WordPress 4.7 to Introduce User-Specific Language Setting for the Admin

WordPress 4.7 will allow users to select a language to use in the admin. Prior to this change, using a different language for the admin required installing the necessary translations and editing the wp-config.php file or using a plugin.

A user-specific language setting makes it possible to run a WordPress site in one language on the front end and administrate it in another without all of the previous hassle. For example, if a German newspaper site has contributors from all around the world, WordPress 4.7 makes it possible for each contributor to use the admin in his or her native language. The setting is available as a language dropdown on the user profile edit screen at wp-admin/profile.php.

admin-language-setting

During my first test of the new feature I thought it was broken, but it turns out the setting is not visible if the site language is set to the default en_US. Change the site language under Settings to something else and WordPress will then show available translations in the user profile language dropdown.

The user-specific language setting comes as a result of work on a two-year-old ticket and contributors’ discussions at several European WordCamps during the past few years. It introduces a new get_user_locale() function that plugin developers will want to be aware of, especially those who have built other solutions that allow users to set a language for the admin.

10 Comments


  1. Very happy to see this update. Although I love using WP themes in Lithuanian, but it is much easier to use WP Admin in English as many terms are familiar from other software.

    In contrast Lithuanian terms sometimes sound very confusing and I would spend extra time trying to figure it out… I guess I’m just old guy, when I started university, computers were pretty new thing and many terms were international/English. Most likely younger IT guys learned it in native language at the university.

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  2. During my first test of the new feature I thought it was broken, but it turns out the setting is not visible if the site language is set to the default en_US. Change the site language under Settings to something else and WordPress will then show available translations in the user profile language dropdown.

    The reason for this somewhat unexpected behaviour is because the list of available languages on the user profile screen is limited to the currently installed languages, unlike the language selection options on the General Settings screen which allows you to install any language available on translate.wordpress.org. If you install a language other than English (US) then it’ll be available for users to select on the user profile screen.

    This may be something that can be improved in 4.8, but I thought I’d let you know the reason behind it.

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  3. I am so glad this is now becoming reality, that was my initial ticket after frustrations with “international” sites, this is why I love WordPress, someone has a need for a feature and lots of people jump into make it a reality.

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  4. Very good feature.
    Do you think WP will introduce also true multilanguage site support?
    I’d like the possibility to have a site in Italian and English without to install plugin.

    Fabrizio

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  5. The reason for the setting not appearing until other languages are installed is a technical one, but for a first try, I think this fits the main use case. The main case is for sites where the admin is in a different language by default, having the option to switch back to English on a per-user basis is super useful.

    Of course, the ability to choose any installed language is there, the only thing really missing from it is the ability to install a language that isn’t already installed. And that is available in the general settings area, so it’s not a hugely missing feature, really.

    For me, this is a fantastic feature. It will help a lot since I’ll be able to access our international sites using English without actually affecting any of the other users of those sites. Trying to clean up spam in the Hebrew forums without being able to read the interface was kind of tricky. :)

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  6. FYI: WordPress, on my view and what is happening, they supported new custom post type beside post and pages, you can turn on “portfolio” and “testimonial” for your site in Jetpack and it will appear under your WP-Calypso.

    It seems that in future, we can use custom action (maybe) to register our post type to Jetpack setting, and we can decide if we want to turn on that post type on Calypso or not.

    There’s more and more feature is being tested for the big evolution of WordPress, version 5.0 I think!

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  7. This is a great resolve for a big pain point! Thank you so much!

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  8. Oh that’s really a great improvement!!

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