After creating your language website, you probably want to translate its content. There are several ways to do that. The most immediate is to work straight on your store’s interface. This method is basically good only for your store’s development stage.
First off – Remember to disable the cache. Then go to System => Configuration > Developer.
When you are on your desired store view – selected from the top-left hand side scope drop down menu, click on the Translate Inline tab and enable inline translation. Then, save the changes.
Back on the front end you will now see that some text blocks are in red boxes. Click on the little book icon near each box to get a display of a text field, where you can change the text for this label. If you want your changes to affect only the current view, click to check the ‘store view specific’ checkbox. Once done, click ‘submit’ and remember to refresh the page in order for your changes to show on the page.
Please consider that these changes do not affect the .csv files; they will be saved in your database.
The other way is to tackle the translate.csv file located within your template.
So let’s say you want to translate your site to French:
Locate or create a text file by the name of translate.csv under this path: app/design/frontend/your_template/your_theme/locale/fr_FR/. If you cannot find your language folder or even the locale folder under your theme, just go ahead and create those folders. Mind case sensitivity – to avoid frustration.
Having done all that, all that’s left for you to do, is add a line for each string you want to translate. The line would be twofold: first – a quoted string containing the original string to translate, and second – the translated string. Both are separated with a comma. For instance:
“My original string”,”A string in french”
Save the csv file and refresh your store page. Your changes should show immediately on the page. If they’re not – well, that’s probably because you haven’t disabled cache yet in the admin area.
Most important: remember to save your csv file in UTF-8 encoding, otherwise you may end up looking at some strange hieroglyphs instead of meaningful messages!