7

Is it enough to just create a child-theme - let's say technically without adding anything else but the bare minimum style.css - to have the translation of the parent-theme being used automatically for the child-theme as well?

child-theme/style.css

/**
 * Theme Name:     Child-Theme Child
 * Theme URI:      http://example.com/
 * Description:    Child theme for the Twentytwelve theme
 * Author:         Theme Author
 * Author URI:     http://example.com/
 * Template:       twentytwelve
 * Version:        0.1.0
 */

The twentytwelve theme has the standard language translation files.

And if that does not happen automatically on my site, what would be a good place to start trouble-shooting the missing translation?

7

Is it enough to just create a child-theme - let's say technically without adding anything else but the bare minimum style.css - to have the translation of the parent-theme being used automatically for the child-theme as well?

Basically, the answer is NO, ... but... there's an option:

Add a mu-plugin.

This (MU-)Plugin does several things:

  1. It hooks into after_setup_theme on a priority of 20 - assuming that the parent textdomain/i18n .mo file is loaded correctly at the default priority on the correct hook.
  2. Then it retrieves an instanceof the WP_Theme - in this case the child theme.
  3. Then it checks if there actually is a child theme in use.
  4. If this was true, then it will just load the textdomain from the parent file.

It's actually quite easy, as the core class does a lot of checks for us: It retrieves another instance of WP_Theme for the parent theme. Then it checks if the TextDomain header is set, using: $current_theme->get( 'TextDomain' );. The point therefore is there comes one convention into the game: This plugin will only work, if the parent theme got a Text Domain and(!) a Domain Path header set.

<?php
/**
 * Plugin Name: (#113391) Parent Theme i18n Autoloader
 * Description: Load Twenty12 Child theme translation files automagically from Parent
 */
add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'wpse113391_parent_theme_i18n_autoloader', 20 );
function wpse113391_parent_theme_i18n_autoloader()
{
    $current_theme = wp_get_theme();
    if ( is_child_theme() )
        $current_theme->parent()->load_textdomain();
}

Now here comes the problem: The default/standard Twenty* themes delivered by core do not(!) have the Domain Path header entry. And this is something that we have to fix instantly, as load_theme_textdomain() else searches for the translation file not in the Parent theme folder, but

  • first in the child theme folder: get_stylesheet_directory().WP_Theme::get( 'DomainPath' ), which means that (A) the Domain Path needs to be set and it needs to be prefixed with a slash: /.
  • then in the child theme folder: `get_stylesheet_directory().'/languages'.
  • and last in the in WP_LANGUAGE_DIR.'/themes' directory.

Note: I guess that's just a bug that will never be fixed for "backwards compatibility", which - in other words - means that there is a bug, but there may be devs already working around it. :P

Then there's another problem. The WP_Theme class method load_textdomain() internally passes a $path to load_theme_textdomain(). And this parameter is $this->get_stylesheet_directory(). And this method returns $this->theme_root . '/' . $this->stylesheet. So the function would actually work quite good, but it's messing it up with simply calling an internal replacement for get_stylesheet_directory() (which would have been filterable). One might now think

"Hey! The class implements ArrayAccess! So simply set the missing array key of Domain Path!"

Wrong. All the class properties are marked private and inaccessible.

Then you might think

"Why not simply extend the WP_Theme class and define a set() Method so we can manually set the missing header entries?"

Wrong. The class itself is final and not extensible.

Result: We're left with what load_theme_textdomain() - the last function in the chain of calls - offers us. Now we got a larger plugin that intercepts the load_theme_textdomain() call to load the correct file. To not disturb other i18n file loads, it instantly removes the callback from the filter to keep your environment tidy.

