How to Change Your WordPress Backend in Your Preferred Language?

How to Change WordPress Backend

Around 30,000 people from 178 countries participated in the WordPress survey of 2015, so a vast majority of WordPress users are outside the US. So, it’s natural for those people to want to use WordPress in their own language. In the continuation of our series of posts on translating WordPress, in this post, we’ll show you how to change WordPress backend from English to a language of your preference.

To Change WordPress Backend

WordPress uses the GNU gettext localization framework for translation.

As we’ve covered in previous posts, three types of files are used in the framework that contain the text ready for translation: Portable Object Template (POT) files, which contain the text ready for translation; PO (Portable Object) files, which contain the translated text; and MO (Machine Object) files, which are PO files converted into a machine readable format.

To be able to use WordPress in your preferred language, you’ll need to check if your language is available. Click here for that.

Check if WordPress is in your language. Many of the languages have completed translated versions of WordPress available. For example: Danish, Polish and Japanese. So all you need to do is download and install the file like you would normally do for available version of WordPress.

For other languages, you’ll have to fish around through the WordPress Localization Repository to find your target language. This repository is a subversion repository where official WordPress translation are maintained.

Once you’ve located your language in the repository, download the .mo file. You’ll need to FTP into your WordPress site and upload the file to /wp-content/languages/ OR /wp-includes/languages/

If you don’t already have a languages folder in either of these directories, you can create one. It’s a good idea as you have somewhere to store your language files.

Then after, you’ll need to inform WordPress to use this language file.

Open Up the wp-config.php in your WordPress install and add the following code:

 define ('WPLANG', 'es_ES'); 

This line tells WordPress to use Spanish for Spain, so you’ll need to replce “es_ES” with your target language and country code. Find the language and country codes at the GNU website.

Then update your wp-config.php file, and your WordPress backend should start displaying texts in your chosen language.

In this way, you can change WordPress backend from English to your preferred language.

Note: Translations will only appear to your WordPress admin area, not your frontend. For that, you’ll need to check out our previous article on How To Translate a WordPress Theme.

If Your Language is Not in WordPress

WordPress isn’t available in all languages. The localization repository is updated by volunteers who contribute to WordPress.

If you’re a polyglot and want to use your skills to good use, get involved. Login to and contribute to the make the community more global.

Read the original article here at WPMU DEV and for more on WordPress tutorials.

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