How to translate a magento e-commerce

How to translate a magento e-commerce
P. De Paoli
P. De Paoli
Wed 16 Feb, 2022


Magento Commerce (now Adobe Commerce) is an open-source e-commerce platform. Translating a Magento Commerce requires a good knowledge of configuring the translation of the StoreFront, Themes, CMS contents and the whole product catalogue. You have to choose between human translation or automatic translation by installing one of the many plugins available in the "Magento MarketPlace"... In this article, we will give you our tips to translate your Magento Commerce quickly and perfectly.

Introduction

Magento is the commerce of choice for brands with the highest sales volumes and the biggest budgets for web development. As of 2022, more than 200,000 online shops run with a magento system, among them the commerce of Coca Cola, Burger King, Land Rover and Liverpool FC.

Here we tell you how to translate the contents of a magento commerce, because despite its many features and multilingual functionality, magento (like prestashop or shopify) does not have an automatic content translation system.

We also tell you how important it is to translate the most important texts on your website (products, CMS pages, email templates, etc.) Correctly, both in terms of sales and seo positioning.

Magento commerce translation

Magento comes ready to create and manage a multi-language shop using the "Store View" function: from the control panel you can generate a "view" (a version of your shop) for each language into which you want to translate your Commerce. This native multilingual feature is available both in the free open source "Magento Commerce" version and in the paid versions of "Magento Enterprise Edition".

However, there are two important aspects of the "Store View" feature that you should be aware of when creating a multilingual version of your Magento Commerce:

Some Magento "Themes"/"Layouts" are not translated when you activate a "view" and require you to edit them manually to add translations. This is becoming less common, as most Magento 2.0 and later templates are multilingual ready.

Magento does not automatically translate the content of the shop's product catalogue. As we will explain later, to translate Commerce content, you can manually add translations of your products using the contextual editor, install an automatic translation plugin or export the texts to a CSV file for a professional translator to translate them.

To make a good translation of your Commerce, we explain below how the texts are structured, organised and translated in a Magento shop: (1) those of the "StoreFront" (the structure of the Commerce), (2) those of the shop's Template ("Theme"/ "Layout"), (3) the static contents of the website (CMS and Emails) and (4) all the texts created by you (product descriptions, terms of sale, etc).

What needs to be translated in magento?

You must translate the texts that the Magento shop has in 4 places: [1] texts in the "StoreFront" (the navigability functionalities of the shop), [2] in the design of the "Theme" that your shop uses, [3] in the CSM pages and the "email Templates" and finally, [4] in the product area of your shop.

Knowing which of the 4 categories each text in your shop corresponds to will make it easier to translate it, as each area has different technical particularities.

But let's explain a little about each of one:

Texts of the "Store Front" of Magento. These are the functionalities of the shop structure that your buyers see: shopping cart, checkout, etc. Magento already has all these texts (pre)translated; you only have to activate them with the language pack when creating the "Store View".

Texts of the Magento theme you have chosen. The design of the theme your shop uses contains text related to usability, menus and buttons... Many popular Magento themes (Porto, Claue, Magetique, Ves Evolution, Endless, Silhouette) already come with their own translations; you just have to activate them and check that they are correct.

Static CMS pages and "eMail Templates" of your shop. Both sections are ways for the visitor to your shop to get information about you. Static pages are fixed sections of your website ("Legal Notice", "Privacy Policy", etc). "Email Templates" are the automatic email response templates that your shop uses to communicate with your shoppers.

Product catalogue content. These texts are crucial for your shop, and this is where you should focus your translation efforts: not only the products but also the categories, tags... giving them commercial content.

Translating the magento store front

To translate your Magento Commerce into another language, you must create a new copy of your shop (what Magento calls "Store View") and configure it in that language. You can do it simply by logging into the Magento control panel and going to "Stores > Settings > All Stores > Create Store View". From there create a new "Store View" and configure the language you want it to have (for example, German).

For example, if you want to configure your new "Store View" in German, you will have to activate the "language pack", which consists of files that include German translations of all the texts that appear in the website's navigation.

The language pack does not translate the content of your shop but creates a graphical interface of your Commerce in the language you have activated: labels, buttons, and links to sections ("My cart", "My account", "Privacy Policy") will appear, in this case, in German. This graphical interface (which Magento calls "Store Front") is just the empty "container" of your shop, a structure that includes some texts related to navigation.

If you need to tweak the "StoreFront" texts, you can do so [1] using "Translate Inline" or [2] - if you have programming skills in html code - by modifying the CSV files. "Translate Inline" is an editing tool that allows you to edit any text that appears in the StoreFront of your shop and is activated by going to the control panel "Stores > Settings > Configuration > Developer > Translate Inline".

If you have good programming and html / css coding skills you can modify the CSV files of the Store Front language packs.




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Translate magento themes

The next step to translate your Magento Commerce is to take care of the "Theme" of your shop, which includes very important texts: the header of your website, the footers, the search engine, menu buttons...

