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October 20, 2023

Google Translate is one of the most well-known machine translation engines. However, it doesn’t come with the option to automatically translate your entire site. This is where Google Translate WordPress plugins come in handy.

Machine translation is the fastest and most cost-effective way to translate WordPress sites. And with Google Translate, you can add over +130 languages to your site within minutes.

Unfortunately, Google Translate doesn’t offer a direct integration with WordPress.

To use Google Translate in WordPress, you will need a third party service to connect your site with the translation engine. Most services today make it very easy to connect your site with Google Translate, typically within a few minutes.

However, some first require you to obtain a Google Translate API key.

While getting the API key isn’t very complicated, it does make the process take longer as it involves a technical setup with manual configurations. Fortunately, there already exist solutions that handle the entire technical implementation for you.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can easily connect your WordPress site to Google Translate using one of the most popular WordPress plugins – WPML. Then, we’ll show you how you can automatically translate your entire site with Google Translate, step-by-step.

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Why Use Google Translate in WordPress?

Google Translate needs no introduction. Like most people, you’ve likely translated many phrases with this machine translation engine.

But Google Translate is more than a popular translation service provider. You can additionally expect:

  • Translation accuracy – No automatic translation tool is perfect, but Google Translate comes close. A study assessing the use of Google Translate in healthcare can confirm this. It found translations from English into Spanish to be 92% accurate.
  • Large number of supported languages – Google Translate supports over 130 languages used across the world. This includes unique languages such as Corsican, Macedonian, and Somali.

Considering Google Translate is also free and accessible via the web, the translation service is highly convenient. However, when it comes to translating websites, manually copy-pasting sentences into Google Translate can take hours and become messy really fast.

Fortunately, with a plugin like WPML, you can use Google Translate directly within your WordPress dashboard.

Google Translate in WordPress: Step by Step Tutorial

With a Google Translate WordPress plugin like WPML, you don’t need an API key. You also don’t need to follow a technical setup. This is because WPML is directly integrated with Google Translate. The moment you install WPML on your WordPress site, you gain immediate access to the translation engine.

With WPML and Google Translate, you can automatically translate all your website elements, including:

  • Pages and posts
  • Custom post types
  • Custom fields
  • Forms
  • Menus
  • Taxonomies
  • Images
  • WooCommerce products

Additionally, WPML is also compatible with over +1000 plugins and themes, allowing you to translate hundreds of elements from other WordPress products. 

You can visit the complete list of WPML compatible themes and compatible plugins for more details.

1. Create a WPML Account

To translate your WordPress site with Google Translate and WPML, you first need a Multilingual CMS or Multilingual Agency account type. Both plans have a direct integration with Google Translate, and can automatically translate your entire WordPress site. 

In addition to the seamless integration with Google Translate, both plans also give full access to additional WPML features, including:

  • Translation Memory –  Avoid paying twice for words WPML already translated. 
  • Multilingual SEO – Rank higher in other languages by optimizing your site with WPML’s multilingual SEO features. 
  • Glossary – Keep translations consistent across your site by defining specific terms and translations.

WPML also offers a Translation Management dashboard to help you organize your work, as well as the ability to hire professional translators to verify your content is perfectly translated. 

You can learn more about WPML’s capabilities on our Features page.

2. Install WPML Plugin

You can easily install WPML along with additional free add-ons directly within your WPML account. 

To get started, first go to the Downloads section in your WPML account dashboard. Then, download and activate the OTGS Installer on your WordPress site. This plugin helps you install the core WPML Plugin and String Translation add-on. You’ll need both for translating your site with Google Translate.

You can learn more about installing WPML on your WordPress site with our step-by-step installation guide.
Once the OTGS Installer is activated, begin the Setup Wizard to configure WPML on your site.

Downloading the OTGS Installer from WPML account 

3. Choose Which Languages to Add

To add the languages you’d like to automatically translate with Google Translate, first set your Default language. This is the language you’re building your site in. Then, choose the languages you’d like to translate into using the Translation languages field. 

WPML doesn’t limit the number of languages you can translate into, so choose as many as you need.

Choose default and translation languages

4. Activate Automatic Translation

You can automatically translate your entire site with Google Translate using WPML’s Translate Everything Automatically feature. 

When choosing this option, WPML will send all your site’s content to Google Translate for automatic translation. Additionally, WPML also lets you choose what happens after translations are complete, and whether you’d like to review them. 

You can choose between three options:

  • Review the translations before publishing
  • Publish translations and review them later
  • Publish translations without review

Reviewing translations doesn’t take long and is worth the effort. To make sure translations are right for your site, we recommend choosing the Review the translations before publishing option.

Choosing how to translate

Want to choose which content to translate? 
With the Translate Some option, you can choose to automatically translate only specific content, manually translate it yourself, or send to professional translators.

5. Automatically Translate Your Content

WPML handles all translations for you when you choose to Translate Everything Automatically. The moment you complete the Setup Wizard, Google Translate will immediately start translating your entire site. On average, it takes a few minutes to translate a medium-sized website. 

Keep in mind that WPML collects translations that are ready, so you can begin reviewing completed ones while you wait for the rest.

Automatic translation in progress

6. Review Your Translations

You can manually review your completed translations using the WPML front-end editor. Alternatively, you can hire a professional human translator to review your content. 

To review your translations with the front-end editor, first go to the Translations Queue dashboard. Here you can select the translation you’d like to review by clicking the Review button. This will open the front-end editor, where you can see what your translations look like once published. 

Reviewing translations on front end

To approve and publish a translation, simply click the Accept this translation button. To make changes to a translation, click the Edit translation button. 

When you make changes to a translation, WPML opens the Advanced Translation Editor (ATE). Using a side-by-side comparison of your original content and its translation, you can easily add or remove words to perfect your translations.

Reviewing Translations in the Advanced Translation Editor

You can learn more about making changes to your translations in our reviewing translations with ATE guide.

How Much Does Automatic Translation Cost?

To automatically translate with WPML and Google Translate, you need automatic translation credits

Translation credits are tokens that allow you to translate content automatically. Translating one word with Google Translate requires 2 credits. 

When you purchase WPML, you receive free automatic translation credits

  • Multilingual CMS – 90,000 credits 
  • Multilingual Agency – 180,000 credits 

If you need to translate more content, you can get additional credits (for less than a cent per word) using two pricing options:

Get Started with Google Translate and WPML

Google Translate is one of the most powerful machine translation engines available today. With over +130 languages, and accurate automatic translations, you no longer need to hire expensive human translators, or spend hours doing the work yourself. 

Unfortunately, connecting Google Translate to WordPress isn’t straightforward. However, with a plugin like WPML, integrating your WordPress site with Google Translate is easy and fast.

With WPML, you can quickly connect your WordPress site to Google Translate, and add as many languages as you need – no limits! 

To learn more about WPML’s CMS Multilingual and Agency plans, visit the WPML Pricing page for a complete side-by-side comparison. You can also reach out to our pre-sales team if you have any questions – we’ll be happy to answer all of them!

Translate with WPML

WPML makes it easy to build multilingual sites and run them. It’s powerful enough for corporate sites, yet simple for blogs.

For additional reading on using WPML and translation engines, read our WPML automatic translation guide. 

If you’re considering other translation engines, WPML offers two alternatives: