Last updated on: January 23, 2023
Shopify recently launched its own native app for managing translations and multilingual stores: Translate & Adapt. Partners and merchants have been waiting for long for such functionality, which should lead to an increasingly easier translations management.
Managing translations has been one of the biggest hurdles for international selling, especially for small and mid-sized merchants. In 2019 Shopify implemented a new API extension for translation management, which allows multilingual browsing on a single Shopify store.
This update greatly improved multilingual stores management, but it was still required to use a third-party plugin to input translations, forcing merchants to jump from one dashboard to another and often paying another subscription on top of their Shopify plan.
With Translate & Adapt app launch, Shopify has finally built a native solution, that is expected to become the natural choice for small and mid-sized merchants who wish to localize their content and expand their business abroad.
This free plugin allows merchants to add new languages and input translations, and most importantly it is perfectly integrated with Shopify Markets, allowing the creation of localized experiences for each market and geographical location.
The most relevant features of Translate & Adapt are the following:
A very convenient side-by-side editor for manual translation. Merchants can now add, edit and review their translations while referencing the original text
Merchants can also auto-translate their store content in up to 2 languages for free, powered by Google Translate
Translations can be managed by language, but also by the geographical areas registered on Shopify Markets, providing a custom localised experience. It’s not only about translating words, as other elements might change by region, for example shipping terms.
It’s fully integrated with the Shopify admin panel. Merchants can access the translation of each fragment directly from each section in the theme editor, or resource page of products, collections and content page.
- Media, such as images and videos can be translated, with the exception of product galleries. This feature is very handy when using media that includes text on your website, such as infographics, or to differentiate visual communication for different markets.
Surely in the following months we will see new features to this app, but for the moment Translate & Adapt caters mostly to small and mid-sized merchants without many custom elements to their Shopify store, as the app has some important limitations:
- It’s missing a flexible import-export feature for translations. While it’s possible to export and import the complete list of translations from Shopify admin in Settings / Languages in excel format, it’s not possible to choose which elements to extract. As the whole store content will be exported, it will be hard to identify which elements to edit unless you have a strong knowledge of databases, Shopify ID and element type labels.
- Third-party app content that isn't hosted as a Shopify translatable resource type such as other apps or storefront locale file cannot be translated
- There is no feature to move translations between different theme versions, making it difficult to use for those merchants using different copies of their theme, for example for sales or events.
If you are considering using Shopify for your online store, you can subscribe here for a free trial or email us at email@example.com
Credits: screenshots are from the app listing for Shopify Translate & Adapt)