How to Translate Your Gutenberg Content Using WPML (In 3 Steps)

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If you want to attract as many visitors as possible to your website, it's a smart idea to offer content in multiple languages. While the recent addition of the Gutenberg editor to WordPress may leave you wondering how you can translate your content without altering its layout, don't worry. It's easy to create translations of your Gutenberg posts and pages using the WPML plugin!
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If you really want to grow your website’s audience, translating your content is a smart move. This enables you to attract visitors from all across the globe. However, with the recent changes to WordPress’ editor, you may be wondering whether it’s still possible (or easy) to translate your posts and pages into other languages.

Fortunately, the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes”. The WPML plugin offers an Advanced Translation Editor, which makes the process of offering site content in various languages quick and painless. What’s more, it enables you to translate content created via the new WordPress block editor (formerly known as Gutenberg).

In this post, we’re going to talk briefly about why it’s important to translate your WordPress content. Then, we’ll show you how to do it. Let’s get to work!

Why It’s Important to Translate Your Site’s Content

For most websites, success relies on attracting high levels of traffic. This is true whether you’re running a blog and want to build a strong readership, or are looking to bring in as many customers as possible to your e-commerce store.

There are many ways to market and promote your website, with the goal of getting it in front of more potential visitors. However, if you’re only focusing on an English-speaking audience, then you’re leaving a lot of cards on the table. Chances are there are lots of people who would find your content valuable, but can’t easily use your site because English isn’t their first language (or they don’t speak it at all).

The obvious solution is to translate your website into multiple languages. If you’re a WordPress user, this is an easy task as long as you have the right plugin. That’s where WPML comes into the picture:

The WPML plugin website.

This plugin enables you to translate your WordPress content, both automatically and manually. It’s been around for a while, and has attracted a large and diverse following of WordPress users.

Now, you may be aware that WordPress has recently gone through some significant changes. The old WordPress editor has been replaced with a new block-based system, commonly known as Gutenberg. This visually-based editor helps you build more complex layouts, and create pages with advanced features and designs:

An example of the Gutenberg editor.

The good news is that WPML works seamlessly with the new block editor:

This means you can start to translate your content right away. Your Gutenberg designs will be preserved, and reproduced perfectly in your site’s secondary languages. Let’s take a closer look at how that process works.

How to Translate Your Gutenberg Content Using WPML (In 3 Steps)

WPML offers a number of tools that can help you translate your WordPress content. One of the most powerful, however, is the Advanced Translation Editor:

This is a computer-assisted tool that works right in the browser, and enables you to automatically translate your content quickly. At the same time, it also lets you make custom changes to the results, so you can be sure that each translation is highly-accurate.

In the following three steps, we’ll show you how to translate your Gutenberg content using WPML’s Advanced Translation Editor. First, you’ll need to download the plugin and install it on your site. Then, you’re ready to get started!

Step 1: Configure Your WPML Settings

Before you can translate your content, you need to let the WPML plugin know what languages you’d like to use. To do that, log into your site and navigate to WPML > Languages. Then, look for the section labeled Site Languages:

Selecting languages in WPML.

Here, you can simply check the box next to the languages you’d like to include. If you want, you can also manually add a language by using the Edit Languages option:

Manually adding a language in WPML.

Don’t forget to save your changes. Then, you’ll also need to make sure you have the Advanced Translation Editor activated on your site. To find this option, navigate to WPML > Settings, and look for How to translate posts and pages:

Activating the Advanced Translation Editor.

In this section, you can select the option labeled Use the Advanced Translation Editor. Then save your changes again, and you’re ready to move on.

Step 2: Create an Automatic Translation of Your Content

At this point, you can open up a page, post, or other content type that you’ve created using the Gutenberg editor. In the right-hand sidebar, you’ll find an option called Translate this Document:

Translating a page using WPML.

Click on the plus sign next to whatever language you’d like to translate the content into. This will take you directly to the Advanced Translation Editor.

All you have to do now is select Translate Automatically – an option you’ll find near the top of the page. Give the plugin a few moments to work, and then you’ll see both the original and the translated versions side by side:

Original and translated versions of a WordPress page.

Technically speaking, you could stop here. However, we’d recommend reviewing the translation first, which is where the next step comes in.

Step 3: Review the Translation Manually

WPML’s machine translation is powerful and reliable – but no automatic translator is perfect. There are likely to be some improvements you can make, and you’ll want to be sure the final result is accurate.

Therefore, it’s best to go through the translation line by line, comparing the original and new versions and looking for any errors:

Reviewing a WPML translation.

It may help to have someone fluent with the secondary language review the translation as well. Hiring a freelancer to do this is relatively simple, and is a lot cheaper than having someone conduct a full translation from scratch.

Once you’re done, you can select Finish. A preview window will appear – hit Complete to finalize the translation. It will now be available as an option on the front end of your site! You can preview the page to see it in action:

A French translation on the front end.

All the design and layout work you’ve done in Gutenberg will be intact, as will your images and other media. All that’s changed is the language for your content’s text.

Start with WPML today

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While English is a very popular language online, there are millions of internet users who don’t speak it well (or at all). Offering versions of your website’s content in their native languages means you can speak to an entirely new audience.

With the WPML plugin, translating your site’s content is simple. Plus, you can even translate pages and posts made using Gutenberg, without affecting their layout. All you need to do is:

  1. Configure your WPML settings.
  2. Create an automatic translation of your content.
  3. Review the translation manually.

Do you have any questions about how to use WPML’s Advanced Translation Editor? Ask away in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pexels

Will Morris

Will Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy. When he’s not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.

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