We’re almost ready with WPML 1.8.0 (multilingual menus) and are thinking about the next major step for WPML – adding a complete translation workflow.

Many folks get help from translators. These can be volunteers or freelance professional translators. Today, in order to translate, you need to make these translators into editors and teach them about WordPress. We’re going to change this by introducing a completely new Translator role.

A Translator would be a user who can just translate. A Translator cannot create new contents, cannot edit existing contents and cannot administer anything in the site. Instead, translators can just translate. And, they can translate the documents that the admin has sent them for translation.

This work is inspired by our Drupal Translation Management module and scaled down to WordPress.

Setting up Translators

First thing you’ll want to do is set up translators. Translators can be existing WordPress users or completely new users. WPML will give them translator privileges in the languages that you choose.

When translators log in, they would see only the Translation jobs queue. This queue includes jobs that you’ve sent them for translation. They can go to each job, edit it and save the translation.

Sending Documents to Translation

When you want to send documents to your translators, you’ll go to the Translation Dashboard. Here is how it looks like:

Translation Dashboard in Drupal

The Translation Dashboard shows you which documents in your site need translation. You choose the ones you want and send to your translators.

Then, their status changes from Translation needed to Translation in progress.


The translators get email notifications about new work waiting for them.

They log into WordPress and see the list of pending jobs. It looks something like this:

Translation jobs queue

Each translator sees the queue of jobs that waiting for him/her.

Translators then click on Edit to start translating.

Side by Side Translation

The translation itself is done using the Unified Translation Editor (not the normal Add translation link which creates a new blank page).

It doesn’t matter if they’re translating a blog post, or a page, a a custom data type with different fields. All translations go through the same editor.

The editor adjusts and displays the right fields for different content types. In each field, the translator can see the original text and enter the translation.

Unified Translation Editor

The fun thing here is that translators don’t need to learn about anything related to WordPress. They don’t need to learn about custom fields, categories, tags, taxonomy, etc. WPML lets them just translate the texts. Then, it puts everything back into place.

Translators also don’t need to see what’s changed. WPML will show them which fields in the document have changed and need to be translated again.

The Movie

Here is a clip I made showing how this will work (in Drupal).