Adding multiple languages to Zendesk Support (Professional and Enterprise) Follow

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Multiple languages is available on Professional and Enterprise. These plans enable you to select multiple languages, which are used to determine what language is used in system messages and the email notifications that are generated by your business rules. If you enable multiple languages, you can also support those languages in Help Center so that end users can choose the language they want in Help Center.

You first configure your account settings to support multiple languages, as described in this article. You then create and manage translations of all the content that is sent in email notifications and modify your business rules to automatically send that content based on the user's language using dynamic content. Finally, you can enable your languages in your Help Center and set up your knowledge base to deliver content in your supported languages.

This article describes the account language settings and how to create a workflow based on language:

Setting the default language for your account

The default language is the language that agents see in the agent interface by default and that end-users see in the Help Center by default.

To set the default language for your account

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Settings > Account.
  2. Select the Localization tab.
  3. Beside Languages, select a default language from the drop-down.
  4. Click Save tab.

Selecting the languages you want to support

To provide support for multiple languages, you must first select those languages from the list of languages that are available in Zendesk Support.

To change your language settings

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Settings > Account.
  2. Select the Localization tab.
  3. In the Languages section, click Additional languages.

  4. Select the languages from the list that you want to support.
  5. Click Save tab.

Your language settings are used throughout Zendesk Support to help you manage your workflow. For example, you can create automations or triggers that route tickets through your workflow based on the language setting of the requester. Creating a multiple language workflow is described in Using a requester's language in your business rules below.

You can also enable your languages in your Help Center and set up your knowledge base to deliver content in your supported languages so that end users can choose the language they want in Help Center.

Setting and detecting a user's language

You can set a user's language preference in their user profile (this includes both your staff and your end-users).

If present, this setting can be used in your business rules to, for example, determine which dynamic content language variant is used or to route tickets to specific groups or agents.

The list of available languages is the same as the languages you selected in the Localization tab of the Account settings page. If the user's language is not supported, they cannot select it.

A user's language preference can be set in the following ways:

  • Agents can set their own language preference by editing their profile.
  • Agents with user management permission can set a user's language preference.
  • End-users can select any of your supported languages from the Help Center menu bar, as described above.
  • You can set a user's language with the Set requester's language action, which is available in automations and triggers.

For unregistered end-users (those who do not yet have an account) or registered users who are not logged in, the language can be detected in several ways:

  • Email: The language used in an end-user's email support request is automatically detected. See Detecting an end-user's language from an email message.
  • Help Center: When an unregistered end-user has selected a language in the Help Center menu bar, the support request submit form, like the rest of the Help Center, is set to that language. Then, when the end-user submits a support request, the language is identified and their profile is flagged with the language.
  • Web Widget: Zendesk can detect a user's preferred language from their Web browser preference setting. The accept-language header, which is passed via HTTP, contains information about the user's language preference. If that is present, the language can be detected.
The auto-detection mechanism is performed on unregistered users only. If user profile language was set previously it can be updated manually by an agent, the end-user, or automatically via an API call. If the user is created via Zendesk Support agent interface or an API call (which doesn't set user language) the default system language will be used.

Using a requester's language in your business rules

Knowing your user's language means that you can use that information to determine how to respond to your users and how to move tickets through your workflow. As described above in Setting and detecting a user's language, there are a number of ways that a user's language can be set or detected.

Regardless of how the user's language is identified, it is accessible in automations, reports, triggers, and views via the Requester's language condition. Using this condition, you can, for example, assign incoming tickets to specific groups or agents based on language. You can also create views and reports to track tickets by language.

The Requester's language condition allows you to test for a specific language and then act on that information. You also have the option of explicitly setting the user's language with the Set requester's language to action, which is available in automations and triggers.

Here are some examples that describe how to use the Requester's language condition and Set requester's language to action to build a workflow based on language.

Using dynamic content to communicate in multiple languages

Although it's possible to create a multiple language response within the email body of, for example, a trigger using Liquid markup (described in Using Liquid markup), you should instead use dynamic content. One of the advantages of doing so is that language detection is handled automatically, you don't need to write Liquid markup for each of the languages you support.

As described in Using your dynamic content, dynamic content and its language variants can be referenced in many places in your Zendesk Support using a placeholder. In the example in that article, a message describing how end-users can reset their passwords is added to a macro by simply adding the placeholder as the text in a macro action. Based on the user's language, the correct language variant of the dynamic content is used.

All of your content (from the welcome message to automated responses in your business rules) should be managed with dynamic content.

Assigning a ticket to a group or agent based on language

As you receive support tickets in the different languages you support, you can use automations and triggers to automatically route them through your workflow. As an example, imagine that your Zendesk Support includes three languages (English as the primary and default language and also French and German). You've structured your organization to support this by creating groups of agents that are fluent in French and German. When you receive support requests in either French or German you use a trigger to automatically assign those requests to the appropriate group.

