Selling in multiple languages

Customers all over the world enjoy viewing content in their native language. Translating your store's content can lead to more sales because your international customers can better understand your marketing, product details, shipping, and return policies.

You can enable multiple languages from your Shopify admin to create separate URLs for your translated content. When customers land on a translated URL, your store automatically shows the translated version if translations exist.

Whenever translations don't exist, your store shows content in the shop's primary language. You can translate the content of your online store by using a compatible third-party app. After translating the store, customers are able to browse your store, checkout, and receive notifications in their local language.

Requirements

To sell in multiple languages, you need to have the following:

  • A supported third-party language translation app installed on your store.

  • A theme that's compatible with selling in multiple languages. All the free themes from Shopify are compatible. You might need to update your theme for it to be compatible with selling in multiple languages. If you're using a third-party theme, then you can contact your theme developers to check if it's compatible.

  • A theme that has a language selector. Only the newest versions of the Debut and Brooklyn themes have built-in language selectors. If you're using another theme or an older version of Debut or Brooklyn, then you can add a language selector using the Geolocation app by Shopify.

Add new languages

Before you begin, make sure your store meets the Requirements for selling in multiple languages.

Steps:

  1. Click Store languages.

  2. In Translated languages, click Add Languages.

  3. Choose a language from the drop-down menu, then click Add. Click Visit Shopify App Store and follow the steps to install a translation app to your store.

  4. Follow the steps in the app to translate your store's content and publish new languages.

  5. Click Preview to view different languages in your online store. You can preview both published and unpublished languages.

Manage languages

After you add other languages, you can manage which ones are published from your Shopify admin. You can also unpublish a language, which hides the language from customers. All links to the store in that particular language will result in a 404 “Page not found” error.

If you are confident that you do not need translations in that language, then you can also delete the language. Deleting the language does not delete the languages translations; if it is re-enabled in the future, then the translations will be restored.

Steps:

  1. Click Store languages.

  2. In Translated languages, click Publish language to make any of your translations available in your store. Click Unpublish language to remove any language you don't want available in your store. Click Delete to delete all translated content of a language from your online store.

  3. Click Save.

Translated resource types and fields

The following resource types and fields can be translated:

List of resource types that can be translated through this feature
Resource type Fields
Collection title, description
Delivery option name
Email template title, description
Link title, description
Metafields (customer facing only) value
Online store article title, description, summary
Online store blog title
Online store page title, description
Online store theme dynamic keys based on theme data
Payment gateway name
Product title, description
Product option name
Product variant title, option 1, option 2, option 3
Shop meta_title, meta_description
Shop policy body
SMS template body

At this time, tags such as product tags, article tags, and blog tags can't be translated.

Checkout and email notifications

After you add and publish a language, customers can see translated content in the checkout and any email notifications. Customers see the checkout in the same language they were using to browse your store. The checkout has default translations for some languages, but you can customize any translated content using a compatible third-party translation app.

If you have customized your email notifications, then they can also be translated. If translations are available for an email notification, then a customer is automatically sent email notifications in the language that they placed their order in.

URLs and SEO

A major aspect of selling in multiple languages is making sure that customers and search engines can find the right language version of your site. When you publish a language, unique URLs are created for each translated page in your store. This is done by adding the language code to the URLs.

For example, suppose your primary domain is shop.com. If you publish two additional languages, French (fr) and German (de), then your store URLs will change to shop.com/fr and shop.com/de.

The rest of the domain remains the same in all languages. At this time, you cannot have different domains for different languages.

It is important that search engines can index your site in all the translated languages. Shopify automatically adds meta tags and hreflang tags which help search engines detect the different languages on your store. Sitemaps are generated only in your shop's primary language.

Translations in apps

If you use third-party apps, then it is possible that those apps don’t support selling in multiple languages by default. To check if an app supports multiple languages, contact the app's developer.

Limitations of selling in multiple languages

  • The search function works only in the shop's primary language.

  • This feature doesn't support different domains per language.

  • Only compatible third-party translation apps are supported by this feature.

  • Tags (such as product tags, article tags, and blog tags) can't be translated.

Multi-language for developers

To help Shopify partners offer a fully multi-language experience and localize app workflows, Shopify is launching a set of new platform capabilities for selling in multi-languages.

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