Translating and localizing documentation for the Spanish language

This article aims to begin a process in the translation and localizationLocalization Localization (sometimes shortened to "l10n") is the process of adapting a product or service to a particular language, culture, and desired local "look-and-feel." of end-user documentation within 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. As each language may have different needs, there are steps that each 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 should follow. 

Disclosure: This is a work in progress, and nothing is definitive yet.

The basics

There are 14 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 for the Spanish language. Anyone would ask why. Isn’t it the same language? Don’t you understand each other when you talk? The answer is yes to the last 2 questions and a “it is not that simple” for the first question.

The language is the same, and the difference is mainly in how people address each other. In some countries, it is informal, as in tu (second person), others mix informal and formal (tu and usted) and some countries only use the formal usted.

Another big issue in the Spanish language is that it is a gendered language where every noun is either feminine or masculine. A neutral gender is non-existent in Spanish grammar. 

These are only 2 of the issues that creating a “Style Guide for writing documentation in Spanish” will resolve in a similar way that was done for English by the #docs team.

Preparing the sitemap

The sitemap for HelpHub or end-user documentation was translated during WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Barcelona’s (2023) contributor dayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. It was a collaboration between the marketing, translating and documentation teams to come up with the 3 categories and subcategories.

The goal was not a literal translation but to use words that would rank in Google to improve documentation search and SEO. This is a good exercise for content localization and team collaboration.

Since we were in Barcelona, the Catalan team also started working on the sitemap.


A recommendation from SEO experts is that the URLs be translated into local languages for HelpHub, as in the following example:

Other teams

It would be great if other teams could start working on these two steps. In the Discussion for a proposal for content translation and localization, there is a form to share any team’s experience. The Brazilian team will join the efforts in mid/late November.

Next steps

Since we are creating a new process, we hope to develop a model that can be followed by other local teams to translate documentation. And perhaps other teams can also benefit and be able to replicate.

Before the team is ready to start translating documentation, there are decisions to be made, like the use of AI-aided translators, and the translation process using GlotPressGlotPress GlotPress is the translation management software that powers More information is available at or 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. to keep the databases. These decisions will be made by each polyglots teamPolyglots Team Polyglots Team is a group of multilingual translators who work on translating plugins, themes, documentation, and front-facing marketing copy. involved.

Another clarification, the 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. and GlotPress team are looking into options that can be used by all teams. Once the infrastructure is ready, then the official translation of documentation can begin. Both processes will happen parallel to each other because of the dependencies. 


Props to @milana_cap, @javiercasares, @amieiro for review of this post.