Detecting an end-user's language from an email message

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  • Franck BADIN


    I have a question about automatic language detection when a new user is created automatically from an request received by E-mail.

    We do not have German as a localized language in our Zendesk.

    We have, English (US), French, Spanish and Ducth.

    If someone writes us in German should the language be defaulted in English or another language based on the below point:

    • If the detected language is not enabled in your account, the language preference is set to the closest matched language enabled in your account. For example, you receive an email that contains Hungarian and that is not one of your enabled languages, but German is enabled. In this case, German, as the nearest match is set as the user's language.

    Best regards



  • Joyce
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Hi @...,

    For new users, their language is automatically detected by the text contained in the body of their first email sent to your Support account. The system scans the email content to look for the closest matched language enabled in your account if the language is not supported.

    With your use-case, I quickly run a test on my end to see how the system will detect the language, and the new user who writes in German was set with the English language.

  • Khajik Khajadourian

    This says it's enabled for French. Is it French-Canadian as well? 

  • Karen Stephen

    @... I think you can find it under Canadian French.  (It's where I had to find Canadian English - it wasn't with the other 'English' languages for some reason...)

  • Joey Salberter


    What if the end-user is created from an outgoing e-mail? We noticed that the end-user was created with "English US" as language, even if we contact the customer in another language.

    Any way to go around that?


  • Dane Adriano
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Joey,
    Outbound email message is not part of end-user's language detection. The only way is for your agents to edit/create the user and set the correct language on their profile.
  • Andrew Chu

    Hi team,

    I'm wanting to know if we can use this language-detecting feature to help in sorting out tickets using view, trigger, automations, etc.? Like if ZD detects ticket's language to be Japanese, it would assign the ticket to a specific group.

    Hope to hear from you

  • Dan Ross
    Community Moderator

    Hey Andrew,

    It won't do this natively, Zendesk doesn't have language properties assigned to Groups. Thus it won't know that the group you named 'Japanese Support' is intended for Japanese language tickets. You need to create rules to assign these tickets when they come in. 

    I would look at creating a Trigger for:

    Ticket IS Created
    Requester Language is Japanese (this is based on what the system detected)

    Assign to Japanese Support Group
    (optionally) assign skill if you used Skill Based Routing)
    (optionally) tag the ticket with a language tag or set a custom field value on the ticket 'Language' for later reporting

    Put this early in your trigger list so that it assigns to the correct group as early as possible in your workflow. 

  • Andrew Chu

    Hi Dan Ross

    Thanks for your quick reply and looking into my question but what I meant is that are we able to put this language-detecting feature into one of the conditions for any rules to be created, that is, for example, an Email written in Japanese be automatically routed to a specific group of Japanese language support?

    Hope it becomes clearer now and appreciate your prompt revert

  • Gavin Farrington

    Andrew Chu

    Yes, you can put it in Triggers (I haven't tested Automations) but in our experience it's got a pretty high miss rate for accurately detecting language.

  • Andrew Chu

    @Gavin can you show me how you put the language detection into the trigger?

  • Qin Brian

    Can trigger support to detect language in email title instead of email body?
    Our users are used to sending emails with long titles, and in mail body only pictures or no any content. So Zendesk always detect the emails as not the language in email title.

    Can Zendesk help?

  • Gavin Farrington

    Andrew Chu

    Simply select "Language" from the trigger conditions.


    Qin Brian

    No, ZD does not offer this level of control.

  • Fabricio S.
    Hello Qin, 

    Currently, the language detection is natively designed to read body text and not subject.

    I can only think (as a workaround), a trigger with Subject Text - Contain "string of words" or specific words that can be normally found in the subject text, to route those emails/tickets to the specific Group.  

    This might not be useful for you if the emails subject does not have pattern. But if does, a very customisable Trigger like: 

    I hope this helps. 

  • Qin Brian

    Hi Fabrico:

    Thanks for the feedback and suggestion.

    We have global business all around the world, and users will write emails with many language and many different words, there is no clear pattern of the subject.

    Is there any plan from Zendesk to detect the language of email's subject?

  • Christy

    Hi team,

    I've tested with traditional Chinese content email (With English subject) and the user language wasn't able to detected as in Chinese. Please kindly advise.

  • Gavin Farrington

    That's our experience as well, Christy. Unfortunately this is considered normal by ZD.

    We use the Organizations feature to organize customer accounts by language/region, and then we route by Organization. However it required working with our Engineering team to accomplish matching the account to the appropriate Org.


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