I'm in the process of creating my first Shopify store and would like to sell in two languages, English and Thai.
I tried creating the store in base language English and installing translation apps to auto-convert the text to Thai as per some of the other advice here. I tried multiple apps but wasn't satisfied with the alternate language output on any of them.
Accordingly I'm wondering if it's possible at all to have complete control of the text in each language so that both sound fluid and natural. Ideally I'd like to have a setup with two different domain subdirectories - one in each language - like https://<mywebsite>.com/en and https://<mywebsite>.com/th. Is that something that's even possible?
Hopefully the question makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to read it!
Hi there, Rich from Shopify here.
This is definitely possible. It sounds like you've taken most of these steps but I'll go through them all to be comprehensive. To enable stores to have more than one language, Shopify has a Translations API. This enables you to take content in the stores's default language (theme language) and translate it for users in different languages. To do this here are the steps:
- Go to Settings > Store language and add check the default language is what you want it to be. Then go to 'Translated languages' and add Thai:
- Add translations. You can use an app that's compliant with the Translations API, a collection of which you can find here, or you can use the CSV export / import functionality. To gain the quality of Thai that's natural and fluid as you mention, you can manually add translations with either of these methods (app or CSV) if you can write Thai, or hire a translator who can. Machine translation can be very helpful but was you say is not always accurate.
- You can preview this on your storefront, and when ready publish the language.
In the Online Store Editor, you can switch Language Switchers on in the Footer. This enables users to switch language. This feature is available on most themes, but not all. If it is not available on yours you can use the Geolocation app or, if you chose to translate using an app, there may be language switchers in the app.
Subdirectories are being made possible in the forthcoming Shopify Markets feature set.
Wishing you the best with your multi-language selling experience,
Thanks Rich. Much appreciated. I'll look through the points in your answer and see if I can get this working smoothly.