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How to Change the Default Language in WordPress

WordPress is very popular blogging or content managing platform. The main goal of WordPress is, one can easily customize its features. The other most powerful feature is it’s ability to allow users to write or manage content in their own language. If you have been using WordPress for awhile and you would like to change the language for your admin dashboard, here a few easy steps:

Step 1: Download the Language files

Download your language file from the WordPress’s WordPress in Your Language web page. The file will have a name such as in the following examples:

zh_CN.mo” — Chinese.
fr_FR.mo” — French.
de_DE.mo” — German.
en_US.mo” — US English.
en_GB.mo” — British English.

The first two small characters (‘de’ for Deutsch) refer to the the ISO-639 language code. This is followed by the ISO-3166 country code (_DE for German in the example). So, the German/Deutsch .mo file would be called de_DE.mo.

Step 2: Copy Language files to your WordPress Installation

Once you have downloaded the correct .mo file to your PC/Mac, create a new folder in your installed WordPress’s /wp-content OR /wp-includes directory called /languages and copy the downloaded language files to the same folder. You will probably need to create the ‘languages’folder inside your active WordPress theme folder and copy your language file into the “languages” directory.

Step 3: Modify the wp-config.php file

Once you have copied your files, you need to modify the wp-config.php file. Find this file in the root directory of your WordPress installation and open it in a text editor software. This file includes all of the setting to allow you to connect to the database and manage a few other items. Inside the “wp-config.php” file, you will see the following line:

Now you will need to change this to use the file you just copied to your server. If using the example for German, you would edit the like to look like the following:

Save the “wp-config.php” file and copy it back to your web server. Now visit your Admin Dashboard with your web browser. Your blog should now be displayed in the language you desired.