I just used Poedit to translate a plugin with no translations.

I found strings to translate and I generated the .POT file and the .PO and .MO in my language.

I created a folder languages in the plugin directory and I put the files in, but it doesn't work.

Do I need to do something to say to my WordPress to look at this folder ? I don't understand what to do.

  • The plugin has to use load_plugin_textdomain to load the files. Which plugin is concerned ?
    – mmm
    Oct 21, 2017 at 18:53
  • Oh ok, I will take a look and add it myself. The plugin is fr.wordpress.org/plugins/jquery-t-countdown-widget (I will fork I think after) Oct 21, 2017 at 18:54
  • I look the plugin and it searches the file wp-content/languages/plugins/jquery-t-countdown-widget-fr_FR.mo then just put the file in this directory.
    – mmm
    Oct 21, 2017 at 19:02
  • Yes I saw the same, thanks for your help. You can put an answer with the function name, very useful to understand how it works, I will accept. Oct 21, 2017 at 19:15
  • 1
    I add just a warning about opensource plugins from wordpress.org. If a plugin provide a translation, the file is installed in languages/plugins and will erase your custom file.
    – mmm
    Oct 21, 2017 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


Plugins and themes pull the translation files manually from (mostly) their directory. There are 2 different functions which handle this:

For plugins : load_plugin_textdomain()

For themes: load_theme_textdomain()

The syntax would be something like this, mostly hooked into init or plugins_loaded action hook:

load_plugin_textdomain( 'text-domain', get_template_directory() . '/some-directory' );


load_plugin_textdomain( 'text-domain', false, basename(dirname(__FILE__)).'/some-directory');

Look for that in your plugin's php file. After translation, you should paste move the translation file into that directory, and name it as follows, according to codex:

The .mo file should be named based on the domain followed by a dash, and then the locale exactly. For example, the locale for German is 'de_DE', and the locale for Danish is 'da_DK'. If your plugin's text domain is "my-plugin" the Danish .mo and.po files should be named "my-plugin-da_DK.mo" and "my-plugin-da_DK.po" Call this function in your plugin as early as the init action.


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