WordPress 4.0 to Add Language Selection to Installation

WordPress 4.0 will be introducing some major internationalization improvements that will make it much easier to set up and use the software in languages other than English. A few weeks ago, WordPress lead developer Andrew Nacin published a plan with internationalization goals for 4.0. “Only 5%-10% of the world speaks English,” Nacin said at WordCamp Seattle last month. “WordPress 4.0 during install will allow you to choose your language.”

This is the first goal on the list and is already in the WordPress trunk if you want to test it out. WordPress checks for available languages to populate the dropdown. The option to select a language is now the first thing you see when you install WordPress:

wordpress-installation

The language you select will be enabled immediately so that the installation process is easier for those using languages other than English:

installation-page

This seemingly small improvement to the installation process could bring a flood of new users who were previously deterred by having to install the software in English. Matt Mullenweg was recently interviewed by Josh Janssen in Melbourne where he noted that May 2014 marked the first time that non-English downloads of WordPress surpassed the number of English downloads. As the software is adopted by more non-English speaking users, its user is base becoming more representative of the languages spoken by the world’s population.

Internationalization improvements in 4.0 have the potential to profoundly change WordPress’ global community. How long do you think it will be before the majority of WordPress installations are in Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi, or Arabic? How do you think that will change contribution to the project?

12 Comments


  1. I don’t think English will be surpassed as the most popular choice in our lifetime. It’s the defacto mutual language internationally, so anyone wanting to reach a global audience will typically default to using it.

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  2. ..I still don’t understand why WordPress is not multi-language by default, instead they waste time to add ML to installation…

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    1. Making it easier to run WordPress in another language is the first step of many.

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  3. ich bin deutscher und lebe in argentinien + uruguay. fast alle unsere wp sites sind in spanisch oder/und deutsch. seit neuesten benutze ich WPML . nun spare ich zumindest die uebersetzungen fuer eine sprache.

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  4. Many CMS are already multilingual. WordPress should add multilingual functionality by default.

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  5. What’s worse….. Cannot find WPLANG to change/add language in wp-config!!

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    1. Olaska, WPLANG is no longer needed so it’s removed. You can change your site language under Settings >> General.

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  6. I see only English (United States) and pl_PL (this language pack was present in 3.9.2 before upgrade to 4.0) options in language select. It looks like the language pack must be downloaded before trying to select this particular language… for example I’ve downloaded de_DE package and it showed in language select. Andrew Nacin wrote:

    “2. You should be able to choose/switch a language from the general settings screen, after which the language pack should be downloaded.” (http://make.wordpress.org/core/2014/07/02/internationalization-project-updates/).

    Am I missing something?

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  7. Have you tried Bablic.com for translating WordPress?

    It’s a new localization startup I’m a part of which makes WordPress translation much easier than the plugins above.

    Basically, you just enter your URL on our homepage at https://www.bablic.com – then choose from machine or human translation to get started.

    You can then, in real-time, manually edit any of the elements you see (text, images, css/style) simply by right-clicking on them. Once you’re happy with the results, just click Save & Publish! That’s it, you’ll see a language selection widget appear on your WordPress site!

    You can download the WordPress plugin here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/bablic/

    Or just head straight to https://www.bablic.com and enter your WordPress URL to start translating it.

    We’ve been getting amazing feedback from WordPress users, would love to know your thoughts!

    Thanks for the great content once again!
    Laurent Sabbah
    Bablic.com

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