[wp-polyglots] WordPress languages folder

Nikolay Bachiyski nb at nikolay.bg
Thu Jul 1 14:13:38 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 23:02, John James Jacoby <in at j-3.me> wrote:
> Hey everyone! First time using this list so be gentile. J
> For BuddyPress, we have a large number of users in languages other than
> English, and when BuddyPress gets updated their po/mo’s are deleted, and
> they are forced to redownload their translations.
> I was wondering if there is any compelling reason for plugins to NOT put
> their translation files into wp-content/languages/*plugin-folder-name* and
> then write their own functions to load those files, and update those files
> when needed.

As other noted, there are two reasons to keep the translations in the
plugin directory:

0. So that you get the new translations when you upgrade the plugin --
most plugins ship with the translations.
1. Keeping them in wp-content/ would complicate the install/uninstall
process. On install a plugin would have to copy the translations from
its directory to wp-content and so on.

I don't have a short-term solution -- upgrade will be a two-step
process for users: upgrade BuddyPress, then downlaod the new

In the long-term, all translations should have a separate upgrade
process. Both plugins and core. This has a couple of advantages:
* Users will be able to upgrade translations without the need of
updating the software. Currently we put a lot of pressure on
translators to be ready on WordPress launch dates and they don't have
a chance to correct their mistakes.
* Translations won't have to be bundled with the software. I can get a
plugin with only one language bundled. When I want translation in
another language or in all languages, it will be only a click away.

Happy translating,

More information about the wp-polyglots mailing list