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Translations not showing

FAQ: Why don't my translations show up?

If most of your translations are showing up, but you have a problem with just a few words, see this FAQ instead.

This FAQ is relevant if none of the translations in a PO file are showing up.

Possible causes

To help you solve your problem, here are some possible lines of inquiry. Please don't ask us for help with specific themes or plugins. Either investigate these issues yourself or ask the bundle author how to translate their product using whatever software they recommend.

  1. Your translation files are not being loaded
    Themes and plugins have to load their own translation files and Loco Translate cannot force them to. Check that themes are calling the "load_theme_textdomain" function, and plugins are calling "load_plugin_textdomain". If they're not then ask the author nicely to fix it.

  2. The files are named wrongly
    It can happen that bundles declare incorrect information which causes your files to be saved with the wrong names. Check that the bundle declares the same Text Domain that it actually uses and configure Loco Translate as necessary. If you can't check this yourself, ask the bundle author to confirm what your files should be called.

  3. The strings aren't actually translatable
    The bundle's template file defines the strings that are available for translation. This does not guarantee the string actually exists. Authors often ship template files that are not up to date with their source code, but Loco Translate will not argue with the author's template file.

  4. Your language isn't set correctly
    You need to set your language for translations to display on your site. Although we can't provide personal help with this, see our brief guide to setting your WordPress language.

  5. Your files have been deleted
    If you've saved your own custom files in the "author" or "system" locations then WordPress may have deleted or modified them during an update. See the FAQ about disappearing translation files.

  6. You can't use our custom (safe) folder
    We recommended you save your own translation files in Loco Translate's "custom" folder at wp-content/languages/loco, but this can suffer from its own problems. Themes and plugins that haven't been written properly can prevent this location from working. Please read the FAQ about custom loading problems.

  7. The translations are for JavaScript
    Loco Translate does not currently generate JSON language packs for use with wp_set_script_translations. This is a known limitation and we're working to add support for it. Few products use this new feature without a fallback, so check with the vendor whether JSON language packs are required.

It's a bug in Loco Translate

In our experience "translations not showing up" is very unlikely to be the fault of our plugin, but we're happy to be proven wrong. If you want us to investigate a fault in Loco Translate, then please submit a bug report on the support forum.

A bug report must provide sufficient information that we can reproduce your problem on our own server. Posting screenshots is rarely of much use. Please provide a free download link for the theme or plugin that you're translating, along with some reasoning as to why it should work, and a way to show that it doesn't. Ideally mention specific strings and how to get them displaying on the screen.

We recommend you contact the author first with this kind of problem. If they decide there's nothing wrong with their code, then they may be better positioned to submit a bug report to us. We have a page to help authors establish if their bundle is compatible with Loco Translate.