Agents can communicate with end users and other agents, even if they are using different languages, using the native translation feature in Agent Workspace.
The translation feature is enabled by default for all customers using the Agent Workspace.
This article includes the following topics:
About the translation feature
With the native translation feature in Agent Workspace, agents can choose to translate incoming messages (coming from the end user) and outgoing messages (going to the end user) in the following channels:
- Live chat
- Social channels
- Sunshine Conversations channel
- Zendesk messaging
Additionally, agents can choose to translate incoming email messages sent by end users and created by the API. The native translation feature in Agent Workspace also supports the translation of incoming emails sent via other channels, such as web forms, web services, messaging Web Widget, Web Widget (Classic), and closed tickets, but it doesn't support any outbound emails sent to end users.
A user’s language is determined based on recent messages they have sent, then Google Translate is used to translate text.
If the agent’s and end user’s languages are different, a translation banner is displayed informing the agent of the language difference, and they can choose to enable translation for that conversation.
Both the original and translated messages sent by the agent appear in the Event log. End-user messages appear only in the original language.
Limitations to this feature include:
- There is a 5,000-character limit per message for translation. Any message over 5,000 characters will not be translated.
- SunCo Shorthands are not supported for translations.
- Translations for third-party widgets are not supported.
Using translation in the workspace
In Agent workspace, translation is managed by the agent currently conversing with the end user. This section discusses the following topics:
When a language difference is detected in an incoming message, a banner appears on the workspace, letting the agent know the end user’s language and allowing them to enable translation, if they choose.
To enable translation for an incoming conversation
- In the translation banner, click Translate. The banner updates to display the translation status:
- If you do not want to enable translation for the conversation, click the X to dismiss the banner.
If you decline to translate a conversation initially, you can still enable translation during the conversation.
To enable translation in an ongoing conversation
- In the conversation header, click the Options menu (), then click Translate. The translation banner appears, displaying the translation status as shown above.
You can also turn off translation if it is no longer needed – for instance, if a new end user takes over the conversation or if it is passed to another agent who speaks the same language as the end user.
To disable native translation
In the translation banner, click Stop. Or, in the conversation header, click the Options menu (), then click Stop translating.
Switching between the original and translated message text
Agents can view an end user’s original (untranslated) messages, as well as the translated version of their own messages.
To view an end user’s original message text
- At the end of the end user’s message, click Show original. The untranslated version appears.
To view your own translated message text
- At the end of the message, click Show translation. The translated version of the message appears.
The end-user experience
When an agent enables translation for a conversation, the end user does not receive an activation notification—agent messages simply appear in their detected language. However, translated agent messages are identified in the conversation.In a live chat, translated messages have a Show original link, which end users can click to display the untranslated message:
Through Social Messaging and Zendesk messaging, translated messages are indicated with the word Translated in their detected language; however, they cannot display the untranslated version of the message:
When will this be available for other channels than Chat?
Your article states that email is supported, but I get the following error (see attachment)
Same here, I think the article is not up to date.
Hi @... and @...,
We support translations for incoming Emails in Agent Workspace. Outgoing translations are not supported, as shown in the tooltip.
Outgoing translations can be enabled using existing Apps in the marketplace like Unbabel and Language.io.
Our team reported that the Google Translator tool does not translate messages from the agents, but only from the customers.
We have other Non-native agents, QA, Training, SMEs do reviews/drilldown and this feature would have been great if it works on both sides.
Translations in Agent Workspace is currently supported for incoming (Agent -> End User) and Outgoing (End User -> Agent) for the following channels,
In case you are using one of the above channels and outgoing translations are not available, please let us know and we would be happy to check the case for you.
We only support translations for incoming Emails in Agent Workspace. Outgoing translations can be enabled using existing Apps in the marketplace like Unbabel and Language.io.
A question regarding the email support in agent workspace. You inform that we need 3rd. party apps for outgoing translation.
Do you have any intention of expanding the outgoing translation to email support? We really need that feature, and are not currently interested in using 3rd. party apps for translation that way. :)
Thanks for reaching out. There are no immediate plans regarding bringing outgoing translation to email support.
I am curious if there is any use case not being served through the existing 3rd party marketplace apps? Usually, AI powered machine translations (like Unbabel) fare much better in terms of translation quality of large paragraphs of text.
3rd Party Apps are so very expensive. That may some company decide that Google is good enough for translate. So I would also support the request from @... to have it both way, if companies like better quality they can start using 3rd Party App´s but for smaller Teams which need support EMEA region, some build in feature would be really helpful.
