WordPress Glossary Plugin (CMTG) - Getting Started - Use Case - Creating Glossary in Multiple Non-English Languages

Use Case - Creating Glossary in Multiple Non-English Languages

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Note: This guide covers features from the Pro version of the WordPress Glossary plugin - This document uses eCommerce version 3.9.8.

Some features are only present in Pro+ and are marked as such.


The WordPress Glossary plugin supports any UTF-8 characters, allowing you to build an alphabetic index for non-English terms. This article will focus on the language aspect.

Video Tutorial (Uses version 3.9.8)

Use Case Front-End

Multilingual Glossary

Example of the multilingual glossary - WordPress Knowledge Base Plugin
Example of the multilingual glossary

Different Glossaries for Each Language (version 3.9.10)

Choosing different languages - Knowledge Base WordPress Plugin
Choosing different languages

Multilingual Term (version 3.9.10)

Multilingual term page - Glossary Plugin WordPress
Multilingual term page

Is My Language Supported?

The WordPress Glossary plugin uses UTF-8, which supports over 1 million characters. That ensures virtually all languages work with the plugin. Examples:

  • Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Albanian, Korean, Arabic, Slavic languages, Hindi, Nepali, Tamil, Thai, and Uyghur
  • Symbols - Mathematical symbols, music notation, and more 

Learn more:

Use Case Assumptions

In this example use case guide, we'll cover how to create a small glossary in a language other than English.

We consider that you have already bought the plugin, but not installed it. 

It follows:

Installing the Plugin

The process is the same for all CM plugins.

CreativeMinds Customer Account Dashboard - Downloads tab
CreativeMinds Customer Account Dashboard
  • Download the plugin from your customer dashboard.
  • Log in to WordPress and navigate to the WordPress Admin  → Plugins settings.
  • Click on Add New.
  • Activate it and add the license.

Learn more: Getting Started - Installation And First Steps

TIP: Refresh the Permalinks Structure

This will help to prevent common 404 errors. Take these simple steps:

  • Log in to your WordPress website as the admin.
  • Visit Admin Dashboard → Settings → Permalinks.
  • Click on Save Changes.

Adding First Term 

Let's review how to add a term. Head to CM Tooltip Glossary → Add new.

The term title is the word or phrase which, when found on the post/page, would display the tooltip with the definition, and link to the Term Page or any other custom links according to the settings that you define.

Term descriptions is the actual content.

Adding a Term Example

Here we show the term Hypertext Transfer Protocol. 

Adding new term - Tooltip Plugin WordPress
Adding new term

Aside from the content, this term has a category (Web), related articles and an abbreviation (HTTP). 

Example of the term page - Tooltip WordPress Plugin
Example of the term page

Learn more:

Single Language x Multiple Languages at Once

There are two major ways of using glossaries with language in mind. This guide covers both.

  1. Single language, with a non-English alphabet
  2. Multiple Languages at Once

Independently, you can also enable Google Translate integration. Learn more: WordPress Glossary Plugin (CMTG) - Integrations - Google Translate

Method 1) Single Language

The Alphabetic navigation is a box that filters terms based on their first letter.

Alphabetic navigation - Wiki Plugin for WordPress
Alphabetic navigation

The tooltip Glossary Index Page can support any UTF-8 characters, allowing you to build an alphabetic index for non-English terms.

You will find the settings in Admin Dashboard → CM Tooltip Glossary → Settings → Glossary Index Page tab  Alphabetic Index section.

Glossary index page settings - Wiki for WordPress
Glossary index page settings

Included Letters

Head to the Letters in alphabetic index to add different characters to your alphabet. This is useful for languages that contain characters not present in the English alphabet, such as "ż", "ß", "ø" and so on. 


Setting up letters in alphabetic index - Wiki WordPress Plugin
Setting up letters in alphabetic index

On the Glossary Index Page this will look as follows:

Example of the custom alphabetic navigation - WordPress as a Wiki
Example of the custom alphabetic navigation

One other important setting in this section:

  • Consider non-latin letters separate from their latin base? - Enabling it bundles all non-latin letters in their base. Example: When this setting is unchecked:
    • Terms starting with "A" and "Á" will be bundled in "A".
    • Terms starting with "Ć" or "Č" will be bundled in "C"

TIP: Character Order

The index will respect the order in which you place the letters in the "Letters in alphabetic index" setting. This is useful for languages that contain characters not present in the English alphabet, such as "ż", "ß", "ø" and so on. 

Check all settings: Index - The Alphabetic Index.

Method 2) Multiple Languages At Once 

Version 3.9.10 introduced many language settings to the eCommerce version of the WordPress Glossary plugin

Set up

Step 1 - Turn the Language Mode On

Head to Admin Dashboard → CM Tooltip Glossary → Settings → Ecommerce Settings tab → Languages section.

Ecommerce settings - WordPress Internal Linking Plugin
Ecommerce settings

Enable the option "Enable languages and filter Glossary". We'll cover the other settings in a moment.

Enabling the multilanguage feature - WordPress Glossary Plugin
Enabling the multilanguage feature

Important Change

While this setting is on, the glossary will only show terms of one language!

Step 2 - Create languages

Head to Admin Dashboard → CM Tooltip Glossary → Languages.

In this screen you can add and manage languages. Notes:

  1. Add the name of the language. E.g. Hindi, French etc.
  2. Choose which letters the alphabet contain. This means different languages can have different alphabets
  3. The "Count" column provides a shortcut of all the terms currently assigned to that language
Managing glossary languages - WordPress Knowledge Base Plugin
Managing glossary languages

Step 3 - Create unique versions of terms for each language

Each language must have the same version of the term. For example,  Water, Eau and Água refer to translations of the same word, so they should be three separate terms.

