When and how to use Loco Translate on your WordPress site

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

I’ve used Loco Translate for several years but I wasn’t really clear on what its capabilities were until recently. You see, I thought it was for translating content but it’s not. Loco Translate will help you if your site is in a foreign language first and you want to edit strings that come from a theme or a plugin that you need in that foreign language and are still in English. Remember, developers do a lot to make sure their plugins and themes are translatable, but sometimes things fall through the cracks.

My example will be using a site with a base (1rst) language of Spanish. I first started using Loco Translate when my colleague asked me to help make her site completely in Spanish whenever she changed themes. Some wording in Woocommerce was still in English even though the theme had a Spanish translation.

Install Loco Translate

Loco Translate is completely free and you can find it in the WordPress repository

Loco Translate

Below is a screenshot of the Loco Translate panel, as you can see at the left it has several options so you can go directly into what you need (Plugins, themes, WordPress core).

Loco Translate Panel

Slider revolution

Slider revolution is a plugin that helps you create slideshows and display them in your WordPress site. Since the site’s first language is Spanish, the menu is also in Spanish, but when we go to Slider Revolution’s panel its mainly in English. So what if we are building this site for a client that only speaks Spanish? We need to have the strings translated to Spanish but normal language plugins like WPML or Polylang only focus on translating content.

Plugin is not in Spanish

Changing the strings

Let’s say I want to translate the string “New Module from Template”. First, lets go to “Loco Translate > Plugins”. Then you want to click on the plugin you want to edit. In this case is Slider Revolution.

Editing the plugin


The next screen will show you the different languages that have translations. In this case I’ve already created a new language “Spanish/Español” but if your language is not listed you need to create it by clicking on “New Language” (it will be in the site’s language). If it’s already there go ahead and hover over the language name to get a list of options. You want to “Edit” the language.

Create a new language or edit an existing one

On the next screen you will have to search for the string you want to translate. It should come up on the screen. Sometimes you will not know if the string you are looking for is in a plugin or a theme and you will have to do a bit of back and forth searching for that string. This can be a bit frustrating but if you persevere you will find it.

Once you have translated the text make sure to save your changes.

Search and translate the term

Check the string

Once you’ve translated and saved your work, go to the plugin where the string was and check to see if the string has changed.

Translation done!

Resources

Loco Translate – https://wordpress.org/plugins/loco-translate/

Slider Revolution Plugin – Affiliate link – https://1.envato.market/qnWrOj

Conclusion

That’s it, the hardest part is knowing if you actually need Loco Translate and then finding where your string comes from (plugin, theme, widget, WP core, etc.)

Thank you for reading.

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