I have a WP that has a custom theme, and all the translations working fine. Now I (i.e. my client) would like to tweak some wordpress-provided translations that live in /wp-content/languages/some_LANG.po.

Can I simply alter these files without fear of them being overwritten during an update, or should I handle this from my theme somehow?

For example I'd like to change (a bit) the messages related to password protected posts in the frontend.


It is better to use a separate file to prevent an overwriting during an upgrade.

Filter load_textdomain_mofile and replace the old file with your own:

add_filter( 'load_textdomain_mofile', function( $mofile, $domain )
    if ( 'name_of_the_textdomain' === $domain )
        return 'path_to_your_file.mo';

    return $mofile;
  • That's what I like about WordPress, filters all over the place! – frnhr Sep 20 '13 at 18:48
  • and what about future additions to the mo file? For example, WP gets some new feature that has a few new translation lines. I'd have to manually add them to my file, right? No way to partially overload translations? – frnhr Sep 22 '13 at 8:47

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