Resolved in: WPML 3.7.0


If you are using a theme that utilizes a page builder, or you use a page builder plugin, you might encounter some specific situations where you might have missing values in the translation editor when editing an updated translated page.

Such situations may happen in the following scenario:
1. You create a test page with a text shortcode.
2. You then translate that page.
3. Then, you go to the original page and modify the text that is in the shortcode.
4. This makes the translated page in a need of updating, so you go to the translation editor to do this.
5. When you visit the translation editor, you will notice that the translated value for the modified string is empty.

The good thing is that the originally translated string may be recovered from the translated page when you visit it on the front-end.

This is not a bug, but how the things work because the translations are actually handled via String Translations.

For some page builders, when modifying the original, there is no way for String Translation to know that this is a new string or a modified one. Therefore there is no way to identify the string. So, changing the original string makes String Translation behave like a new string without a translation is being added and because of that, the value is empty in the translation editor.


Before changing the content of a builder element in the ORIGINAL post/page language:
1. Go to the translation of that post/page
2. Copy the translated value of the element that you want to edit
3. Paste this content to a temporary location (e.g. notepad)
4. Then edit the original element to the desired value.
5. When updating the translation, paste the content from step 3 into the blank element boxes.
6. Make any updates and save.

14 Responses to “Translated value missing in Translation Editor when re-editing page with changes to some shortcodes”

  1. hi!
    I’m having the same troubles!! on english to italian…

    this makes it impossible to mantain pages like mine well translated in many languages

    anytime I do a small modification on the original language I loose MANY text fields!!!!
    I don’t believe there is no workaround: if I must copy and paste the original translations in those blank fields again it can be very annoying and time lasting!!!!

    • At this moment if you are using the translation editor, this is the only one possible workaround – to copy the values.
      Our developers are working tightly in cooperation with authors of visual editors in order to overcome this problem, but this will take some time until is implemented.
      You can try and temporary disable the translation editor from WPML > Translation Management > Multilingual content setup and use the native editor. However doing this you will not benefit of the new way of translating visual editors content and this way is prone to errors – if you don’t know what exactly to change you might also damage your pages. I personally would not recommend you to do that, but it could maybe help you not copy and paste translations.

  2. WPML: do you have any update on this?

    This is a huge problem which must be solved as soon as possible i hope, cause this i a big bug, and is asking for serious problems.

    You really cannot ask us to save a translation because every-time we edit the original page some of the translations in the translation editor are lost. And we need to put them back every time.

    • maybe a (temporary) solution:

      “So, changing the original string makes String Translation behave like a new string without a translation is being added and because of that, the value is empty in the translation editor.”

      -> If we change an original text (string) don’t let String Translation believe it is a new string until unless we click on a checkbox “new translation”. These checkboxes are in the Translation Editor at every field.

    • Hello martijnK-3,
      As it is explained in this errata page, the fix for this is not something that entirely depends on us at this time. In order for this to work, the shortcode elements that are used need to have proper way of identification. Currently WPML String Translation identifies the strings in the shortcodes by the original string and domain. Once you change this the identification cannot happen because there is no way to trace these changes.
      Maybe you should try and use the native translation interface as I suggested in my previous reply in this ticket.

  3. Hello !
    any update on this ?
    I experience the same issue and would like to know when you think this will be resolved.
    This is a major issue which make WPML not usable for site translation.
    Please do your best to find a solution,
    Thank !!

    • We’re going to release a beta version today with a new algorithm for matching texts. This solves all the issues with losing translations after updating the original. I’ll send a newsletter email about it to all WPML clients.

  4. Hi, I’m experiencing a similar but worst case: after I update the original page with Visual Composer, when attempting to update the translation, the modified string is missing.

    For example, let’s say I have a custom heading. If I edit its text after the initial translation, I will not have that string in the translation editor anymore. All other strings and modules will be there but not he one I edited.

    The only fix is to duplicate the original content and re-enter the translation.

    • @Michele this is probably happening if you have not completed the translation job before making the modification of the original page.
      You should complete the translation job at 100% and then update the original page.
      After you have done that you can visit the translation once more time and get the changed value in there.