Most Magento "themes" are usually designed in English but include multilingual options with the texts already translated into the most common languages. Some templates that are not multilingual can be translated manually by editing them from the PageBuilder or by modifying the CSV files containing the theme strings.

Whether you buy the theme for your shop (on the MarketPlace or on platforms such as ThemeForest or similar), always choose a theme that is already prepared to adapt to a multilingual Commerce. This is a practical choice and will also save you money.

Translate "CMS" & "email templates" pages

You must also translate the static sections of your Magento Commerce: your shop's CMS pages and email templates. They are called static because either (1) they are sections of your shop that display fixed information ("About Us", "Privacy Policy", etc) or (2) they are fixed email templates that are automatically generated to communicate with your customers (purchase confirmation, newsletter subscription...).

Both CMS pages and emails are ways for your shoppers to receive information about your business, so they must be well translated and trustworthy:

  • Go to "Content > Elements > Pages" section for the translation of the CMS pages of your shop.

  • The translation of the "eMail Templates" of your shop is done from the Magento administration panel in "Marketing > Communications > Email Templates".



Translate the catalogue with the "Page Builder".

"Page Builder" is the Magento contextual editor that allows you to translate the product catalogue of your Commerce manually. To add the translations of the products, you must access the "Store View" that you have created and enter each product one by one, adding the translations of the texts of each section.

It is a task that requires being systematic, so we explain which sections of the control panel of your Magento shop you should enter to add the translations of the product catalogue:

STEP 1: "Catalog > Products" enter here to add the translation of the names and descriptions of your products. Make sure you fill in all the fields you need to translate including captions, alternative texts, customisable text options, etc.

STEP 2: "Stores > Attributes > Product" in this section you must add the translations of your product characteristics: colours, sizes, etc.

STEP 3: "Catalog > Categories": add from here the translations of all the categories, sections and subsections of your Commerce. Fill in the name field of each category and the descriptions of the sections.

STEP 4: " Catalog > Categories > Search Engine Optimization Settings": from here you can translate the SEO optimizations of your shop: the "meta-title", the "meta-description", and create a translated "friendly URL".

If your shop has many products or you translate them into many languages, manually entering the translations can be time-consuming (and cumbersome). Consider then exporting the whole catalogue to a CSV file to translate it by a trustworthy Translation Agency like us at Hero Translate




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Export the contents and translate them outside

Now, talking about the best way to translate your Magento website, we recommend exporting your content, sending it to a translator or translation agency, and finally re-importing the translations. Exporting your content for translation is a very powerful (and flexible) approach that allows translators to work outside the Magento environment and use professional translation tools.

What are the advantages of exporting your product catalogue and translating them outside?

It makes work easier: all the texts to be translated are in a single file, which makes the translator's work faster and more efficient.

It gives you security: there is no risk of leaving anything untranslated.

You save time: whether the translator uses automatic translation or revises or translates by hand, the delivery time will be much shorter (days instead of weeks).

You save money: you avoid the extra cost of paying for the plugin licence, and you don't lose customers because of a bad translation.

How do you export the files for a translation?

To export the texts of your shop's product catalogue to a CSV file, you only need to do two simple steps:

  • STEP 1: Go to "System > Data Transfer > Export >" and select the "Product" option in the "Entity Type" tab. A new tab will open.
  • STEP 2: Click on the "Export File Format of CSV" tab and save the CSV file on your computer.

Email this file to Hero Translate or directly upload them on your profile, and you are done! Once the translation is finished, you will only need to re-import the file from the "System > Data Transfer > Import" section of the Magento control panel.

Magento commerce translation cost

To calculate how much it will cost you to translate your Magento Commerce you should take these points into account:

IT configuration and maintenance costs. There are always content changes in an online shop, new products to upload, new languages to add, etc... etc. In the case of Magento, it is highly recommended to have specialised IT support to take care of both the initial multilingual configuration and the maintenance or updating of the translations of your website.

Web design costs: if your shop uses a custom-made theme, you will likely have to resort to the template designer to add translations. It is common to have to modify the sliders or banners with text in the shop to add the translation.

Size and complexity of the website: the more products and text a shop has, the more it will cost to translate.

Target language(s). Costs for professional translation differ depending on the language. For example, translating into Spanish or French is less expensive than translating into Chinese or Japanese.

Conclusion

The extraordinary quality of the design of a Magento Commerce needs a translation to match. If you have chosen to create your shop in Magento for its customisation capacity (it is an Adobe brand and stands out for the exceptional variety and quality of its designs), it would be a mistake not to invest in a good translation. Would you open a design boutique in the best area of Rome, Italy where your shop employees do not speak Italian?

A good trick if you don't have much budget is to concentrate your translator's efforts on the most important sections of your Commerce. Continuing with the example of the boutique that receives foreign customers: make sure that at the reception of your shop (the "home"), in the area of the most profitable products and of course at the checkout ("checkout" and "shopping cart") there is someone who speaks their language perfectly. These are, without a doubt, the sections of your online shop whose translation must be perfect.

We will not stress this enough: Investing in the design and maintenance of a Magento website and saving money on translation is a serious strategic error.

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