I have a theme which loads .po and .mo files to display strings in English. I want to have only one language (Polish), but those two files are en_US. I tried replacing content in the en_US.po file but nothing changed on the website, I do not know why. Where does it store strings if changing .po files changes nothing?

  • 2
    Take a look at Translating Wordpress to get to know what you're dealing with. Besides that, you probably haven't generated the corresponding mo-file. Additionally you really shouldn't use the english translation file for the polish translation. Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 14:41
  • 2
    To further your reading, I did an answer a while ago. Go check it out wordpress.stackexchange.com/a/137727/31545 Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 15:38

3 Answers 3


There are already an en_US.po file in the theme you are using. You can simply make a copy of that file and rename it as pl_PL.po. You can now open the pl_PL.po template with poedit, do all your translations in there, and just save it. Poedit will automatically create a pl_PL.mo template.

No need to go through all the pt. Just remember, as previously stated, change the language in the wp-config.php to pl_PL

  • My pleasure. Glad I could be of help Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 10:20
  • yeeah we try to make good answers that's why I wrote all the steps...
    – JMau
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 12:24

Hi to translate your website you can do the following:

  1. Define your language in wp-config.php : define('WPLANG', 'pl_PL');
  2. Then generate a po file for your theme with e.g this service: iCanLocalize Scanner
  3. Then your po and mo files should be named pl_PL.po and pl_PL.mo and put into a folder called languages or lang or something like this in your theme.
  4. if not, create a folder for languages and then use load_theme_textdomain (or load_child_theme_textdomain if it's a child theme)
  5. If there's already a language folder with po and mo files just put your new files in the same folder.

With this you should be able to easily translate your site.

EDIT: if there's a pot file in your theme folder use it directly to generate po and mo files.

  • Just in case if you are looking for the "languages" directory for the theme, it works for me when I put the corresponding language .po and .mo into where default.po and default.mo are located.
    – GabrielC
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 8:42

Go to ADMIN Dashboard and than go to Settings -> General and select your language (Polish).

You can define by yourself the language via the wp-config.php file in you wordpress root directory: define('WPLANG', 'pl_PL');

  • No need to install a plugin for a basic function of Wordpress.
    – wickywills
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 15:14
  • Yeah, this post is from 4 years ago....I edit right now the answer for the best practice. the recommendation for using plugin is to translate the strings if needed
    – Guy Ytzhak
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 8:53

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