If you only have one (for instance, Water), create the other ones.

Step 4 - Assign languages to your terms

While creating or editing terms, take notice of the metabox "CM Tooltip - Term Language". It is very important.

There, assign the language of the term you are editing. Then, you select, for each language, the corresponding term.

Assigning languages to terms - Knowledge Base WordPress Plugin
Assigning languages to terms

Repeat this step for all relevant terms.

Glossary Language Settings

Now we have multiple glossaries with connected terms. The following settings allow you to decide how the glossary will be affected.

  • Default Glossary language - Which language the glossary will be in at first.
  • Show language dropdown selector on Glossary Index - Show or hide.
Choosing languages on the glossary index page - Glossary Plugin WordPress
Choosing languages on the glossary index page
  • Language switch widget applies to - The plugin comes with a widget that changes the language of the tooltips. You can choose if, when a user selects a new language, that affects only the current page or the whole site.
Dropdown for choosing languages - Tooltip Plugin WordPress
Dropdown for choosing languages
  • Language in the tooltips - You can force the tooltip to be in a set language. Choosing "---" will make the tooltip respect the language to the term. Choosing a specific language, on the other hand, will force the tooltip to show the definition of that language.
  • Choose languages to show on Index Page - Which languages will be selectable from the dropdown.
  • Show other languages of the term in the term page - If enabled, shows the definition in all available languages.
Multilingual term page - Tooltip WordPress Plugin
Multilingual term page

Tip: Great Feature for Dictionaries and eLearning

The widget and the "Language switch widget applies to" setting can be really useful for dictionaries or eLearning sites.

Switching the language - Wiki Plugin for WordPress
Switching the language

Translating Interface

If your site is not in English, that's ok. The WordPress Glossary plugin fully supports all UTF-8 languages. Translate it by adapting labels, and making a few tweaks

The Pro+ and eCommerce are even compatible with WPML (WordPress MultiLanguage).

Labels settings - Wiki for WordPress
Labels settings


Some examples of labels available for translation:

  • Back to Top
  • « Back to Glossary Index
  • Read More
  • Glossary Item

Example - Translation to Portuguese

Translating the front-end labels - Wiki WordPress Plugin
Translating the front-end labels

Learn more: Settings - Labels

Special Case 1: Right-to-Left (RTL) Languages

WordPress Glossary plugin supports Right-to-Left (RTL) languages, such as Hebrew.


RTL support - WordPress as a Wiki
RTL support

There are two ways to enable RTL in Tooltip Glossaries.

1) Automatic (Pro+ and Ecommerce)

In the Pro+ and Ecommerce editions, you can enable RTL (Right to Left text) support simply by checking Enable RTL Support in the path CM Tooltip Glossary → Settings → General Settings, as shown below:

Enabling RTL support - WordPress Internal Linking Plugin
Enabling RTL support

2) Manually (other editions)

It's also possible to enable this function manually in other editions, but there are limitations. Two steps are needed.

a) For the Alphabetical List on Glossary Index Page:

Add this custom CSS to your theme or in the Additional CSS option in the customizer.

.ln-letters a { float: right !important; }

b) For Items on Glossary Index PageTooltip Content and Glossary page:

They will be displayed correctly when you set your whole site to RTL.

Learn more: WordPress Glossary Plugin (CMTG) - Extras - RTL Support - CreativeMinds Products Documentation

Special Case 2: Asian Language Support (Partial Word Search)

The Pro+ and eCommerce editions of the WordPress Glossary plugin make it possible to support partial word search. 

TIP: Japanese is an Example

This is needed when dealing with Asian languages such as Japanese, which does not have a space between words, or in cases where you are looking into highlighting part of the word.

To set this feature you need to visit  Admin Dashboard → CM Tooltip Glossary → Settings → General Settings and then scroll down to the Term Highlighting section.

Uncheck the option: “Highlight only space separated terms”.

Highlighting only space separated terms - WordPress Glossary Plugin
Highlighting only space separated terms

By default this options is enabled – which means only the space separated words would be searched.

Learn more: Terms - Partial Word Search (Asian Language Support)


Issue 1) Non-English Characters Not Appearing Correctly

The WordPress Glossary plugin works in UTF. This means that your MySQL DB table should also be defined as UTF8.

  • Make sure that you have the correct database table and column  charset/collation in your database. When a table is created in the database, it relies on environmental settings, so if you have a charset/collation set for your database that doesn’t allow special characters by default (utf8 characters), then the results will be wrong.
  • Set the charset to utf8, and the collation to utf8_general_ci.
  • Try the following SQL Queries (replace your_wp_db_name with the database name you have set in your WordPress installation):

    ALTER DATABASE your_wp_db_name DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 DEFAULT COLLATE utf8_general_ci; ALTER TABLE your_wp_db_name.wp_glossary_synonyms DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci; ALTER TABLE your_wp_db_name.wp_glossary_synonyms MODIFY synonym VARCHAR(145) CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci;

Learn More

Check the official WordPress resource: Read more about changing the database charset on WordPress.org.

Issue 2) Some Terms are not Parsed

Make sure that the Terms are defined to not be case-sensitive. Go to Admin Dashboard → CM Tooltip Glossary → Settings → Tooltip and uncheck this box:

Disabling parsing only case-sensitive terms - WordPress Knowledge Base Plugin
Disabling parsing only case-sensitive terms

Learn more: Troubleshooting - Characters in non-English languages that do not appear correctly

End Result Example

Example of the multilingual glossary - Knowledge Base WordPress Plugin
Example of the multilingual glossary

More information about the WordPress Glossary Plugin

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