Language Fallback


Starting with WordPress 4.3, you can use languages such as “Deutsch (Sie)” (formal German) in your WordPress installation. But if the themes or plugins you are using do not have a
translation file for this language, WordPress would use the default language, usually English, instead. With the help of this plugin, you can set a fallback for your chosen language.
Every time a translation file is loaded, the plugin will then load the fallback, if a translation for the originally chosen language was not found.

A list of all of my plugins can be found on the WordPress Plugin page on my blog


  • Screenshot of the settings page


Install the plugin as usual from the plugins page on your dashboard (by search or uploaded ZIP file) or upload it with FTP. You should than choose your fallback language in “Settings > General”.


Does this plugin only work with formal German?

No. You can choose any fallback language that fits your original language. Think about fallbacks from “Spanish (Mexico)” to “Spanish”.

Do I need to manually install the fallback language?

No. The plugin will automatically download the fallback language if it is not already installed.


Dieses Plugin gehört in den WordPress Core – This should be a WP Core feature

Dieses Plugin ist ein Muss für jeden, der die formale Sprachdatei deutsch – also die Anrede Sie – verwendet.

Kaum jemand, der auf seiner WordPress-Website nicht noch zusätzliche Plugins installiert und ein anderes Theme verwendet. Wenn diese bereits ins Deutsche übersetzt wurden, ist es oftmals so, dass nur die informale Sprachdatei deutsch (Anrede Du) vorliegt.

Ohne Plugin
aber mit aktivierter Seitensprache Anrede Sie würde solche ein Plugin oder Theme die englische Sprache anzeigen.

Mit Plugin wird stattdessen die informale Sprachdatei deutsch (Anrede Du) genutzt.

Das funktioniert nicht nur mit der deutschen Sprache, sondern in jeder anderen Sprache die informal und formal gesprochen wird und die “Fallback-Sprache” ist mit dem Plugin frei wählbar.
This Plugin is an absolute Must for everyone who deals with formal and informal language packages.

Mostly users extend their websites with additional plugins or themes. If their native language has formal and informal variants, they will need this plugin of Bernhard Kau.

Often enough the plugins or themes are translated only to formal language.

Without this plugin and with activated informal website language theses plugins or themes would show the english language (and not the included formal one).

With this plugin these plugins and themes show the formal language. This plugin works with every language with formal and informal variants. And you are free to choose the “Fallback” language you need.

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Contributors & Developers

“Language Fallback” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Language Fallback” has been translated into these 6 locales: French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Dutch (Belgium), English (Canada). Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Language Fallback” into your language.

Interested in development?

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  • Implementing the fallback locales as an array
  • Time invested for this release: 10min


  • Bumping version number
  • Time invested for this release: 2min


  • Small bugfix for the filter
  • Time invested for this release: 15min


  • Intitial release of the plugin
  • Time invested for this release: 200min