<?php
/**
 * Plugin Name: (#113391) Parent Theme i18n Autoloader
 * Description: Load Twenty12 Child theme translation files automagically from Parent
 */

add_action( 'muplugins_loaded', array( 'WPSE113391Parenti18nLoader', 'getInstance' ) );
class WPSE113391Parenti18nLoader
{
    public static $instance = null;

    private $theme = null;

    public static function getInstance()
    {
        null === self::$instance AND self::$instance = new self;
        return self::$instance;
    }

    public function __construct()
    {
        add_action( 'after_setup_theme', array( $this, 'i18nAutoloader' ), 20 );
    }

    public function setTheme( $theme )
    {
        return $this->theme = $theme;
    }

    public function getTheme()
    {
        return $this->theme;
    }

    public function i18nAutoloader()
    {
        if ( ! is_child_theme() )
            return;

        $current_theme = wp_get_theme();
        if ( '' === $current_theme->parent()->get( 'DomainPath' ) )
        {
            $this->setTheme( $current_theme->parent() );
            add_filter( 'override_load_textdomain', array( $this, 'overrideI18nLoader' ), 10, 3 );
        }
        $current_theme->parent()->load_textdomain();
    }

    public function overrideI18nLoader( $activate, $domain, $mofile )
    {
        // Don't intercept anything else: Self removing
        remove_filter( current_filter(), __FUNCTION__ );

        // Rebuild the internals of WP_Theme::get_stylesheet_directory() and load_theme_textdomain()
        $theme  = $this->getTheme();
        $path   = trailingslashit( $theme->get_theme_root() ).$theme->get_template();
        $locale = apply_filters( 'theme_locale', get_locale(), $domain );

        load_textdomain( $domain, "{$path}/{$locale}.mo" );

        // Return true to abort further attempts
        return true;
    }
}
  • I was writing an answer when I get notify of new answer added. In my answer I was writing to load parent text domain in functions.php. Your answer is great, but does not go in conflict with a child theme that define its own child textdomain via load_child_theme_textdomain? However +1 for sure. – gmazzap Sep 8 '13 at 13:51
  • @G.M. Thanks. No it shouldn't intercept that call. There's no connection between those. But I found some other bugs and interesting (or in other words: somehow stupid) things that happen behind the scenes. – kaiser Sep 8 '13 at 14:46
  • 1
    great work. Sad is not possible +1 again! – gmazzap Sep 8 '13 at 15:13
3

By default this just works out of the box. If the parent theme offers translation, the child-theme takes it over.

If it does not work something is wrong. This was in my case, here is how I did trouble-shoot that:

  1. I activated the parent theme to see if the translation was working there - it did not.
  2. Then I installed the Debug Translations plugin to learn which language files were tried to load.
  3. I then started an Xdebug debug session (?XDEBUG_SESSION_START=1) and verified the loading position that was reported broken by placing a breakpoint there and stepping into it.

It then turned out that Wordpress was looking for a different file-name. I corrected the filename and it then worked.

Morale of the story: Language files inside themes should be named with the local only, like de_DE.mo in my case.


Faulty:

+ wp-content
+--+ themes
|  +--+ child-theme
|  |  `--- style.css
.  .    ...
|  `--+ twentytwelve
|     +--+ languages
|     |  `--- twentytwelve-de_DE.mo    <<<
.    ...

Working:

+ wp-content
+--+ themes
|  +--+ child-theme
|  |  `--- style.css
.  .    ...
|  `--+ twentytwelve
|     +--+ languages
|     |  `--- de_DE.mo    <<<
.    ...
  • 1
    I tried for twentythirteen theme and worked out of the box (localized italian version dowloaded from it.wordpress.org). With twentytwelve it doesn't. And seems to me that two themes implement translations in same way (.po/.mo files in the wp-content/languages/themes and named twentythirteen-it_IT.po/.mo and twentytwelve-it_IT.po/.mo). I can't understand why. – gmazzap Sep 8 '13 at 17:04
  • @G.M.: Oh that's interesting feedback you note here. Maybe my answer so far does not show the whole story. I now added the file-locations to make it more clear where my mistake/error was, that probably helps to compare things. – hakre Sep 17 '13 at 7:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.