Style Guide Template

Style guides are a helpful way to introduce new contributors to how your team works. They can take a variety of formats and will look different depending on the unique characteristics of your localeLocale 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 However, in general, a good style guide will:

  • Clarify any specific vocabulary that translators should be aware of.
  • Provide guidance on tone and formality appropriate to your locale and culture.
  • Share any specific or unique characteristics of your locale’s punctuation or syntax that translators should keep in mind.
  • Provide links or general information about your locale’s Glossary and where to ask questions.
  • Explain the importance of keeping consistency in the style: it helps provide end-users with a consistent, easy-to-follow UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. experience.

The template below is formatted with numbers and section headings, as this can be helpful for referencing the document in the future (and for updates). That said, please feel free to tailor the format to your own needs.

In general, the Style Guide should live either in your locale’s Handbook or on your RosettaRosetta The code name of the theme for the local WordPress sites (eg. 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. site. It’s a good idea to link the Style Guide from your translation start guide page and the description section of the locale glossary.


  1. Introduction
    1. Use this section to go over a general introduction to your contributors. 
    2. What is the purpose of your Style Guide?
    3. How should contributors use the Style Guide?
    4. Who is “in charge” of the Style Guide for questions and updates?
  2. Formality and Tone
    1. Include a translation of this description from the Polyglots’ Handbook General Expectations page regarding WordPress’ tone:
      1. Each message has a different level of formality or informality. Exactly what level of formality or informality to use for each message in your target language is something you’ll have to figure out on your own (or with your team), but WordPress messages (informational messages in particular) tend to have a politely informal tone in English. Try to accomplish the equivalent in the target language, within your cultural context.
    2. This is a good section in which to specify which type of “you” to use, i.e. for languages like French (fr_FR) or Italian, where “tu” is preferred over “vous” or “Lei,” or if there’s another verb form that more appropriately matches your language.
  3. General Rules
    1. Are there any general rules or tips for translators in your language? For example, in Brazilian Portuguese, translators are encouraged not to directly translate the word “please,” which is frequently used in the default style of English for WordPress. 
    2. Are there any specific guidelines or changes to how things should be translated based on context?
  4. Vocabulary
    1. Use this section as an opportunity to explain general rules for vocabulary, as a supplement to your Glossary. 
    2. What should not be translated? (e.g. pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party/theme names)
    3. What are common words that new translators struggle with? 
    4. What are the key phrases that come up repeatedly in your locale? 
  5. Punctuation, Syntax, and Formatting
    1. Are there specific rules around syntax and punctuation in your language? 
    2. What are the rules around capitalization? 
    3. Do you have any rules or expectations around abbreviations, units of measurements, or number formatting for translators?
    4. As an example, on French (fr_FR), punctuation marks like ! or ? have a space before them. Modify this section to your own locale so that translators are aware of any rules – especially those that might be missed or erased by machine assisted translations.
  6. Types of Messages and Placeholders
    1. Clarify to your translators the different types of messages and placeholders, including date formats, they may see in GlotPressGlotPress GlotPress is the translation management software that powers More information is available at You can use this page as a start guide.
    2. With each type of message, explain any relevant information or expectations on how to translate.
  7. Resources
    1. Use this section to share any additional resources that might be helpful for new team members, such as tools, websites (i.e., dictionaries, and/or thesauruses.

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If you’re looking for more inspiration, we’ve collected a small sample of Style Guides from other 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 that you can reference.

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