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How do I add multiple languages to Shopify?

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As a Shopify store owner, you’ve probably at some point or another thought about expanding your reach and selling internationally. After all, it’s guaranteed to help you sell more. Perhaps you’ve even already started that journey by offering international shipping? 

But, when it comes to localizing your offering to different countries all over the world, one thing’s for certain: if the buyer can’t purchase in their own language then you’ll likely kiss that sale goodbye.  There’s no point offering your products in other markets if your conversion rate is abysmal!

Whilst it’s easy to be complacent and presume that – just because the majority of the internet is English speaking, the majority of online searches are conducted in languages other than English…and actually, English-speaking users make up just 25% of the Internet

So, why should you be concerned about searches being conducted in other languages? Simply put, if your online store isn’t in the language your potential customer is searching in, you won’t appear in search results…which means they won’t find you! 

In this quick article, we’ll take a look at how you can easily translate the whole of your Shopify store in minutes using Weglot, and how this Shopify translation solution takes the hassle out of creating a multilingual store.  

Does Shopify support multiple languages?

Shopify does not offer its own native solution to make your store multilingual, but there are several options available when it comes to adding different languages to your store. 

Option 1: Create multiple stores 

It can be tempting to consider simply creating multiple stores. The primary problem is that this is incredibly difficult to maintain and manage – not only in terms of running costs and updating more than one website with new products and updates, but also managing stock levels. 

And that doesn’t even solve the problem of how you’d actually translate this new website – you’ll still need to provide the translations for all the content and products you have on your Shopify store. 

Option 2: Use a Shopify multilingual theme

A misconception when creating a multilingual Shopify store is that you’ll just need to pick a theme that’s multilingual-ready, and has a language switcher already included. 

This is actually not correct. It might look like a good idea at first, but many of these themes are quite basic in their functionality, and some only allow you to translate your shop content, and not the checkout or any system messages. 

There’s also a lot of manual work involved. You’ll need to translate plain text, HTML, and be particularly cautious when translating any of the templating language of your store. 

The templating language created by Shopify, called Liquid, controls the on-screen appearance of your website. You need to be careful to only translate the text around the Liquid and not Liquid tags, filters or objects. If you do, you can completely break your store’s functionality.

Whilst it’s possible to use a multilingual Shopify theme, the manual drawbacks it poses can be quite problematic – and that’s even more true for those that have already created a store and now have to change templates. 

Option 3: Use a multilingual Shopify app 

The easiest and most complete way to translate your Shopify store is to use a multi-language translation app. You won’t need to duplicate your Shopify store and you won’t need a multilingual theme either. 

Adding multiple languages to your store using an app such as Weglot is simple. With Weglot, you can add literally hundreds of languages to your store in minutes. It not only takes care of detecting and automatically translating the whole of your Shopify site (including checkout and email notifications), but it also handles the multilingual SEO of your newly translated store. 

With Weglot it’s just a case of installing the app, rather than looking for a new theme or having to go through the tiresome process of creating another store. 

Adding multiple languages to your Shopify store 

As we mentioned previously, there are no special requirements needed to add new languages to your Shopify store with Weglot. Using Weglot’s automatic translations, you can provide your customers with translated content in as many languages as you would like, then fine-tune the translations afterward.

And, remember using Weglot means 100% of your Shopify store is translated and that includes the full checkout process for your new store visitors.

Let’s take a look at the easiest way to add languages to your Shopify store. 

1. Find Weglot on the Shopify App Store 

Search for Weglot on the Shopify App Store, then click ‘Add App’, then ‘Install’.

Weglot Shopify app store

2. Create a Weglot account

The next step is to create a Weglot account (this is where you’ll manage your store translations). It’s also at this point that you can start your 10-day free trial.

Create a Weglot account, Shopify

3. Add your languages

Then, add the original language of your website, and the new languages you want to add to your Shopify store

Add multiple languages to Shopify store

4. Your Shopify store is multilingual!

That’s it! Your Shopify store is now available in multiple languages. Visit your store to see Weglot in action, or select ‘Go to Weglot app settings’ to change the look and position of your language switcher. 

For improved multilingual SEO, the final step is to set up languages specific subdomains, this is quick and easy and will allow you to be even more searchable by your new potential audiences. Check out the final step here.

Managing your Shopify store languages 

One of the easiest things about Weglot is how you can manage your translations. Weglot offers a fast first layer of automated translation which is perfect for translating the sometimes thousands of product pages you have on your Shopify store. 

But the best part is, you can then make manual edits to those translations, quickly and simply to some of your key pages if you want to. 

Weglot offers two different ways to edit your translations. The first way is through your translations list on your Weglot dashboard, where you’ll see the languages side-by-side. 

Shopify translations list

The second is a more visual approach, with Weglot’s ‘in-context editor’, where you can edit your translations in a live preview of your Shopify store so you know exactly where the translations are on your website.

If you’re not familiar with the language, then you can order professional translators straight from the Weglot dashboard. Remember that localization isn’t as simple as just translating words directly into your users’ native languages; eCommerce trends vary from country to country, and the kind of sales tactics and language that work on your storefront in your home region might not work abroad. 

By having human translators look over the different language versions of your store’s content, you can have the peace of mind that all of your users will have the best experience, whatever language they’re shopping in. 

Weglot provides your translators with all the tools they need to spot every piece of translated text on your site; one of the great things about Weglot is that your whole Shopify store is translated, this includes your checkout and even email notifications.

To access the translations for your checkout, you simply need to access them within your Shopify account – following this quick tutorial and learn more about translating your email notifications here

You’ll also find that popular Shopify apps such as smart search apps and image galleries are also 100% translated with Weglot, so you don’t need to worry about other aspects of your Shopify store being unreadable for your new potential customers. 

Interested in seeing how Weglot can translate your Shopify store in just a few steps? Start your 10-day free trial today.

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