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May 4, 2023

WPML lets you easily translate all the content on your WordPress website, including content coming from custom fields.

In WordPress, you can use custom fields to add extra information to your posts, pages, and custom post types. This allows you to better organize and manage your content.

WPML lets you translate custom field content, but the custom fields need to be set as translatable.

Setting the Translation Preferences for Custom Fields

For custom fields coming from certain themes and plugins, the translation preferences are set for you. 

An example of this is the ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) plugin. To translate custom fields coming from ACF, you need to install our ACFML (Advanced Custom Fields Multilingual) plugin. It lets you choose from two translation options with pre-set translation preferences for the custom fields.

For custom fields created using other means, you may need to set the translation preferences by yourself. This includes those created with the Toolset plugin or manually with your own PHP code.

You can set the custom field translation preferences by going to WPML → Settings and scrolling to the Custom Field Translation section.

Here, you can choose from four options:

  • Don’t translate – The field is not available for translation. 
  • Copy – This option copies the field value from the default language into the secondary language(s), keeping your custom field value in sync across all languages. 
  • Copy once – This option copies the value of the field from the default language. You can change the value of the field later in the WordPress native editor. After the first copy, it will not be kept in sync with the default language.
  • Translate – This option makes the field values available for translation.

Only fields set to Translate will be available for translation in WPML’s Advanced Translation Editor.

Setting the custom fields to be translatable

Translating the Custom Field Content

After you set the custom fields to Translate, they’ll become available for translation. 

  • If you use the Translate Everything Automatically mode, WPML will translate your custom fields for you.
  • If you use the Translate What You Choose mode, you can translate your pages and posts as usual. The custom fields will appear in the Advanced Translation Editor, making it easy for you or your site’s translators to translate them.

Important: If you translated your content with a professional translation service before making the custom fields translatable, you need to resend all posts and pages with the custom fields for translation after changing their translation settings.