Polylang: How to translate custom strings?

My problem: I'm translating my website using Polylang but I'm having a hard time with custom strings translation. The strings won't show up in the "Strings translation" menu in the WP dashboard.

Important: I don't know much about PHP so the pll_register_string function is very confusing for me.

Quoted from the Polylang doc:



Allows plugins to add their own strings in the “strings translation” panel. The function must be called on admin side (the functions.php file is OK for themes). It is possible to register empty strings (for example when they come from options) but they won’t appear in the list table.


pll_register_string($name, $string, $group, $multiline); ‘$name’ => (required) name provided for sorting convenience (ex: ‘myplugin’) ‘$string’ => (required) the string to translate ‘$group’ => (optional) the group in which the string is registered, defaults to ‘polylang’ ‘$multiline’ => (optional) if set to true, the translation text field will be multiline, defaults to false


translates a string previously registered with pll_register_string Usage:

pll__($string); The unique parameter is required:

‘$string’ => the string to translate returns the translated string.


Echoes a translated string previously registered with pll_register_string Usage:

pll_e($string); The unique parameter is required:

‘$string’ => the string to transla

Best regards


You must first register all these strings for translation.

For example you echo "Hello world" in some template file like this:

<?php pll_e('Hello world'); ?>

To show string in the "Strings translation" add in your functions.php:

add_action('init', function() {
  pll_register_string('mytheme-hello', 'Hello world');

Add all custom strings you want to translate to this function.

As Polylang docs says it's good to check polylang functions for existance first - so site will not break upon Polylang plugin update - because it removes old files first.

So i propose this approach: in functions.phpfor theme of in your plugin's file, you can create wrappers for needed Polylang functions with fallbacks if polylang was removed, or updated so WP will not crash with undefined function error.

 * Outputs localized string if polylang exists or  output's not translated one as a fallback
 * @param $string
 * @return  void
function pl_e( $string = '' ) {
    if ( function_exists( 'pll_e' ) ) {
        pll_e( $string );
    } else {
        echo $string;

 * Returns translated string if polylang exists or  output's not translated one as a fallback
 * @param $string
 * @return string
function pl__( $string = '' ) {
    if ( function_exists( 'pll__' ) ) {
        return pll__( $string );

    return $string;

// these function prefixes can be either you are comfortable with.

NOTE we've created functions with single l in pl__ and pl_e and original Polylang functions are pll__ and pll_e.

These will be used in your theme to output or return translated strings.

And as mentioned before we must register these strings so Polylang will know that these should be translated.

If you work with theme probably it's good to initialize them in after_setup_theme hook like this:

function your_prefix_after_setup_theme() {

   // register our translatable strings - again first check if function exists.

    if ( function_exists( 'pll_register_string' ) ) {

        pll_register_string( 'ToggleNavigation', 'Toggle navigation', 'YourThemeName', false );

        pll_register_string( 'ToggleSearch', 'Toggle Search', 'YourThemeName', false );

        pll_register_string('404Message', 'It looks like nothing was found. Try getting back to the <a href="%s">home page</a>.', 'YourThemeName', true);

 add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'your_prefix_after_setup_theme' );

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