load_child_theme_textdomain()WP 2.9.0

Load the child themes translated strings.

If the current locale exists as a .mo file in the child theme's root directory, it will be included in the translated strings by the $domain.

The .mo files must be named based on the locale exactly.

No Hooks.


true|false. True when the theme textdomain is successfully loaded, false otherwise.


load_child_theme_textdomain( $domain, $path );
$domain(string) (required)
Text domain. Unique identifier for retrieving translated strings.
Path to the directory containing the .mo file.
Default: false



#1 Call it from within the after_setup_theme action

The load_child_theme_textdomain() function should generally be called from within the after_setup_theme action hook, just the same as with its related load_theme_textdomain() function.

add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'wpdocs_child_theme_setup' );

 * Loads the child theme textdomain.
function wpdocs_child_theme_setup() {
	load_child_theme_textdomain( 'my_parent_theme', get_stylesheet_directory() . '/languages' );


  • .mo and .po files are not uploaded to the child-theme root, but to a folder named languages inside the child-folder.

  • my_parent_theme = main theme textdomain. It's normaly the same as folder name of the Main theme.

  • The .mo files must use language-only filenames, like languages/de_DE.mo in your child theme directory.

  • Unlike plugin language files, a name like my_child_theme-de_DE.mo will NOT work. Although plugin language files allow you to specify the text-domain in the filename, this will NOT work with themes and child themes. Language files for themes should include the language shortcut ONLY.

#2 Connect the translation file of the child theme

add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'my_child_theme_setup' );

function my_child_theme_setup(){
	load_child_theme_textdomain( 'my_child_theme', get_stylesheet_directory() . '/languages' );

The .mo file must be in the languages folder in the subtopic and have the name of the language locale, for example: languages/de_DE.mo.


Since 2.9.0 Introduced.

load_child_theme_textdomain() code WP 6.5.3

function load_child_theme_textdomain( $domain, $path = false ) {
	if ( ! $path ) {
		$path = get_stylesheet_directory();
	return load_theme_textdomain( $domain, $path );