For the reason beyond my imagination Wordpress never had chance to get real theme updater (i.e. the one that would actually update only changed files) and instead offers a-joke-called-updater, that rips everything off from theme folder and unpacks everything from .zip with newer version.

This means, that I have to manually upload (via FTP) any changed / created translation files for all my themes, because every time theme is updated by weird Wordpress theme updater, it rips of contents of languages folder and replaces it with contents of the same folder found in newer version of theme.

Is there any way to workaround this problem? Or the only option, I'm left with (except for what I am already doing -- i.e. manually updating translations over and over again) is to convince theme author to accept my translation and include it in next official release of his or her plugin?

  • 2
    Create a child theme codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes
    – Florian
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 19:35
  • @Florian Never heard of them. Sounds like a lot of work, but still a considerable solution. Why comment, instead of full featured answer?
    – trejder
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


In wordpress a translation is part of the code. If you change translations you should track the .po files in "git" as if it was any other kind of code.

An alternative option is to override the textdomain used for translation and use another one that uses another .mo file located at some "safe" location. But this is just a band-aid over the "translation is code" problem as theme will change text strings from time to time and your self made translation will just not work properly.

  • I'm reading your answer for the fifth time and I still don't know, what are you talking about. I'm not the theme author, so I have absolutely no access to its git repository. I'm just a regular user, that is adding own, private translation to a theme that lacks of it. I create my own translation basing on theme's template .pot file and have .po and .mo files generated out of it. I need to upload them via FTP each time theme gets updated, because there're ripped off with each theme update.
    – trejder
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 19:45
  • @trejder if you are changing anything which is distributed with the theme you need to track it in a git. and anything means almost absolutely anything. can probably skip the readme file but not much more then that Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 19:52

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