Media Translation and ​​Polylang Media Library Empty Issue

Mentioning WordPress multilingual plugins, we shouldn’t miss out on Polylang. This giant translation plugin allows you to change the language of any of your WordPress site content, from pages and posts to custom post types.

Polylang gains trust from hundreds of thousands of users thanks to its power to switch the media file’s language.

Today, we’ll discuss whether you really need to translate your media. If yes, how can you achieve that? Then, we’ll clarify the Polylang media library empty issue that many users face.

Let’s get started.

How Polylang Media Translation Works

As a matter of fact, when your file is translated with Popylang, it won’t be duplicated. Instead, only the text of your media, such as title, alternative text, and description changes.

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The question arises as to whether you really want to translate your files. For an image that contains text on it, it’s better to create a similar one with content in another language.

Although you’ve already switched the title, alt text, and description info’s language, the text on the image stays the same. This makes it difficult for people speaking another language to understand your photo.

Back to the question above, the answer depends on the information you want to deliver via these images.

In case your file includes text on it, think of creating a separate version for each language. For files without text, simply use Popylang to translate its title, alt text, description, and caption only to save your storage.

If you aim to translate your media information, keep reading the next section to learn how.

How to Translate Media Using Polylang

The following guide shows you how to use Polylang for WordPress media translation. Before getting started, you need to have the plugin installed and activated on your WordPress.

  1. Head to Add New under Plugins in your admin area
  2. Type ‘Poplylang’ in the keyword box
  3. Click ‘Install Now’ then ‘Activate’ buttons
  4. Go to MediaLibrary
  5. Find the file you want to translate and click ‘Edit’ under its name
  6. Choose your language in the Language dropdown
  7. Enter the image information, including Caption, Alt Text, and Description
  8. Hit Update to save your changes
  9. Click on the plus icon under the Translations option and select your desired language. You can add multiple languages at once.

That’s it! Your media has become multilingual. People speaking other languages can read your file’s metadata on the image search now.

Add Translation to Media on Certain Posts or Pages

On top of that, you can make bilingual files while editing your page or post content as well. This method allows you to select specific images without having to browse the enlist Library. Since then, you can save a lot of time and effort.

The process is simple:

  1. Go to Pages/Posts and edit the content consisting of files you want to translate
  2. Edit the existing image on the page or click Add Media to insert a new one
  3. Pick your file
  4. Select the language you intend to translate the image to
  5. Click ‘Insert media to post content’

Auto-translate Media When Uploading

Once you upload a new file to the Media Library, WordPress will assign the default language to it. It’s possible for you to translate your new uploads automatically. All you need to do is:

  1. Head to the Languages section and choose Settings in your admin sidebar
  2. Under the Media option, press Settings to activate languages and translations for media files
  3. Enable the ‘​​automatically duplicate media in all languages when uploading a new file’ option on the Settings page
  4. Save your changes

Polylang Media Library Empty Issue

There is one thing you should mind when using Polylang is that it will filter all files of other languages and show files with the default language only.

For example, your site’s default language is English. When you edit a post written in French and open the Library to add files, it will appear empty or just present images that are already translated to French.

This makes it difficult for you to use images shared or in common between many languages. To fix it:

  1. Visit Languages from the admin area
  2. Open the Settings tab
  3. Under Media, uncheck ‘Activate languages and translations for media’

Make Use of WordPress Media Translation

Switching languages of your WordPress images becomes much easier thanks to the help of the Polylang plugin. It allows you to assign other languages to your files right in the Media Library, while editing content, or when uploading to the Library.

You should also notice the Polylang media library empty problem. It prevents you from viewing all files in the Library when you edit the content in a different language other than the default one.

Besides the Polylang media library empty, have you ever heard of the WordPress Media Library not showing images error? Check out why this issue occurs and how to fix it now.