Thanks for your reply. :)
Using a 3rd party translation tool is definitely a solution, but the current pricings seems a bit too much on what we are looking for.
We are currently on a Pro suite plan, and we like the idea of having a integrated translation like the one you have made for Zendesk. And since you have made it, why not staying at that integration, instead of getting 3rd party apps? :)
The incoming translations work perfectly. So that's why we hoped that outgoing translations also would be made from your google translate integration.
Since that isn't coming in the near future, we will look at other options like the 3rd party translation. :)
You can try contact https://cedricfjacob.com/ he may can assist you to get at least some kind of Google Translate APP into Zendesk which is way cheaper as you pay once for APP and then small fees to Google Engine ;)
Thanks for the link.
Getting a custom made app is definitely also a option, which i will look closer at! :)
Have a nice day.
Hi @... & @...,
Noted on the feedback. I will drop a note if do we end up working on the feature. :)
We recently moved to the Agent Workspace interface and we got a big shock today understanding that the translation feature is not supported in the mobile app for messaging in Agent workspace. We are big fans of Google Translate in the Chat as we are able to communicate with different nationalities and over 90% of our clients are visiting the chat from our mobile application.
So, we have no choice, but to return to the standard interface.
Is there a deadline when this feature will be available?
Thanks for your feedback. We have the translation feature on our backlog for the mobile apps but we do not have any firm timelines for this feature yet. I've recorded your feedback for this feature on mobile and will revert back on this thread when we do start working on it.
Is there a way to disable the translation bar option showing altogether.
At this time the translation feature is part of the core functionality and not able to be disabled. You can stop translating anytime by following the below steps:
In the translation banner, click Stop. Or, in the conversation header, click the Options menu, then click Stop translating.
I would highly recommend not using the translate feature since this is utilizing Google Translate. Any PII that might be discussed with a customer is now on the cloud. "Google Translate should never be used for translating highly-sensitive content that contains personal data or other important information. Once you enter the text in the tool, it becomes property of Google, and they can use the data to their discretion. This may result in breaches of regulations or contractual relations that you have established with your partners, customers or vendors."
I noticed that some accounts have the option to translate while others do not.
Do we need to enable anything on those accounts? For example, I have the tool pop up and also the three dots show me the option to translate. However, some other agents do not have these options.
You need to be sure, that the users have Zendesk chat activated, if they need to use the translation feature in Support. :)
If you are the admin, you will most likely have chat enabled on your user by default.
We're on a professional plan currently for 2 brands, but somehow I do not see the option for enabling translation. Can you point me to the area where I can enable it? For the time being, we would need it mainly in Support and later on in the Live chat.
Thanks in advance!
Of my knowlegde, you would need to be sure that Agent workspace is activated. You can see more about it here:
Afterwards you need to activate each agent in zendesk chat, since chat is required in order to use the translation feature in support.
I hope this will solve your problem. :)
Thanks for the tip! Agent workspace is now activated but I still struggle to get the translator on...
Can you help me somehow? :)
Thanks in advance!
Great to hear! :)
Remember that you need to activate the agent in zendesk chat, before the translation feature is visible in zendesk support. I'm unfortunately not 100% sure on which plan you need to be on, before translation is a option. But chat is definitely required on the specific agent.
Have a nice day! :)
Hi. To go alongside the 5000 character limit, you should have a character counter when you type (unless I am missing it and it can be activated somewhere). We do need to send some larger messages but have to then check the characters over on another platform. Can't you add a character counter?
If Google Translate is good enough for all the other channels, including incoming email, why on earth would outgoing email by Google Translate not be considered necessary by Zendesk?
Another totally bonkers and arbitrary decision by Zendesk, yet again.
All my support team is going to do is type their reply into Google Translate (the exact same way you have delivered their incoming message to the team) so why not just build it in as standard.
Ahh yes, to monetise.
Can you please clarify about the limitations for this below?
Thanks for your question.
The limitations with translation related to the 3rd-party widget apps for Intercom, Telegram, Viber, etc. from our marketplace - https://www.zendesk.com/marketplace/apps
Definitely needing the ability to have outbound translations and not third party apps. Is this something that is coming?
I have raised this issue in November, 2021. It is more than an year now and still no development.
In Agent Workspace when a client is chatting from the mobile app, he still does not see the agent's replies in his language.
Everything is working fine if the client is on the website chat. So, why it is is so hard to be implemented in the mobile chat?
Please sign in to leave a comment.