As WordPress is a popular platform supported by over 60 million users worldwide, it reasonably has the build-in ability to compatible with any language you need. In general, WordPress utilizes US English as the default language, and the developing team has translated it into multiple languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, Bosanski, and more. Besides, there are a variety of themes, plugins, and translation files to support WordPress available in almost languages.
To help people build multilingual websites and change WordPress language for their personal requirements, today we write the tutorial for changing default language in WordPress sites. With careful introduction and detailed steps, beginners and newbies can easily complete the process.
Utilize WordPress Translation Plugin
The utilization of WordPress translation plugin can be regarded as a perfect way to change WordPress language, making it readable to readers from all around the world. In the following, we have listed some of the best options for you to choose.
Transposh WordPress Translation
Transposh is an excellent WordPress translation plugin, which offers a different approach to the translation of blogs on WordPress. It helps you in combining the automatic translation with the human translation that is assisted by the users. It is very easy to use and has a very simple user interface. The other highlight of this plugin is the drop and drag interface that helps you in choosing the languages for translation. In addition, it has professional translation bt, the translation function for external plugins, multiple options for the appearance of widgets, RSS feeds translations and many more.
This plugin is used for translating the tools, webpages and blog posts of WordPress. It provides you with an easily customizable widget, which enables the option of machine translation. It chooses translatable strings and then presents them in an editable form. This plugin also allows the generation of valid PO file, which can be emailed to the author of the translation plugin. It provides you with an effective email support so that you can easily send the PO files to the translators from the Windows directly.
This plugin provides you with the option to edit the PO files presented in the browsers. These PO files are used for the purpose of localizing the plugins and themes of WordPress. The other features include PO edit translation editors, native MO file compilation feature, configuration of PO backup files, PO feature support, extraction of strings that need to be translated and the creation of language files, etc.
WP Slug Translate
WP Slug Translate is an effective plugin, which can turn the web content into English. This plugin takes the ID of the post in the form of slug in case the translation fails. This plugin is not going to overwrite the already existing slugs. Therefore, you can also try re-translating by removing the already existing translation. Another good feature of this plugin is the support to multiple languages. Also, it is powered by the API of Microsoft Translator. You can provide a better look to your URL with the help of this plugin.
Google Language Translator
This plugin can help you in inserting the powerful Google tool for language translation in your website with the help of a shortcode. The settings of this plugin include options like hide/show Google branding, vertical layout, show/hide different languages, PO edit style translations, Native MP file compilation, creation of language files, extraction of translatable strings, support for PO features and configuration of PO file backups. All in all, this is a simple and easy to use plugin, which can add ease to the translation procedure while you are using WordPress.
Mealingua Posts and Pages Translations
This plugin has been created for the translation of posts and articles on the WordPress websites with the help of AJAX. It does not make use of translation services. The best thing about this plugin is that it is really simple and very easy to use. The flexibility of this plugin makes it unique among all the other translation plugins out there. It is easily installable, and translates your posts and blogs in a very simple manner.
Google Translate WordPress
This plugin adds the widget of Google translation to the upper right corner of your screen. It also allows you to translate the content of your website to any desired language. You can easily bring your website to a global market by translating it with the help of this excellent and simple-to-use plugin. It sets the default language of your website. The plugin also tracks the usage of translation with Google Analytics. You can provide better positioning to your widget with the help of this plugin.
Translate This Button
Pagination Translator is a really simple plugin that helps you in the translation of WordPress pagination URL. You can translate the URL from page to anything else according to the requirements with the help of this plugin. You can easily set up the permalinks page or pagination after activating this plugin on your WordPress website. The plugin is easily customizable, simple and very easy to use.
WordPress allows you to run a community with multiple languages on the websites using the plugin of WordPress Language. This is an excellent plugin, which sits between BuddyPress and WPML. The features of this plugin allow you to run your website in variant languages on the basis of your needs. However, it is really important to know that the BuddyPress plugin only runs in the languages that are present in the directories in the mode of URL.
To help you understand the working process of the translation plugins, here, we have made WordPress Language as an example.To make use of its practical functions, you should first install and activate the plugin. Once installed, there is a Language Selector appeared on the top of your dashboard. You can simply click it and select the language you need.
Once switched, it presents a page like the below screenshot, asking you whether show a language select in the WordPress admin bar and if use the same language for WordPress admin and public pages or not.
In some cases, you may have multiple users and authors who contribute to your WordPress site. Therefore, you may want them to be able to use their own local languages to manage the website. Here, you can use the WP Native Dashboard plugin.
Upon installation, you can go to Settings > Native Dashboard. Then, you need to click the third box as we have done in the following.
In this case, all the website contributors can go to Users > Your Profile to pick their preferred language that can be used in the WordPress admin.
Also, you can choose to add a language drop-down list on the login screen, so that different people can use different language to log into your WordPress dashboard.
Change WordPress Language Manually
For WordPress v4.0 or above
If your current WordPress version is 4.0 or above, then the changing of WordPress language can be easy. You only need to log into your WordPress admin and navigate to the Settings > General. At the bottom location of this page, you can find a Site Language setting. Here, simply choose your target language from the drop-down list and save changes. Thus, both your WordPress admin and website front-end can be changed using your preferred language.
However, there are only 56 languages available in this list, so you might fail to find your target option. In this case, you need to download a .mo language file and upload it to a special language folder.
For the file downloading, you firstly need to find your target language from this page. After clicking that language option, you can find an “All Project” button at the bottom of the next page.
Now, you need to choose WordPress and its version from the project list. Then, you should choose your preferred language again and click the Export button from the following page.
Here, you may find that your download file is a “Po” file. Under this situation, you need to convert it to a “Mo” file using Poedit tool.
Once done, you can dig into your /wp-content/ directory and create a special folder named as /wp-content/languages. Then, simply upload your “Mo file” into that folder and go back to your Site Language setting to change your WordPress language.
For WordPress v3.9 or below
If you are using WordPress lower than v3.9, you need to use the coding stuff to change the language. Firstly, as we have introduced above, you need to upload the “MO” file for your target language into the language folder.
Then, edit your wp-config.php file to add the following line. Here, the “aa” refers to the language code while the “BB” refers to the country code. You can find the related code from this page.
define ('WPLANG', 'aa_BB');