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Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home”. People from all over the word create WordPress sites in different languages.
While WordPress has translations for over 162 languages, you will be only able to see languages that are fully translated (62). If you do not see your language in the list, this does not mean that it is not available or that you cannot use it.
In this training you will learn how to install WordPress in a language other than English, how you can change the language after installation, and also how to change the wp-admin language per user. We will also learn how to find a theme in the theme directory in the local language and which also supports RTL (Right To Left) languages.
These are the steps for creating WordPress in your own language:
Start the famous “5 minute install”
During the installation process you will have the option to select your language via this screen:
Selecting this language will set the language for the “Front end” of your website and also for the “Back end” – the wp-admin sometimes also called the dashboard.
Continue with the installation process and soon you will have a WordPress install in the language you selected.
I have already installed a site in English – can I change it to a different language?
Fortunately, yes you can! This can easily be done by navigating to: Settings > General and then changing the language in the “Site Language”
There are situations where the site is installed in one language, but a user in your site (an Author or Editor) would like to edit the site in a different one. This is a new feature in version 4.7 and can be done by accessing a user’s profile and changing the admin to a different language.
If you would like to create a website in your own language, chances are there is a theme translated to that language. If your language is RTL (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian etc…), you would also want to install a theme which supports RTL.
WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from, either from the theme directory on wordpress.org or from other theme merchants on the web. When choosing a theme for use in a language other than English, we should take in account for 2 major items:
Is the theme translated to the local language?
Does the theme have an RTL CSS file – for languages which are RTL – Hebrew, Arabic, Persian etc…?
When selecting a new theme from the WordPress theme directory click on the “More Info” button. On the The’s information page you can see in the sidebar a link to the theme’s translation page.
In that page you can see if the theme has been translated to other languages and how much progress has been made for each language.
Let’s look at the twentysixteen theme.
In the Theme’s page in the directory we can see a link to “Translations”
Clicking that link will bring us to the translations page of that theme where we can see the progress of all the translations available for this theme. If we see a Language which is not 100% and we would like to translate , it can easily be done by clicking on the language, and from there translate the strings that are in need for translating.
When looking for themes, we have a filter option in the themes’ directory which will allow us to fine tune a selection of themes to our needs. One of these options is selecting a theme with support to RTL languages.
RTL languages need support for RTL themes in order to display their content correctly.
Clicking on the Features Filter button will bring up various features for selecting from the themes.
One of those features is selecting RTL support.
Checking that checkbox and then clicking the button “Apply Filters” on the top of the page, will display themes which support RTL layout (and any other filter that has been selected).
This would be a good starting point for creating your RTL website.