How to Translate a WordPress Theme Using Poedit

How to Translate a WordPress Theme

Most of the WordPress themes come with one and only language – English. This tutorial shows you how to translate any WordPress theme to your local language of choice.

What you’ll need

Before you begin this guide you’ll need the following:

  • Poedit software installed on your computer. Poedit is available on OS X and Windows and can be downloaded from here.
  • WordPress Theme files on your computer.

Step 1 — Opening Your Theme’s Default Language Template

Open Poedit and select Create new translation:


A new window will pop up, select WordPress theme you want to translate. A Theme’s default translation template is located in THEMEXXX/lang/YYY.po, where THEMEXXX is the name of your theme and YYY – default language of the theme (twentysixteen/lang/en_EN.po in this example):

Next, from a dropdown menu select a language you want to translate your theme to:

You are ready to translate your theme now.

Step 2 — Translating Your Theme

Highlight any string you want to translate:

In the Translation section enter a desired translation of the source string:

Once you have translated your theme, save the file (lt_LT in this example) in the same directory as the original template:

Step 3 — Changing Your WordPress Website Language

Upload the .po file you have saved in step 2 (lt_LT.po in this example) and .mo file ( was generated automatically by Poedit) to the corresponding directory on your hosting account.
The directory should look similar to public_html/wp-content/themes/THEMEXXX/lang, where THEMEXXX is the name of your WordPress theme. Refer to this tutorial on how to upload files to your account.

Open up wp-config.php file (it is located in your WordPress installation) and add the following line:
define ('WPLANG', 'ZZZ');, where ZZZ is the name of the file you have used to save your translation (lt_LT in this example):

Your Theme will now appear translated: