WPML makes it easy to manage the translations of anything from a simple blog to large multilingual corporate sites. In this tutorial, we show the basics of translation management and how to use it in WPML.

Why you need translation management?

When you build a multilingual WordPress site with WPML, you will usually translate content using WPML’s basic translation controls.

However, what is convenient for you is probably less-than-ideal for translators, who are not familiar with WordPress administration.

The Translation Management module in WPML makes it possible for people who are not WordPress experts to be in charge of the translation process. It allows to employ translators, who have no clue how WordPress works, to translate everything in any site.

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Adding translators to WordPress sites

Some of your clients will translate their own content, but most will not. They will want other people to translate. These ‘other people’ may or may not know how to edit WordPress content. Often, they don’t.

First, you need to create WordPress users for these translators. You can give them a very low level, such as ‘subscriber’, so they cannot change any content. WPML will grant translators the capabilities to translate the material that you want them to translate.

Go to WPML->Translation Management->Translators and add these users as translators. Choose the language pairs that you want them to have.

Adding a translator to the site

Adding a translator to the site

Seeing what needs translation

Now that your site has ‘translator’ users, you can send them content to translation. Go to WPML->Translation Management. You will see a table with everything in your site. Use the filter to select the content that you want, select it and send for translation.

The Translation Dashboard

The Translation Dashboard

Your translators will receive email notifications from WPML, telling them that they have work to do.

How translators work

Each translator sees a queue of jobs waiting for them. These are the documents that you’ve sent.

The queue of jobs waiting for the translator

The queue of jobs waiting for the translator

The translator can take a job and start translating.

Side-by-side translation editor for your translators

Side-by-side translation editor for your translators

Like you can see, the translator is using a side-by-side editor. Each field appears separately and the translator doesn’t need to know how WordPress works.

What happens when you send content to translation

Behind the scenes, WPML runs a comprehensive process for translating content. It includes:

  1. Showing you which translations are missing or out-of-date
  2. Separating content to fields
  3. Checking which fields have changed
  4. Letting translators translate
  5. Putting content back together from fields
  6. Synchronizing non-translatable fields
  7. Updating page hierarchy
  8. Updating links between content
  9. Synchronizing publish state
  10. Indicating that translations are up-to-date

All of this is done automatically for you. You need to choose the content and send it to translation. Translators need to translate. WPML takes care of everything else, so that the content appears perfectly in each language.

Without WPML’s Translation Management, you can still translate the content in the site, but someone will have to do all this work manually. It’s much nicer to run a large multilingual site, when WPML does this work for you.

Getting and installing WPML’s Translation Management

If you already bought the Multlingual CMS package (yearly or Lifetime), you already have access to Translation Management. Log in to your WPML account, go to Downloads and install it on your sites. Follow the translation management documentation for step-by-step instructions on how to configure and use.

If you bought the Multilingual Blog account, you need to upgrade first. Login to your account and upgrade from there. You only need to pay the difference.

If you are new to WPML, you need to buy first. Head over to our purchase page and choose either the Multilingual CMS or Multilingual CMS for Life. Both options give you access to all of WPML’s modules and only differ in the duration of included updates and support.