While by default, Shopify themes are set to English, some themes do have a number of alternative language options. For themes that include multiple languages, you can simply change the theme language.
If your theme doesn't have the language that you want, then you can create the translations yourself.
If your theme has the desired language built-in, you can select the language for your theme as per these steps.
If your theme does not have the language as an option, or if you would like to translate specific sections of your theme, you can manually create the translation for your theme as per these instructions.
You can read more about these processes and how to review and update your theme’s translations in this very helpful guide.
Having a translated theme plays heavily into both localization and internationalization - either of which can be important to a store whether they are playing to a localized audience or a more international audience. This article focuses on the solution that makes this process much more comfortable: pseudo-localization.
A lot of stores decide to go down the multilingual route in order to sell to as many people as possible. Making your website multilingual can break the language barrier, create more value and ease the buying experience for your potential new customer.
Luckily, the Shopify app store is filled with great translation apps, all of which have been peer-reviewed.
The Weglot app gives you a reliable and easy way to automatically display and translate your store in just 5 minutes. Weglot is super easy to set up, integrates with every Shopify theme and app, and is SEO optimized.
GTranslate leverages Google Translate and Bing’s automatic translation services to translate and display your Shopify site into more than 100 different languages.
Langify displays translated content on your site automatically by detecting where your customer is browsing from and what language their browser is set to. It does not, however, automatically translate your website content like Weglot and GTranslate. The app manages only pre-translated content, so you will need to provide your translations yourself. Therefore, the set-up process may be time-consuming for the average user.
There are, of course, many more translation apps available from our app store that you can browse through to find one that is right for you.
Translation When Developing Themes
If you are a theme developer and are looking to make your theme more robust in terms of language, then you should take a look at my colleague Liam’s article “How To Use Translation Keys To Create Internationalized Themes”
As Liam states in his article:
“By using Liquid’s translation keys and filter, it’s possible to include ready-made translations or empower clients to use the Language Editor to translate their storefront content into different languages. Storefront content like buttons, links, and placeholders can have “pre-loaded” translated copy, which means clients can choose their preferred default language quickly and easily.”
In this article, Liam gives insight as to how you can use Liquid to allow clients to display different languages on their online store, as well as exploring best practices around naming conventions for translation keys.
If you are using a Shopify theme you can get support with any of the steps mentioned in the introduction from our support team.
To our support team please do visit the Help Centre. When on the Help Centre page, you should see Support > Contact Support in the main menu or there's a Contact Shopify Support button near the end of the page.
The Help Centre will try and suggest guides first to resolve your query, however, if none of these suit your needs then please keep clicking the Contact Shopify Support button at the end of the page instead. You are also welcome to contact us here on Twitter or here on Facebook.
If you need help customizing a paid theme, consider hiring a Shopify expert. As with free themes, some types of customization are not supported due to theme or Shopify admin restrictions.
The Shopify Design Forum also provides guidelines for editing HTML, CSS, or Liquid to customize your theme. If you need help editing theme files, feel free to post a question in the Shopify Design forum.
Bo | Retired Staff Member