Before starting

The "translation" term can take different meanings, depending on the context, so let's start with some quick definitions.

Types of translation

I. Translations for the Storefront

Shopify allows localizing the storefront content in multiple languages. Merchants add their languages from the ShopifyAdmin/Settings/Languages, then activate it from ShopifyAdmin/Settings/Markets, so the customers can change the language in their preferred locale.
Learn more: https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/cross-border/multilingual-online-store

As an overview, we differentiate three methods of translations for the text on the Storefront:

  1. The Core theme elements (not supported by Vitals)
  2. The App specific strings (supported for the Vitals apps)
  3. Auto-translations (not supported by Vitals)

1. The Core theme elements

Vitals does not have support yet the translation of the Core theme elements.
Vitals currently supports multi-language translation for the Vitals specific strings.

Included here, but not exclusive to: 

  • Product information, like title, description
  • Buy buttons
  • Menu items
  • Footer items

Currently there are two methods to translate these strings.

Export/import theme strings

The first method doesn't need a third party app. Shopify allows exporting all the strings in a file. Merchants will fill in the structured file with the appropriate translations and import the file back to the Shopify admin.
More details on the procedure: https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/cross-border/multilingual-online-store#adding-language-translations-using-csv-files

Use a third party app

The second method is through a third party app which allows the translation of these Core elements through their own UI. 

The Shopify collection of translation apps is: https://apps.shopify.com/collections/apps-for-store-languages

More details: https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/cross-border/multilingual-online-store#add-new-languages

2. The App specific strings

Vitals has support for multi-language translation for all the strings displayed on the storefront, from the Vitals apps.

Vitals also provides default translations in 15 of the most common languages used by the Shopify visitors. This means that Vitals is ready out of the box with translated strings into 15 languages (en, es, fr, de, it, sv, nl, ar, da, ja, zh-CN, pt-BR, ru, zh-TW, no, ro).

Apps that have strings displayed on the Storefront, like Vitals, can also have two methods of achieving multi-language translation.

  1. From their own app
  2. From third party apps, dedicated for translation (same used for translationg the core theme elements)

The method chosen by Vitals is directly from our app, to avoid relying on third party apps to translate our strings. 
We created a dedicated section for the multi-language translations. We also created 
The full user manual link is here: https://help.vitals.co/article/329-multi-language-translations

3. Auto-translations

There are also apps that translate the content of the page, mainly using the Google Translate services. Here, once the page is fully loaded, users can translate the page identic to the GTranslate Chrome extension. This method provides instant results, but does not grant any control to the merchant. For example, if a word is translated wrong, there is nothing the merchant can do to prevent that. This alternative can work at entry levels, but does not provide the highest quality standard desired by the top level shops.

II. Translations for the Admin

Again, there are two sub-topics included here:

  1. The Shopify admin
  2. The app specific admin

1. The Shopify admin

The Shopify Admin, where merchants manage everything Shopify related, Products, Orders, Customers, etc does support different languages than English. 
To manage the language of the Shopify Admin, read more here: https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/your-account/languages

2. The app specific admin

Apps like Vitals also have their own admin. Note that Vitals does not yet provide support to change the language of the User Admin. 

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