An image language translator is a plugin that makes it easy to fully localize the images on your site for international visitors.
While translation software localizes the text on your site, an image language translator helps ensure every image across your site is ready for your visitors, whichever country they’re visiting from.
In particular, this benefits you by:
- Giving your international visitors a positive experience, as every element of your site is localized for them
- An image language translator helps optimize your site for international search traffic, in particular from Google image search
Choosing between image language translator plugins
Since the right image language translator can help attract more visitors to your site from around the world, keep the following three points in mind when choosing which one to install:
- It’s best if it’s straightforward to use, without sacrificing functionality
- All elements of the images should be localized, including metadata and ALT text for accessibility
- It should allow you the option of changing an image on a per-language basis. The reason for this is because an image that makes sense to an English-speaking audience may not be relevant for every language (flags and landmarks are two examples)
Weglot gives you the best of both worlds. Our product is designed to localize every element of your site: text and images, in one package. As well as translating all text across your pages and blog posts, our built-in image language translator also supports full localization of images.
Which languages are supported?
Weglot supports over 100 languages. And it’s important to note that these days the English-speaking world is just a quarter of overall internet traffic.
Here are the top ten languages online (by users) in 2020:
- English at 25.3%
- Chinese at 19.8%
- Spanish at 8%
- Arabic at 4.8%
- Portuguese at 4.1%
- Indonesian / Malaysian at 4.1%
- Japanese at 3%
- Russian at 2.8%
- French at 2.8%
- German at 2.2%
But of course, the languages you need to translate into will depend on your audience. Weglot will provide translation into all these and more. European languages covered include Italian, Polish, Czech, Danish, Albanian, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch, Romanian and Turkish. Asian languages include Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi and Azerbaijani.
Now let’s go through the process of setting up and using Weglot for localizing your site’s images.
Getting started with Weglot for image localization
Step 1: Install the Weglot translation solution on your site. See the platforms we support here – Weglot is compatible with all CMS and non CMS platforms.
In WordPress, simply add it as a plugin and activate:
Step 2: Open a free Weglot account
Step 3: Create your first project in your Weglot account:
Step 4: Copy the API key you’re given. Your API key is found under Setup:
Step 5: Enter your API key in your Weglot plugin. Here’s how it looks in WordPress:
Once you’ve completed those five steps, your website will be fully translated.
In your Weglot account, you can review the automatic translations, which also includes image metadata and ALT text:
You can edit the translations manually if you want to make any edits to the automatic translations:
Let’s now talk through how to use Weglot for image localization.
Changing the image slug and image itself for international visitors
It’s important you have the option of changing the image for different languages.
In many cases, one image across multiple languages works fine. But let’s say in English you’re showing an example of a famous American landmark (the Statue of Liberty, for example), in French that landmark may be replaced with an image of the Eiffel Tower. This helps maintain accurate context across all translations. Otherwise there’s the risk of confusing your international visitors, which may encourage them to leave your site.
Here’s how you can choose alternative images for different languages, using the Weglot Visual Editor – simply click the pencil icon next to an image:
Localizing text overlaid on your site images
Unless the text is part of the image itself (and if that’s the case a replacement image would need to be created), text overlaying an image can be automatically found and translated.
Once the automatic translation has been created, having the option to manually edit the text further can certainly be helpful. With our plugin and its built-in image language translator functionality, you can use the Visual Editor to further edit any translations on your site in context.
A pencil icon appears next to any editable elements:
Clicking the pencil icon then shows you the automatic translation, which can then be edited further if you choose:
Here’s how the localized version looks:
Manually editing the image metadata translation
All image metadata, including alt text, captions, and descriptions, are important to translate. That text not only offers more context to visitors but can also help attract more international search traffic from Google image search.
When it’s first installed, Weglot scans your site and automatically translates what it finds. As you then add or edit pages and posts, those changes are automatically translated as well. This built-in image language translator functionality helps keep your site and its images localized across all languages, at all times.
Perhaps you’re making changes to a page by replacing one image with another image that’s more relevant. As soon as you click Publish, Weglot automatically finds all metadata for that image and translates it. This can then be reviewed and edited further if you choose.
For example, in the WordPress Media Library, if you choose to edit an image, all metadata is also displayed:
Weglot’s built-in image language translator automatically translates the text it finds, which can then be reviewed and edited further the following way:
By clicking on See details, more information can be seen about the translation (including all previous translations of the phrase):
How image language translators localize sliders
Here’s an example using the MetaSlider plugin for WordPress – a simple slider has been created with three images and captions:
This slider is then added to a page, using the WordPress Gutenberg editor in this example:
Upon publishing, the slider text is automatically translated. In Weglot, the built-in image language translator allows you to edit the translations multiple ways, including by using the Visual Editor:
And just like with standard images, the slider images and slugs can be altered for different languages by again clicking the pencil icon next to any slider image:
How to choose between translation plugins
So far we’ve talked through image language translators, what to keep in mind when choosing one, and how to use one for your site. But that functionality is just one part of a translation plugin, and it’s important to consider such an app in its entirety. A list of functionality to keep in mind is included below.
Here at Weglot, we’ve designed our plugin to be easy-to-use, to translate every element of your site, while also giving you flexibility. With this in mind, it’s our intention that you benefit from:
- An all-in-one platform. Every element on your site can be localized within one easy-to-use interface
- Automatic content detection. The Weglot app finds your site content automatically, including media and images using our image language translator
- Automatic translation. We use machine learning from Google, Microsoft, DeepL, and Yandex to give you real-time translations
- Supports human translation. You may often find it helpful to have a native speaker look through your translated site. We also give you access to our network of professional translators
- Easy visual editing. The ability to visually edit translations helps keep text and images accurate within context across multiple languages
- Automatic visitor redirection. Your visitor is automatically redirected to the correct language page, depending on their language settings
- Automatic SEO optimization. Your translated pages are automatically optimized following Google best practices
- Every site element localized. This includes pages, posts, images and videos
- Works with your chosen technology. Weglot integrates with WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and more. It’ll work whatever platform your visitors are coming from: Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox and more.
- Supports 100+ languages. Weglot automatically translates into more than a hundred languages, so whether you’re translating your English site into Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Hindi, Gujarati, Slozak, Slovenian, Welsh, Esperanto, Swahili or Afrikaans, your target languages will be supported.
And while the Google Translate functionality that’s part of Chrome translates your site for visitors who are already on your site, it won’t help attract any new visitors. And since Weglot translates your site and helps those pages get indexed, this can help attract more international search traffic.
That’s one of the key benefits of Weglot – it helps attract more website visitors through the automatic translation of the text on your site.