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Understanding a locale in Shopify for multi-language emails
Understanding a locale in Shopify for multi-language emails
Updated over a week ago

What is a locale in Shopify?

A locale in Shopify refers to a .json file containing translations for text strings found in a theme template file. Each supported language in a theme has its own corresponding locale file. In essence, it helps translate your theme content into different languages, ensuring that your store can cater to a diverse audience (Source:

How locale adapts to your store's language

Let's consider the example of the Debut theme, which supports multiple languages, including French. When you change your store's language to French, the translation filter retrieves the relevant French translations from the locale file. Consequently, your theme's content switches to French, and the locale associated with your checkout is now set to 'fr.'

Using third-party translation apps

If you use third-party translation apps to create stores in multiple languages, these apps will generate separate links for each of your stores. They will also extract theme translations from the locale file, provided the language is available. If not, manual translation is required. Once your multi-language stores are live, when customers make purchases from your French store, their order's locale will be 'fr.' Similarly, for purchases from an Italian store, the locale of their orders will be 'it.'

Note: Occasionally, Shopify may not accurately identify the locale.

For instance, if your store's default language is English and you have a store in French, orders from the French store might be recorded with the 'en' locale instead of 'fr.' If you encounter such issues, it could be due to your theme's compatibility with multi-language stores. In such cases, consider updating your theme, switching to another compatible theme (all free themes on Shopify are compatible), or reaching out to your theme developer for assistance.

The role of locale in multiple email templates

Multiple Language Emails functionality enables you to send review request emails in various languages based on your customers' chosen store language during their purchase. This feature allows Canadian stores, for example, to send emails in both English and French by creating two distinct email templates and specifying the language within the template settings.

To use Multiple Language Emails effectively, follow these steps:

Step 1: Set up multiple language stores on Shopify using third-party translation apps like Translation Lab. Ensure that your chosen theme is compatible with selling in multiple languages (free Shopify themes typically meet this criterion).

Step 2: Create an email template for each supported language and one template for 'Any Language' as a fallback (in case Shopify cannot determine the customer's language).

Step 3: In Template Settings, assign the appropriate Email Language to the corresponding Custom Template, and activate all templates. will use the locale passed to the checkout to align the email template's language with the customer's preference. For instance, if a customer makes a purchase from your French Store (locale: 'fr'), will send them the French Email Template that you've configured in the email dashboard.

For more detailed information on creating Multi-language Stores and using Multiple Language Emails, please refer to additional resources.

If you need help understanding a locale in Shopify for multi-language emails, contact our team at [email protected]. We're available to help 24/7!

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