Translate a WordPress theme, a case study

In this post, my goal is to show you how you can translate a WordPress theme. I will try to do this by writing about how I did. Hopefully, you’ll find my experience helpful.

As I wrote in an earlier post, Astra is the theme for WordPress I use the most. I think it’s a perfect starter theme that let me do exactly what I need without being bloated with too much stuff. It’s a relatively new theme but it’s becoming more and more popular for each day as the graph from shows. It’s also on the list of popular themes on

Astra downloads

What to do if a theme isn’t translated into your language?

Many times a specific theme (or plugin) that you like may not be available in your language. You can then either wait for the author of the theme to translate it or help them out. As I’m from Sweden (which is a relatively small country) I realized that it would probably take a while before Astra gets translated into Swedish.

When you visit and find a theme (or plugin) you’ll see a link that says “Translate Astra” (or whatever the name of the theme you’re looking at is). If you go to that page you’ll see which languages the theme is translated into.

Swedish had zero percent translated…?

When I first visited the translation page for Astra in January Swedish had 0% translated. I then contacted Brainstorm Force and asked them if they would like my help to translate Astra into Swedish.

Sujay Pawar (co-founder of Brainstorm Force) was very happy that I wanted to translate their theme. So he added me as a translator to the Astra theme project on

Different roles of translators

I then talked to the group of translators that is responsible for all Swedish translations using Slack. The people that are “in charge” of translations for a specific language are called GTE (General Translation Editor). They have access to all projects and can approve every translation.

After I showed that I was capable of translating correctly I became a Translation Editor for the project Astra. That means I can translate that project and I can also approve other peoples translations.

Mission accomplished, I’ve translated a WordPress theme

The free version of Astra 275 strings. Out of these, I’ve translated ~65%. So currently, the latest version when I’m writing this (1.2.1) of Astra is 100% translated into Swedish.

Astra Translations



How to get started as a translator?

If you feel like help your favorite theme or plugin as a translator but don’t know how and where to start? I would suggest you start by reading the WordPress Translation Handbook. It will get you started and explain how everything works.

I hope this post inspired you to get help out and translate something. It’s always a good feeling to contribute to a project you like, either by helping with some code on open source projects or translating something.

Do you have any question? Feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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Just another developer and a true code monkey! I enjoy working will web, mobile and system development. I've been a developer for all my life (or at least since I was six years old) and have ~15 years work experience.

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