This is easily done using the Requester's language condition, which is available in automations, reports, triggers, and views.

In this example, tickets from French language users are automatically assigned to the French support group.

Creating views and reports based on language

The Requester's language condition can also be used to create reports and views based on language.

You can also make the view visible to agents in a specific group.

In this example, the view is only visible to agents in the Italian Support group.

This works the same way in reports; use the Requester's language condition to select tickets in a particular language.

Setting a user's language preference with an automation or trigger

An end-user's language can be set using the Set requester's language to action, which is available in automations and triggers. You may want to use this action to set an end-user's language in those cases where the source of the support request is not otherwise identified as originating from a specific language. For example, if you use a separate support email address for each of the languages or locales that you support, you can use a trigger to then set the end-user's language based on that email address.

In this example, z3nbugulator uses the aide@bugulator.fr email address for its French language users. This email address is forwarded to french@z3nbugulator.zendesk.com, which is the email address used in this trigger.

When a user's language is set via the Set requester's language to action, that event is added to the ticket's events and notifications.

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Comments

  • 0

    Hello,

     

    I'm trying to set widgets in the right language for our users, as we have a bilingual Zendesk (French and English).

    Our customers have language preferences set in the web platform we've created. When they click on 'support', it generates a tag to that user, with the language preference.

    Using Liquid programming, I've built custom widgets like:

    {% if tags == 'fr' %}

    Visitez notre aide en ligne !

    {% else %}

    Online help available here!

    {% endif %}

    Those widgets are placed on different places, but mainly on the homepage, to welcome them in their own language.

    Besides, I've set a trigger that says:

    "If tags contain at least on of the following: fr, then requester's language is French".

    All of this doesn't work:

    • my custom widgets are displaying only what is contained after the {% else%} tag, whatever tag the user has.
    • the language preference of a user with corresponding menu items 'check your existing requests' being 'vérifier vos demandes' in French doesn't change.

    Please, can you help, as it's been a long time we're trying to set things properly and better satisfy our customers.

    What should we do to have the language preference of our system automatically reflected in Zendesk?

  • 0

    Hi Thomas -

    Your "tags == 'fr'" condition isn't going to work because "tags" has no meaning by itself -- the placeholder {{current_user.tags}} does (see our Widget Placeholder Reference), but even that would require a little more work to use, since a given user might have more than one tag associated with them.

    However, there's another solution that might work better -- put the text you want to change in a named "div", and then use JQuery to change it when necessary, based on the currently-selected language on the page:

    <div id="langText">test</div>

    <script>

    if ($j('li.main.right.language_selector a.tab').text().trim() == "Français") {

    document.getElementById("langText").innerHTML = "French text.";

    } else {

    document.getElementById("langText").innerHTML = "English text.";

    }

    </script>

    This code can just be put in a Custom Widget. Make sure the id name you use for your text element is specific enough that it doesn't interfere with anything else on the page.

  • 0

    Thanks Dave,

    I will try it. Doesn't seem complicated.

    One question though: Can I use the tags condition in a trigger to automatically set the language of a user to a specific language? I mean the portal language, not only the email notifications.

    Thanks,

    Thomas

  • 0

    @Thomas - good question!

    You cannot change the user language based upon a tag, but, you can work with a developer to change the user language setting via the API, based upon those tags from your web platform you developed. This portion of the API should get you pointed in the right direction. :)

  • 0

    The feedback tab in French is saying a wrong message to our requesters.

    In “Details” it says “soyez aussi bref que possible” meaning “please be as concise as possible”.

    Obviously we want them to be as detailed as possible.

    Could this be changed?

     

  • 0

    Hi Sylvian, 

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention! We've made the correction, but please don't hesitate to let us know if anything is still inaccurate.

  • 0

    We have applications for different devices/operating systems.  From the App, when a customer clicks help we were directing them to a specific forum on our knowledge base (i.e. iPhone/iOS versus Android versus PC) by providing a URL to the correct forum.  Now that we are localizing our Apps, the question is does Zendesk support standard HTTP Accept-Language header so that when we call the URL Zendesk will dynamically know which language KB for that forum the customer should be directed to without having a custom URL for each language.

    FYI - The URL that is used is currently redirected to the KB/Forum for that particiular OS.  Does that impact the answer?

  • 0

    Hi Claudia - This should work if they have a specific default language set in their mobile browser. Your Zendesk Web Portal would show the appropriate Forums based on this setting, without using specific URLs for each translation. Please test this out, and if it doesn't work as expected submit a ticket to support@zendesk.com and we'll be happy to help.

