Translating Your Shopping Cart into a Different Language

There are 2 pieces to translating a Shopping Cart:

  1. Translating the front-end (for the users)
  2. Translating the back-end (for the merchant)


Depending on which Shopping Cart you are using for your website, you will need to inquire with the developers whether or not they have their back-end software in different languages. This is something you need to discuss with them right from the beginning if you are looking to run your back-end on a different language than the standard package.

Today we will focus on translating the Front-end of your shopping cart. The front-end means the user’s interface, what your customers see and interact with when they land on your website or online store.

Translating a shopping cart is not very difficult; it may be very time consuming, but not difficult. Depending on which platform you are using and whether you are using a Licensed version of the software or a hosted shopping cart, you will encounter different limitations.

Most shopping cart platforms give you access to the source code. If you are using a shopping cart that doesn’t give you access to the source code then you will not be able to translate it into a different language.

While looking at the source code, you will need to find headings and global variables that relate to the front-end of your online store. Once you find these you will need to hand code your text in your target language. These variables will then load in the language you have elected to use.

Finding all the variables will take some time, but make sure to go through all of them and then test as if you were a user.

Some variables may be locked or inaccessible if they are on a shared server and pulling straight from the provider; these variables may then be removed completely (if appropriate) or masked using a JavaScript script called “Text Replacement”.

Always make sure to hire a professional translator of your target language, do not rely on someone in your office who is “fluent” on the target language. The way you translate your content will reflect your business’ professionalism, don’t let it fall short.

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