How to translate a theme WooThemes Language Turkish German Arabic Russian Chienese Translation

simple solution create new .po and .mo file put in your theme folder thats it

Background info

WordPress uses a standard localization framework called GNU gettext. This framework provides the programmer the ability to mark text inside code as being suitable for localization. The role of the translator is to take these marked pieces of text and produce a language-specific localization. No code needs to change and you do not need to understand how the program works.

Text is marked by wrapping it with special PHP functions. It is not important to know how these functions work, but it will be helpful to recognize them:

  • __($text) – Looks for a translated version of $text and returns the result
  • _e($text) – Looks for a translated version of $text and echo the result to the screen (i.e. effectively it is echo __($text))
  • __ngettext($single,$plural,$number) – If $number is 1 then looks for a translated version of $single. If number is more than 1 then looks for a translated version of $plural.

(Source: Urban Giraffe)

Translating WooThemes
Putting this into context, it means that all our text in our template files (.php files) have been wrapped in gettext functions. This enables us to create a Portable Object File (or .po file) which contains all the text for the theme. This has already been done by us at WooThemes.

The user (that’s you) then has the ability to use a program (we’ll get back to this later) to translate this .po file into another language, add it to the theme directory, and have a translated theme!

Before we start

Before you can start to translate the theme, you need to make sure that the theme has been made ready for translation. All our new themes will support localization and include a language file (.po file) which contains all the English texts, and soon all our old themes will be upgraded as well.

If you are not certain if your theme has been made ready for translation/localization, you can simply check if there is a “/lang/themename.po” file in your theme folder. If there isn’t one, you will need to download the latest version of the theme and check if the .po file existst there. If it does include a translation file, you will need to upgrade your theme to be able to translate it.

How to translate

To translate your theme, you will need to use Poedit to translate the included Portable Object file (.po file), which will then create a Machine Object file (.mo file) which we will upload to our theme folder for WordPress to read.

Follow these steps to translate your .po file into another language and make a .mo file:

  1. Download and install Poedit, the program we will use to translate our .po file.
  2. Open the themename.po file found in your /lang/ folder with poedit.
  3. Now go through and translate all the text one line at a time in the bottom box.
  4. Save the file after you’re done. This will output a .po and .mo file.

Translating the .po file with Poedit

Setup WordPress
Before we can upload our new .mo file, we need to make sure we named it correctly, as it has to match your desired language locale. See the complete list of language codes and country codes to find your exact locale.

We’ll use Norwegian as the example here, so first we find the language code (nb – Norsk Bokmål) and the country code (NO). We than rename our .mo file to and upload to the root of our theme folder e.g.


The last step is to make sure your WordPress config file, wp-config.php, is setup with your locale, which in this case is Norwegian. So open wp-config.php and check that what you have in your define() function. For Norwegian it will look like this:

define ('WPLANG', 'nb_NO');

Once you have matched the wp-config.php setting to our .mo filename, you should have successfully translated your WooTheme into another language.

Share your language

We want to make it easier for users to get the theme in their language, so if you have translated your theme into your language, we hope you can share the .mo file with us, so new users don’t have to translate the theme themselves.

Please send us your translated files (.po and .mo) files to and we will put your file up in our repository.

15 thoughts on “How to translate a theme WooThemes Language Turkish German Arabic Russian Chienese Translation

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  2. Thanky you for information:

    “We than rename our .mo file to and upload to the root of our theme folder e.g.


    I didnt know that it should be in root of theme… i was searching everywhere on the internet and found a solution here…


  3. does not work.

    I put language .mo file in the theme root, but it does not show on website, the language is still the same. Mabey wordpress has a cache or wtf..,

  4. Çevirdim dil dosyasını ;
    isimlerini tr_TR ve irresistible-tr_TR olarak yapıp “lang” klasöründe tutsamda olmadı. Nasıl yapabilirim?

    1. open “lang” folder, and open .po files, save as your lang code (it_IT, tr_TR etc.), Save with a different name.
      *. mo file is automatically created, you will see

  5. For me this worked well, except that the po and mo files are not in the root folder of the themes directory. They are in a lang folder inside the theme.

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