Translated text doesn’t show up on site (when using WPML)

At current job I have a chance to work with WPML plugin which provides a multilingual capabilities to a WordPress site. I’m really impressed by it since it can translate everything I stumbled upon to translate. There was only one gotcha I spent more time resolving than I should’ve (or my bosses would’ve allowed :D).

The problem

Site uses child theme where a parent theme is a premium theme that gets updates often. There I wanted to translate footer text (copyright information), went to WPML’s “String translation” settings page, found the particular string and translated it to chosen languages. Translations are saved but aren’t showed on the site.

Searching for solution

I read a lot of WPML support forum threads, many of them multiple times. The first take according to support forum was to dig into advanced part of “String translation” – by selecting “Translate text on admin screens”, finding the key named after premium’s theme name and than trying to check the option this particular text is saved to. But alas the option was already checked. And to add more to confusion, the text was different than in a footer.

Solution

Fast forward couple of hours I tried spontaneously searching the option name under the key name of a child theme. And voila, there was an unchecked option with value that is displayed on the site.

Why it was hard to find the reason I think it’s also because some translated text under the key of a premium theme name were visible, but others were not.