How to translate a WordPress theme within a few minutes

Learn how you can easily translate WordPress themes

Image Source: geralt – / License: CC0 Public Domain

All our Premium WordPress Themes are Translation Ready, that means you can easily translate our WordPress themes into your own language if this language is also supported by WordPress. Translating a WordPress theme is easy to do and there is no coding involved, so no coding skills are required. In this quick WordPress tutorial you can learn how to translate your WordPress theme with the free Poedit software into your own language by following a few simple steps:

As an alternative to manually translate WordPress themes with Poedit, there also are WordPress plugins available which you can use to translate your WordPress themes and plugins, for example: Loco Translate.

Step 1 – Download Poedit and open the .pot file

Poedit is free software which is available for download for several operating systems (Windows, OSX, Linux, etc.). With Poedit you can translate your WordPress theme very easily. First of all, please download Poedit. Afterwards, please have a look at the theme directory folder and find the /languages folder of your WordPress theme. Inside the /languages folder, you will find a .pot file. Having Poedit successfully installed, now please open this .pot file with Poedit.

Step 2 – Translate text strings into your language

After you’ve opened the .pot file with Poedit, you can translate all text strings or just parts of it into your own language. To do so, simply click on the text string and type in the according translation in the field just below (see screenshot). Please save your file with your own language prefix, e.g. zh_CN.po for Chinese. Poedit will then automatically create two files with .po and .mo endings.

WordPress theme translation with Poedit (Screenshot)

Step 3 – Upload your new translation files

Now please upload these two files, the .po and .mo file, into the /languages folder of your WordPress theme. To make sure everything is named and uploaded properly, please check again if your new translation files are saved under the correct name and uploaded to the correct folder. If your WordPress installation is currently set to your local language, which you just did the theme translation for, then your WordPress theme now will automatically be displayed in your language.

Please note: By default WordPress usually is set to english language. If WordPress is not set to your local language, your WordPress theme will not use the specific translation files for your language. In that case you will first have to set WordPress to your own language, this can be quickly done in your WordPress dashboard under Settings => General – don’t forget to save these new settings.

Step 4 – Send us your translation files

Most of our WordPress themes already include several language files to provide full or partial translations. It always depends on if we have received translation files from users who are familiar with the particular language. In case your language is already available and 100% translated, then you don’t need to translate your WordPress theme again, it will work out of the box.

If you’ve translated your WordPress theme by MH Themes into a language which is not available yet, it would be highly appreciated if you would send us the translation files so that we can include the translation with the next theme update and make it available for other users as well. To give you credit for the translation and your contribution to the MH Themes community, we will mention you as the translator within the changelog of the particular WordPress theme.

Translate WordPress themes with the Loco Translate plugin

As an alternative to Poedit, you can also use (free) translation plugins to translate your WordPress themes and plugins. An example for such a useful and highly recommended translation plugin is Loco Translate which can be downloaded from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Loco Translate offers some great advantages. For example you don’t need to take care of the technical aspects regarding the language files (e.g. manual file creation & upload) and in addition you can also translate your WordPress theme directly within your WordPress dashboard. Please see our tutorial for a step-by-step guide using Loco Translate to translate WordPress themes.

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  1. I can’t use Loco Translate when I translate English into Japanese. In the screen for ja_JP.po WordPress comment I get “Error: Forbidden” when I pushed save button.

    • Hi Healsy, when you get an error like “Forbidden” in Loco Translate while translating strings of your WordPress theme, it could be an indication for insufficient user permissions or it could be related to insufficient file permissions on your server as well. If you still get that error in Loco Translate, you could open a thread in their support forum for further assistance.

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