plugin you must manually write descriptions for each language: Polylang doesn’t support professional or automatic translation services.

The advantage of using the Polylang plugin:

  • You can use the plugin free of charge.
  • You can translate posts, pages, media, categories, menus, tags, widgets etc.
  • It support automatic download and integration of WordPress language packs.

The Disadvantage of using the Polylang plugin:

The main disadvantage is learning to add different languages in each post and page may be difficult for non-technical people. As the plugin doesn’t add multi-currency support you also need to translate to all languages manually.

In this article we’ve highlighted how you can translate your WooCommerce store and also suggested an optimal translation solution that can makes your task easier.

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