I have written a plugin to be translation-ready, and I have written a translation. As far as I can tell, the .mo files for the translation are loading correctly, yet the plugin is still displaying the original language instead of the translation.

Here is what I have done:

In the plugin, I define the language domain:

function cdashmm_language_init() {
  load_plugin_textdomain( 'cdashmm', false, 'chamber-dashboard-member-manager/languages' );
add_action('init', 'cdashmm_language_init');

Within the plugin, all of the strings are like this:

_e( 'This is a string', 'cdashmm' );

In the languages folder, I have files called cdashmm-en_GB.mo and cdashmm-en_GB.po. These files were generated by the Loco Translate plugin.

On the Settings --> General page, I have defined the language as English(UK).

I have installed a Debug Translations plugin: https://marketpress.com/product/debug-translations/ According to that plugin, the file called cdashmm-en_GB.mo is being loaded. Yet the page is not displaying the translated text.

What am I missing?

1 Answer 1


Ah ha! I found the answer, and it's a really weird one.

It just so happens that the particular strings I was trying to translate were the labels of required form fields, and looked like this:

<?php echo '<label>' . __( 'Email *', 'cdashmm' ) . '</label>' ?>

If I move the asterisk outside the string, like this:

<?php echo '<label>' . __( 'Email', 'cdashmm' ) . ' *</label>' ?>

then the translation works.

So I have solved the problem... but that does raise another question - why do asterisks inside strings make them untranslatable?

  • Some special characters do have issues with translators. I'm also not very clear on this as I don't have any programming bacground, but you can check out this Apr 24, 2015 at 5:40

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