To translate the theme with WPML you’ll first need to purchase WPML, including the String Translation and Translation Management modules.

Initial Setup

Step 1: Install and activate the core WPML plugins (WPML Multilingual CMS, WPML String Translation, WPML Translation Management), and then other WPML plugins that may depend on them.

Step 2: Set up WPML from WPML > Languages. See WPML Getting Started Guide for complete reference, but the initial simple three-step setup is self-explanatory, asking you to choose your default language, a set of active languages, and a language selector.

Step 3: If you are running a website with BuddyPress, check that the BuddyPress Multilingual plugin is activated.

Translation Mode

About the “display as translated” feature:

  • Users can show original content if no translation is available.
  • Users can display untranslated content without the need to duplicate it anymore.
  • Useful for sites that don’t need to translate everything: listing, directory and membership sites as well as WooCommerce products and taxonomies.

Let’s say we have a WooCommerce site in French and we don’t want to translate all the products to English. Thanks to this new mode, we can have our page translated to English but still containing some content in French without duplicating it:

  • If the translation exists = it will display the translation.
  • If the translation does not exist = it will display the post in the site default language.

How to enable this new translation mode for the post types of your choice:

Step 1: Go to WPML > Translation Management > Multilingual Content Setup.

Step 2: Scroll down to Post Types Translation.

Step 3: Select “Translatable – use translation if available or fallback to original language” option for the post types of your choice.

Translating WPBakery Page Builder Content

Step 1: For a better translation experience with content created using WPBakery Page Builder, activate WPML Translation Editor. To do this go to the WPML > Translation Management page and click the Multilingual Content Setup tab.

Step 2: Now check the Use the translation editor option in the How to translate posts and pages section and click on Save.

Follow this link to learn more about translating pages built with WPBakery page Builder: https://wpml.org/documentation/translating-your-contents/page-builders/

Translating Post Types

To translate a page you need to go to your dashboard select Pages and in the list you will see columns for each active language, with a pencil icon (for ‘edit translation’) or a ‘+’ icon (for ‘add translation’) next to each page. Edit or add the translated page for ‘Home Default′.

Right now you just need to translate your page into the new language.

Since version 3.9, WPML also allows you to display untranslated content on pages in secondary languages without duplication. This translation mode does not duplicate the contents in your database and is recommended for sites that have a large numbers of pages you want to display as untranslated, for example products and real estate listings.

Read this to if you still want to duplicate your existing content.

Translating Custom Post Types and Taxonomies

In order to get a similar interface for translation/duplication as for posts and pages, you need to go to WPML >Translation Management, and select the tab ‘Multilingual Content Setup’.

Translating Theme Texts and Other Strings

To translate strings you need to follow the procedure for Theme and Plugin Localization. Go to WPML >Theme and Plugin Localization, and click on “Scan the theme for strings” and you will see theme strings and which ones are translated or not.

Translating BuddyPress

BuddyPress Multilingual 1.5 allows BuddyPress sites to run multilingual using the WPML plugin. Learn how to translate your site using BuddyPress thanks to this dedicated documentation.