Translating WordPress

This is a quick guide for translating WordPress, with links to the Finnish translation for reference.

If you are looking to install or upgrade WordPress in Finnish, it is easier to use one of the distribution packages which provide a complete set of files ready for use.

To convert an existing WordPress installation to Finnish, simply follow these steps. Please note that the sample files linked below are for version 1.5.2. You can find files for other versions by browsing the WordPress I18N repository.

If your existing WordPress installation uses a character set other than UTF-8 you can install the Character Set Conversions plugin.

Translated files

You do not need to download these files if you downloaded one of the distribution packages (either the tar.gz or the zip file). The links below are only provided for convenience to those who may wish to examine the translation process.

The default character set for all WordPress translations, including this one, is UTF-8.

Message files can translate the administration interface, and some parts of the front-end interface. Download the .mo file and place it in the wp-includes/languages folder. You may need to create the folder first.

Default template files provide the translation for the front-end interface (i.e. what site visitors see). Download all the *.php and *.css files from the theme folder and place them in the wp-content/themes/default folder, overwriting the existing files in there.

The installation and upgrade procedures, and files they reference, are generally only used once, but they are a crucial part of the translation as the first contact for a new user. Download these files, taking care which ones need to be placed in the top-level folder and which in the wp-admin subfolder. All files, except lisenssi.html, will overwrite existing files from the distribution.


WordPress 1.5.2


I started the Finnish translation on Rosetta, a collaborative tool for translating message files. At its completion for WordPress 1.5, the following people had contributed to the WordPress message file on Rosetta:

I’m thankful for the assistance with the translation — I was getting stuck at times trying to think of good translations for some words, as I had not been using any blogging sofware in Finnish.

When working on WordPress 1.5.1 updates, I got a long list of fixes, improvements, suggestions and a couple of “this doesn’t sound right” questions from

Thanks for making the translation better!


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