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September 19, 2023

WPML String Translation allows you to translate texts that are not in posts, pages and taxonomy. This includes the site’s tagline, general texts in admin screens, widget titles and many other texts.

String Translation lets you translate static text elements on your website that come from translation-ready themes and plugins. If you are a developer creating a theme, plugin, or custom-built website that you want to ship in multiple languages, see how to deliver an internationalized WordPress project.

On This Page:

Activating String Translation

WPML’s String Translation module is part of the Multilingual CMS and Multilingual Agency account types. To enable it, you first need to download and install it from your account, under the Downloads section.

Then, navigate to WPML → String Translation.

Choosing which strings to make translatable

A complex site may contain many strings to translate. Use the display filter at the top of the String Translation page to determine which strings to display.

Filtering strings for translation

Many strings are already loaded into the String Translation table, ready for you to translate. However, WPML does not automatically load every single string. If you can’t find a particular string you would like to translate, please see our article about finding strings.

How to translate a string

Once you have located a string you would like to translate, click the + icon under the flag of the language you would like to translate it into.

Translating a string
Translating a string

You can save your translation by hitting the Enter or Tab keys on your keyboard or simply clicking out of the window. The Tab key allows you to switch between languages without having to click.

You can also send strings to your translators. Click the checkboxes next to strings and select the languages from the list. If you are the only translator on the site, click Translate selected content and finish translating from WPMLTranslations. If you use other translators or a professional translation service, you can add the strings to the translation basket.

Adding strings to the translation basket
Adding strings to the translation basket

Assign the translation job to yourself or a local translator to translate the strings using the Advanced Translation Editor. You can also send the job to be translated by a translation service.

How to automatically translate strings

From WPML String Translation, you can also send strings for automatic translation. How you do this depends on your translation mode and the number of translators on your site.

You can learn more on the page about translating strings automatically.

How to delete a string

When you no longer use a certain theme or a plugin you might wish to remove the strings associated with it. Simply select the strings you want to remove and click Delete selected strings.

Deleting a string
Deleting a string

To delete all the untranslated strings belonging to a certain domain, scroll down to Remove strings by domain and click Remove strings. Select the domains of strings you don’t need anymore and click Remove. The untranslated strings in these domains will no longer appear on the String Translation screen.

Removing all the strings for a certain domain

You can always add the strings again by going to WPMLTheme and Plugins Localization. Choose the plugin or theme and scan it to make its strings available for translation again.

How to translate themes and plugins coded in languages other than English

If a theme or plugin you’re using is coded in a language other than English, WPML may miscategorize the source language of strings. Please see our documentation on how to change the source language of individual strings and entire domains on the String Translation page.

Import and Export PO Files

You can import translations from other sources and export your current translations using PO files.

If you choose to export strings without their translations, the file extension will be .pot (Portable Object Template). If you choose to include translations, the extension would be .po.

When you import translations, you must choose the language to import to.

For developers: creating a language configuration file

Theme and plugin authors are encouraged to include a language configuration file in their code, which tells WPML which strings from the wp_options table to register for translation. This can save a lot of time for end users configuring multilingual sites.