Discussion for a proposal for WP.org content translation and localization

The topic was proposed for discussion during the Community Summit but sadly, it wasn’t chosen. Before a formal proposal on a wider translation solution can be written, discussion should continue to gather the issues that need solving before translation can occur. The teams involved at the beginning of this process are polyglots, docs, training & metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress.. There is a recommendation to involve the community and marketing teams.


To increase the amount of content in other languages, improve search, site usability and create sitemaps.

What is known from RosettaRosetta The code name of the theme for the local WordPress sites (eg. bg.wordpress.org is a “Rosetta” site). All locale specific WordPress sites are referred to as “Rosetta sites.” The name was inspired from the ancient Rosetta Stone, which contained more or less the same text in three different languages. sites:

  • Site usability, /team/ has been created for most localesLocale Locale = language version, often a combination of a language code and a region code, for instance es_MX denotes Spanish as it’s used in Mexico. A list of all locales supported by WordPress in https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/teams/ and /support/ only if requested, but are overall not used a lot.
  • The “handbook” functionality is enabled for all team sites, but only a handful locales are actually using it.

Which content will be translated?

There are different types of content to be either translated, adapted or localized.

  • Documentation (HelpHub & DevHub)—articles will be translated in full with adaptation of images/videos to the local language
    • wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org//documentation
    • developer.wordpress.org
  • Training (Learn)—since Learn is using filters, the content (videos/text) can either be translated or adapted (originally written in a different language, e.g. adding the option of captioning in different languages, etc)
    • learn.wordpress.org
  • Local handbooks — Some articles would be translated or adapted/localized versions of corresponding global versions (for instance content related to Community or Marketing, for instance how to find a meeting place for free or how to get a sponsored venue for a MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area., although the rules may differ from country to country.) Other parts, like translation style guide, etc would basically lack corresponding content on global level.

Problems to solve before starting translation

  • Where are we hosting the information? This will depend on the tool used. We have the option to host the information on WordPress and also on GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/. (Currently Docs, Training and some other teams use Github as version and process control system.)
  • There is a need for a notification system that alerts local teams of
    • New articles/posts/videos added
    • Updates to existing posts/articles/videos
      • Find a way to easily identify the line/word/paragraph that was changed to avoid reviewing/retranslating a full document after a small change of the source
  • Use of correct URLs to aid local SEO (see some options in the Documentation Internationalization (1/2) proposal)
  • Handbooks for local teams (see examples below for the Spanish and Catalan handbooks)
  • GlotPressGlotPress GlotPress is the translation management software that powers Translate.WordPress.org. More information is available at glotpress.org. may be a good platform for the translation since we’re already using it; it can handle versioning and help with document comparison. The Playground can be a support tool for translation.
  • Translate text > localize text (when needed) > adapt images


There is currently no out of the box solution for using GlotPress to translate content.

The necessary components are:

  • A way to translate import a WordPress page or post into a GlotPress project. For this a segmentation tool is needed which can split the post according to a predetermined set of rules. A possibly useful approach would be splitting the document by GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ blocks. The preference is splitting by sentences because the blocks will give less translation reuse to the team. This should be done automatically upon update.
  • Ideally, translation reuse should take into consideration stringString A string is a translatable part of the software. A translation consists of a multitude of localized strings. context: if surrounding source segments also are full matches to a previous translation, then the stored translation is more probably correct
  • A way to relate different language WordPress pages or posts to each other, so that we can interlink a post in English to the other language pages/posts “This page is also available in language

Members of the meta team who work on translate.wordpress.orgtranslate.wordpress.org The platform for contributing to the translation of WordPress core, themes and plugins. would help in assisting to create the above components.

Team experiences

Since there will not be a fit-for-all solution, reflecting on experiences other teams have with content translation is necessary to understand if similar processes can be applied or adapted in as many Rosetta sites as possible.

Any team wanting to share their experience, please fill in this form.


Props to @courane01 @javiercasares @akirk @tobifjellner for co-authoring this post.