Managing Languages and Translation in PrestaShop

Using PrestaShop you can easily create a multi-lingual site to cater the needs of global visitor of your store. Its also necessary to have a multi-lingual store, if you plan to sell your products globally.  PrestaShop offers you more than 65 languages to choose from and you can easily translate your store front-end.

In this tutorial we’ll learn different methods of installing languages in PrestaShop. We’ll also cover the process of changing and managing translations of your PrestaShop store.

Install Languages by Importing Localization Packs

The easiest way to install a language in PrestaShop is by installing a language packs of a country that uses the particular language. To do this, navigate to International > Localization in the PrestaShop backend. The following page will appear as below:

Import Localization Pack

On this page, in the panel Import a localization pack, select the country from the drop-down menu. Just make sure Languages in content to import is selected and choose yes  for the option download pack data and click on import button.

This will import the pack for the country selected and the language will also be automatically added. After this you have to make sure that the  newly added currency is enabled. You can do that from Languages tab in the admin panel on same page.


Add and Update Language Packs Automatically

If you want to import or update a language without importing other localization packs, you can do so by using translation tool in the admin panel, which you automatically install or update a language.  To do this, navigate to International > Translation in the PrestaShop backend and go to Add / Update a Language section as below:

Add Update Language PrestaShop


Select the language to install or update from the drop down and click on the button Add or Update a Language. Doing this PrestaShop will automatically download the language pack from the official site and it will unpack it and either will install or update the selected language.

When new versions of PrestaShop is released and you update your store with new version, you may need to update your existing language pack or manually edit the translations.


Adding a Languages Manually

You can also add a new language without installing a language pack. This will create a new language but default text strings will not be translated. This is quite helpful, if you want to manually translate your store and create your own language pack.

To create a language, navigate to Languages tab in International > Localization in the PrestaShop backend and click on the button Add new language on the top right of the page.

PrestaShop Languages Tab

This will open a new page with a form to add a new configuration for your new language.

Add Languages PrestaShop

You need to  enter the following configuration settings (the required ones are marked with red asterisks):

  • Name – The name of the language e.g English


  • ISO code –  The two-letter ISO code used for representing the name of the language (e.g. en for English). You can search for the ISO code of a particular language in search engine (e.g Google).
  • Language code – This is IETF language tag. This code is made up of two parts separated with a hyphen (e.g. en-US). The first part is two-letter ISO code and the second part is the two-letter ISO code, in Uppercase, for the country with which the language is associated. For instance, the code for the United States is US, for Germany its DE, etc.
  • Date format – This option is used to specify how the date is to be displayed in that particular language. For example, if you put d-m-Y, the day will be shown first, then the month and then Year. You can also use other separators between the letters except hyphen (e.g. Y/m/d).
  • Date format (full) – This is full date format including date and time. In this you have to specify the time format also. In time format H stands for the hour in a 24-hour format  where i is for the minutes and s for the seconds.  So the full date format can be represented like Y-m-d H:i:s where time format is  separated by colons.
  • Flag – This option is used for uploading an image of the country flag with which the language is associated. You need to upload the flag from your computer, the size of the flog should be 16 x 11 pixels.
  • “No picture” image – This option is not mandatory. You can use this option to upload an image that will be shown when no picture is found for any product images. The size of this image is based on the settings of your images (e.g. 250 x 250 pixels).
  • Is RTL language – This option is used to select if the language is written right to left or not. Select yes for RTL language.
  • Status – This option is used to enable or disable a language on front-end.

After you have entered all the required information, click on save button to add this language. Please note that adding this language will not automatically translate your site. You will need to translate your string manually.


Modify Translations

You can also modify the translations of your installed languages manually. This is useful when you have installed a language manually. To do this, go to International >Translations in the admin panel and in the section Modify translations, select the type of translation from the drop-down

Modify Translation PrestaShop

After that select the language from the drop-down you want to modify. If you will select theme translation, then an new drop-down to select the theme will appear. Select the theme to modify and then click on modify button. It will open a page with the translations the different expressions are grouped as sidebar menu. To modify the translations in a particular tab select its name on sidebar and a panel will open on right hand side with expressions to translate like below:

Manual Translation PrestaShop


On this page you’ll see the default expression/text string and a field for the translated expression. You can either modify it, add a new translation for the empty field. Do not forget to save the changes by clicking either on the Save and stay or on the Save button.


Enable, Disable, Delete and Edit the Options of Languages

You can enable, disable, delete and edit the options of languages from the PrestaShop backend. To do so, navigate to Languages tab in International > Localization in the PrestaShop backend. On this page you will see the list of all the installed languages. In the table there’s a column called Enabled which indicates the languages are enabled or disabled.

Languages List PrestaShop

Green check-mark indicates that language is enabled and red X sign indicates language is disabled. To enabled or disable a language click on mark to toggle it.

To edit a language, click on Edit button and to delete a language click on the arrow next to its Edit button and from the drop-down menu that appears select Delete.


Export Language

From the PrestaShop backend, you can also export a language. This is useful when you have multiple PrestaShop installation and you want to export the modified translation of a language and backup on other PrestaShop instances.

To export a language, navigate to International >Translations in the PrestaShop backend, scroll down the page to the section Export a Language.

Export Language PrestaShop

On this section, select the language from the language drop-down and theme from the select your theme drop-down and click on big Export button at the bottom. The translation files for that language will be packed into an archive file and and will be downloaded in your local system.

Copy Languages

You can also copy translation data from one languages to another from the PrestaShop backend. To do so,  navigate to International >Translations in the PrestaShop backend, scroll down the page to the section Copy.

Copy Language PrestaShop

select the appropriate option from the drop-down to select the From language and theme and To language and theme and click on Copy button to copy the information.


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