Language switching not working


I'm playing around with language settings to work out the best way to set-up a multi-lingual site I'm developing, and I've been experimenting with various plug-ins etc., but right now I've got them all inactive because WP isn't behaving how I'm expecting and I'm going loopy trying to work out what I'm doing wrong.

Right now, for testing, all I want to do is be able to manually flip the default wordpress install with twentyten theme between English and Spanish by changing the appropriate line in the wp_config.php file.

So I have an English install of WP3.1 (with other languages, including Spanish -- es_ES -- in the wp-content/languages folder).

I have downloaded the Spanish version of wordpress with its default twentyten theme so that I can copy the es_ES.po and .mo files from wp-content/themes/twentyten/languages into the same folder on my server.

So I'm good to go, right?

I just edit the line in wp_config.php on my server to say this:
define ('WPLANG', 'es_ES');

Restart my browser, go to the site ( and I should be seeing some of the page in Spanish -- not the posts, but things like "Posted on...", "Posted in uncategorized", "2 Comments", "Edit" etc., these are the things that should be in Spanish, no?

Because everything stays in English, every last thing. All my admin pages, too, which I thought would switch to Spanish too.

Anyone see what I'm doing wrong?

I have turned off a caching plug-in I was using to make sure that's not the problem, and as I say, I've used various translation plug-ins but they have all been disactivated.

While I'm here, assuming I can get this to work, I've had trouble finding localization files for buddypress, and wondered whether there were localization files already prepped for any of your themes, specifically bp-social or bp-fun?

Thanks for you help. Hasta pronto.

  • terraling
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    I have successfully managed to install wordpress on a local server (if you've seen my other posts you'll know what a trial that was) and I've tried manually flipping languages via the wp-config.php file as described above, and it works no problem, as expected. I can now see what it should be doing, and what it's not on my online version.

    Can anyone think of anything to explain why it might not be working..? Pointers as to where to look?


  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hello terraling,

    Having just gone through the process locally on my end just to see if there was anything specific I might be able to catch along the way, I really can't see anything apart from the following few items:

    1.) Copy the following line directly from the Spanish WordPress version into your existing wp-config.php:
    (A direct copy from the Spanish wp-config.php would ensure you have exactly the same characters)
    define ('WPLANG', 'es_ES');

    2.) Copy all the language files (wp-content/languages) directly from the Spanish WordPress version over to your site's wp-content/languages folder.

    Just testing these two items, even apart from the Twenty-Ten language files, should at least give you the Spanish back-end and admin bar translations. There really is little else to consider, so I just can't see why they wouldn't translate with those two items done.

    Could you perhaps try following these two items exactly and seeing if they work?


  • terraling
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hi David

    I already did that, to no effect. But I've also noticed that other switches I've put into wp-config.php such as to disable the buddypress admin bar are not working either, which suggests something else is afoot.

    I've started from scratch with a new wp-config.php file to see if I'd accidently corrupted it somehow, no joy there either.

    Unless this rings a bell somehow, I think I will have to wipe everything and start over with a clean install. I was trying out lots of themes/plug-ins etc., and I think something must have put a spanner in the works.

    If you read this and something springs to mind, great, otherwise feel free to close the topic.


  • Aphrodite
    • The Reaper

    While I'm here, assuming I can get this to work, I've had trouble finding localization files for buddypress, and wondered whether there were localization files already prepped for any of your themes, specifically bp-social or bp-fun?

    nope. You will have to translate them or find another spanish speaking one who have done it.

    Sorry, i have them in french :slight_smile:

    So I have an English install of WP3.1

    multisite or single ?

    in multisite there are 2 places to change : in network admin / default language AND in settings in site management.

  • DavidM
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi terraling,

    I was not able to replicate the issue on a fresh install and I can't seem to find any reason as to why that would not work except that perhaps something unforeseen occurred in the installation process that we're overlooking.

    That said, I'll be marking this thread as resolved but that by no means entails the topic is closed. It's simply marked as resolved for support reasons. But the thread is still open for discussion, of course.


  • seriousmarketing
    • Flash Drive

    I have a similar problem in WP MU 3.2

    Language files are installed correctly in admin/netword and on blog, however the admin panel is still in english language. I'll try to change the language files..maybe they have been corrupted..and YES that was it.

    Seems that the automatic update somehow corrupted the language files - they all had 0 byte.

    So..if everything else works - try to reupload the language files.

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