  • 0

    Hello, I have set up several feedback tabs for different countries. If I want to create a trigger based on the language, should I set up "REquester language is English" for example. 

    I mean, does the web form implictily send the laguage of the form that was submitted? 

     

    thanks in advance! 

  • 0

    Hi Maria, 

    As you read above, there are a number of ways a requester's language can be detected. If the user is unregistered or does not have a language specifically set in their profile, the text in the email message is analyzed by Zendesk to determine what the language is. If the detected language is not supported in your Zendesk, the language preference is set to the closest match. Again, explicitly setting the language in an end-user's profile will override this. Language detection is just your backup. 

    Regardless of how the end-user's language was determined (whether it was explicitly set in the end-user profile or implicitly detected), the 'Requester language' trigger condition will allow you to reference the language being spoken in a ticket. If it's English, you could say that if the requester's language is English, assign their ticket to your English-speaking support Group, for example. 

    Let me know if that doesn't answer your question!

     

  • 0

    Thank you very much Emily, that's clear. 

    Regarding the default triggers that were created when we created and installed our zendesk, is there any way I can import the same triggers in other languages, so that we don't have to translate them? 

    thanks again! 

     

  • 0

    Hi Maria, 

    We don't offer the default triggers already translated. This something you would have to do via a third party translation service. 

  • 0

    I have added languages via the Account -> Localisation page, and saved them. However, when I then go into our Help Centre and click on General Settings I get the following:

    oops.

    We're sorry, but something went wrong.

    When I remove the languages I added, the page works ... so something isn't right, but no where do i see anyone else having the same problem.

    I have logged out/logged in, and emptied my browser cache, all to no avail.

  • 0

    Hi guys,

    I can make translated categories/sections/articles just fine, but is there a way I can make the homepage content location dependent? For example, I have a little content in the homepage HTML such as links that say "getting started," "FAQ," etc. Is there a way that I can enter the German translations somewhere into the HTML and have it appear instead of English when German is selected as the language preference?

  • 0

    Hey Reuben!

    If you're on the Plus or Enterprise plan, you should be able to do this with Dynamic Content. You can find more information about that here: Providing multiple language support with dynamic content (Plus and Enterprise).

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  • 0

    Hi,

    I am in the process of adding multi-lingual forms to our Help Center, the forms are translated and all appears well in that regard.

    However, I had assumed that the language indicator in the Help Center url, (e.g. the "en-us" in the url below) would also set the requester language when the form was submitted. Allowing me to automagically assign it to the proper language group.
    zendesk-domainname.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=59971

    Is there some way to submit the requester language value at ticket creation? I would rather not create new forms for each language, but that would be plan B.

    Any help will be much appreciated! :-)

  • 0

    I stand corrected!

    The language IS detected from the language identifier in the url!
    My mistake, I think, was to re-use an existing end-user account (e-mail) when testing forms in different languages.
    My test user already had a requester language set, so the form language did not overwrite it (which makes good sense) to the "forms language".

  • 0

    Hi Jacob!

    I'm glad you were able to get it sorted out! Please let us know if you need anything else!

  • 0

    Hello,

      We are using 3 different languages and pinned to home articles in Help Center. Our articles are written in English and only displayed in the English version.

      We would like to display these articles for the other languages, without translation, just displaying the same articles as we are displaying in the English version.

      Could you tell me a way to do that without recreating all the articles manually for each language?

    Edited by sami
  • 0
    Hi Sami! Once the articles are translated and created, they'll automatically show up in your Help Center based on the end-user's preferred language. However, they do need to be translated and created manually. Zendesk will not automatically translate your articles in one language into other languages.
  • 0

    Hi Jessie, Thank you for your answer. However I don't want the articles to be translated. I just want to display the English articles in the other languages automatically, without translation. Is there an option to do that?

    Edited by sami
  • 0
    Hi Sami, Perhaps I misunderstood your question. You want the articles to appear, in English, regardless of which language your readers prefer?
  • 1

    Hi there! We are using your Multi Language feature, and realized that the language switcher is only available on the web interface, and not on mobile. Is there a way to make the language switcher available for our mobile visitors?

  • 0

    Hi Lappy!

    The mobile version of your Help Center unfortunately won't detect your users' language preference, and there's no link to change languages. One way of working around this would be for them to enter the foreign language version of the URL.

    The other thing you could consider doing is disabling the mobile friendly version of the site so they just view the full site on their mobile device. It's not a perfect option, but it will solve the language issue.

    You also have the option to customize your Help Center with a responsive theme, which would make your desktop site automatically optimize when viewed on a mobile device. One of our Community Moderator's has written a couple excellent tips about this.

    Hope that helps!

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