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Updated
October 11, 2021

WPML Media Translation allows you to show different images for content in different languages and translate the meta texts of those images.

For example, if you have a post about road trips, you may want to use different images for your British audience and French audience, since they drive on different sides of the car.

English Translation

French Translation

On This Page:

Please note: Media Translation does not translate text that appears in images. If you are looking for how to translate the text content in images, check out projects like Google Image Translation and ImageTranslate.

Activating Media Translation

If you have a Multilingual CMS or Agency account, you can download the Media Translation add-on from the Downloads page and install it on your site.

You can also activate Media Translation either in the setup wizard when setting up your site for the first time, or by going to PluginsAdd New, and then to the Commercial tab.

Once activated, you can access Media Translation by going to WPMLMedia Translation.

Translating Images and Other Media

When you need to show images with content that you translated using WPML’s Translation Management, you should never edit that content manually using the WordPress post editor. If you do, your edits will be lost the next time you update this content using Translation Management.

Instead, follow these steps to “translate” your images and media:

  1. Go to WPML Translation Management to send content for translation. There, when you choose any content that has media files, you will see a list of the attached media. Select all images for which you want to use replacement images in other languages and send content for translation.
Selecting media files for translation into other languages
  1. After the content is translated, go to WPML Media Translation. There, you can filter by Needs Media File Translation. You will see only images that you previously selected as requiring translation. Click to edit any image and upload its replacement.
Filtering the media that needs translation

Translating Image Captions and Titles

WordPress makes a copy of the image captions and title texts when you insert images into content. You can translate these texts when you translate the rest of your page in the Advanced Translation Editor.

Translating a page that has images

The texts that you translate in WPML Media Translation belong to the attachments. You see these translated texts when you create image galleries or load the images using other methods.

Translation texts in Media Translation

Media Translation Settings

The options for translating media can be found at the bottom of the WPMLSettings page.

Media translation settings

WPML Media Translation doesn’t duplicate any files on your site. Duplication here means that new entries are created in the database with your translated image captions, titles, meta text, and other information.

You can set options how to translate:

  1. Existing media content
    • Set language information for existing media – sets the default language as the default language for existing media. This is something you should do if you want to use WPML Media Translation.
    • Translate existing media in all languages – duplicates existing media into all languages.
    • Duplicate existing media for translated content – goes through all existing content. If there is a translation and the content has media, it will update the translated content with the corresponding translated media.
    • Duplicate the featured images for translated content – goes through all existing content. If there is a translation and the content has featured images, it will update the translated content with the corresponding featured images.

  1. New media content
    • When uploading media to the Media Library, make it available in all languages – duplicates newly uploaded media so that it is available in all languages.
    • Duplicate media attachments for translations – duplicates newly uploaded media so that it can be translated.
    • Duplicate featured images for translations – duplicates newly uploaded featured image so that it can be translated