Function and usage of load_child_theme_textdomain() in wordpress


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    The load_child_theme_textdomain() function in WordPress is used for loading the translation files (.mo files) of a child theme. Let's break down its usage and parameters for a clearer understanding:

    Function Signature

    load_child_theme_textdomain( string $domain, string|false $path = false ): bool


    • Purpose: To load the child theme’s translated strings.
    • How It Works: This function looks for .mo files (compiled translation files) in the specified path within the child theme's directory. If it finds the translation file that matches the current locale, it includes these translations in the theme.


    1. $domain (string, required):

      • Description: This is the text domain of the theme. The text domain is a unique identifier used to distinguish the translated strings of different themes and plugins.
      • Usage Example: If your theme's text domain is 'mytheme', you would use 'mytheme' as the $domain.
    2. $path (string|false, optional):

      • Description: The path to the directory containing the .mo file. If set to false, WordPress will look for translations in the child theme's root directory.
      • Usage Example: If your .mo files are located in a subdirectory named 'languages', you would use 'languages' as the $path.

    Return Value

    • Type: bool
    • Description: Returns true when the theme textdomain is successfully loaded, false otherwise.

    Usage Example

    Here’s a sample usage of load_child_theme_textdomain():

    function my_child_theme_setup() {
        load_child_theme_textdomain('mytheme', get_stylesheet_directory() . '/languages');
    add_action('after_setup_theme', 'my_child_theme_setup');

    In this example:

    • 'mytheme' is the text domain.
    • get_stylesheet_directory() . '/languages' is the path where WordPress will look for .mo files. This combines the child theme's directory path with a 'languages' subdirectory.

    Important Notes

    • File Naming: The .mo files must be named according to the locale they are translating (e.g.,,
    • Location: By default, without the $path parameter, WordPress expects the .mo files in the root directory of the child theme.
    • Use in Child Themes: This function is specifically for child themes. For parent themes, load_theme_textdomain() is used.

    By using load_child_theme_textdomain(), you ensure that your child theme can properly display its translated strings based on the user's locale, enhancing the internationalization of your WordPress site.

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