Translating websites

Hi there

Ive seen a lot of people offering translation plugins and services but are these all machine translated? Even google machine translation is subpar.

I have two spanish sites that are catered to spanish speakers here in the US.

The articles are human translated, but you’ll note that the WP theme’s in english(“Related Articles”, More articles" etc…) Is there a service that doesnt have BS machine translation where I can translate my WP themes and articles?


I don’t see how a plug-in can be anything other than machine translated.

The only way I know of getting articles translated properly is to have them translated by a human.

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machine translated?
Yes, but to some words or mainly the theme’s words, the rest needs to be translated by you.

and the number 1 translocation plugin is WPML (Wordpress Multi Language)

its a very big plugin in a way that its considered a software. Read about it though its amazing

If the site is not multi-lingual and Spanish only, WordPress itself is localization ready out of the box and all you need do is find a theme and any plugins you may want that are also localization ready. eg. currently there are 3,392 themes that are “translation ready” in the WordPress theme directory

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Thanks, I’m stuck with my current theme but I’ll see if its part of this list of themes that are translation ready

Thanks, I’ll check it out. I see its a paid solution and I only have two blogs, a Baby blog and a Coffee blog so Im assuming that’s covered by the “Multilingual Blog” option?

Yep, Ive hard to learn that the hard way. Maybe have a human translate the content, and rely on a machine to translate the theme itself is what Im thinking.

Actually, none of the text would be “machine translated”. More like “machine substituted”.

For known text strings that are somewhat hard-coded WordPress uses gettext. Each language has it’s own file. The correctness of the text strings’ spelling, grammar, tense, etc. depends on a human providing the translated text strings.

Basically it’s mapping keys to values depending on the locale. For example
“Name”: “Name”
“Name”: “Nom”
“Name”: “Nombre”

Where machine translation is important (for WordPress anyway) is when the site is multi-lingual. The interface text is known, but users comments are not. So if the site receives both English and Spanish comments, it would be quite a chore for a human to translate them all.


Thanks for the detailed explanation @mitteneague. So basically, I need to human translate the whole thing myself. Fair enough.

Just shocked with all the AI, machine learning etc…we still haven’t figured out how to accurately translate.

Maybe not, maybe more than that.

Looking through the theme directory for your current theme may not be the best use of your time. If you look through your themes folders you should find “po” (portable object) files and “mo” (machine object) files, likely in a “languages” folder.

If you look at your themes template files you should see use of some of the four gettext functions:


if( is_single() ) { //If this is a "post"
    _e( 'This is a post.' );

If your theme isn’t “translation ready” you’ll have some work ahead of you. You will need to create a child theme so your file edits won’t get replaced when you update the theme. And you will need to find all the text strings in the template files you want to be translatable. Then create your own “pot”, “po”, and “mo” files.

Indeed. Google translate still makes a lot of very fundamental errors.

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