Basic Bilingual Plugin [en]

This is a simple plugin which wraps together my bilingual hacks to make day-to-day posting less of a hassle.

[fr] Ce plugin pour WordPress regroupe les hacks que j'utilise depuis un moment déjà pour gérer le bilinguisme de mon weblog. Il permet d'afficher un sommaire de chaque billet dans "l'autre langue" et d'appliquer un formattage par langue via l'attribut lang.

Plus de détails sur la page officielle du plugin.

Update 01.02.2007: This plugin broke badly with WordPress 2.1, but has now been (hopefully) updated. The wiki page on is frozen and may not be up-to-date anymore. Download here.

This post is the test run for my Basic Bilingual plugin.

It doesn’t add much functionality to what I already have through my hacks, but it’s cleaner from a code point of view, and it’s portable — you can use it too if you wish.

Be patient if the wiki page isn’t exactly up-to-date. It will be shortly — and the plugin will be available through the Plugin Manager as soon as I’ve made sure it’s functional enough (ie, when I press publish and hell doesn’t break loose).

This plugin basically allows you to do what you can see on this weblog: add lang attributes to your posts, excerpts in “the other language”, and localize the date. It also creates permanent fields in the admin pages for entering the language and “other language excerpt” easier.

I’d like to emphasize that this plugin is very simple. It is in no way a replacement of any sort for the larger-scale multilingual efforts going on these days. I wanted to get my code cleaned up and my hacks back in the admin interface (I lost them when I upgraded WP), and I’m making the result public.

34 thoughts on “Basic Bilingual Plugin [en]

  1. Hi !
    I just tried to install the plug-in you created but… even when I activate it, nothing appear on the “write” page in WordPress. First, I thought that was a result of a tiny manipulation on your file (I just tried to configure it for three different languages ; including french, english and japanese) but now that I erased these added lines, it s just like the same as before. I wonder if that s a problem of version. I m using WordPress 2.2.


  2. Izo: that would be it. I doubt the plugin hooks I use to add fields in the “write” page exist in 1.2. One exciting feature of the upcoming 1.5 is precisely to allow plugin writers to mess with admin pages!

    Sorry about that :-/

  3. Well, so you think I should consider upgrading my version of WordPress ?


  4. Hi Stephanie. I’ve started using basic bilingual on my blog and, until a sophisitacted polyglot plugin comes around, this is exactly what I was looking for. Works great – thanks a lot!

  5. Hello ! Thanks for this plugin and the idea !

    I’ve modified it a little for my own blog I added more languages and added a function to display a little flag, and instead of displaying an excerpt in another language, I’m displaying an excerpt in a common language.

    Too bad there aren’t any action hooks in WordPress to display the language selection combo without position:absoluute..

    If you want to check it out, this is the plugin page, and to see the admin pages you can try the live demo.

    Thanks again, great work !

  6. Great work, stilgar! Haven’t seen it work (no time), but I’m really happy to see people building on my plugins.

  7. In the documentation for this plugin, you write “Once meta data has been stored for a post, you need to make it visible in the template.” Can you say a little more about that? I installed the plugin, but the second language entry does not show up in my blog. Do I need to edit any templates? I’m using WordPress 1.5 (blue default theme). Thanks for your help.

  8. Heya, hot stuff this plugin of yours. I have installed it and I am using it for English and German. As my blog might get one or two more authors who write in languages other than those two I’d like to get straight if theoretically it would be possible to enhance the plugin? Will simply extending the array do the trick?! (maybe a stupid question, but I’m really not the coder type) I’d be happy to get some info on that. Keep rockin’

  9. Glad you like it! I’m certain it’s possible to extend it to include a larger finite number of languages, but I’m not sure how it would be done. Do post something here if you do change it! Many people would love to use it.

  10. Hi Steph!
    I hav a question… I’m new to WordPress… Therefore I have NO idea where do I have to aplly the tags … Can you write me a short dummy/moron prove explanation of what I have to do after activating the plugin? Please!

  11. You need to edit the theme you’re using (under “presentation”, “theme editor”). It depends on which theme you’re using. You’ll want to find the file in the theme which displays posts, edit that, and add the tags at the right place in the code.

    Let me know if this is enough or if I must go more into details.

  12. Steph,
    I’m affraid I need more detail. =0(
    The tag should be like this? =

    Don’t have to do anything on the CSS file?

  13. I can’t walk you through it step by step, I’m afraid, but yes, the tag needs to be between < ? php and ? > (without spaces) as it is in fact a php function.

    And I’d suggest doing stuff in the CSS file to make things pretty — the wiki page points you to where I explain what I did to the CSS.

    If you need more help you can try joining #wordpress on (IRC) and ask there. I might be in.

  14. Hi Steph,
    Just to let you know that Basic Bilingual is working happily with mixture of single and multi-byte language; English and Japanese. Great !

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  16. Basic Bilingual 0.3 for Multilingual Blogging…

    Long overdue, an upgrade of my plugin Basic Bilingual. Grab the tgz archive or check out the code.

    Some explanations. First, you all know of my long-standing interest in all things multilingual and in multilingual blogging in particular.

    Years ago, I…

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