Multilingual Help Center | Online Help - Zoho Desk

Guide to building a multilingual Help Center


Whether you are a global business or expanding into a new market, you need to find a way to help customers in their native language. Because it doesn't matter how well-written or comprehensive your knowledge base articles are if your customers can't understand them. Some customers prefer to read in their native language rather than English. To be able to cater to a wider audience it is essential to have a well-crafted multilingual help center. It becomes a valuable resource for self-service as customers feel empowered to refer and find solutions on their own instead of reaching out to the support team. 

Zoho Desk provides an option to translate, publish, and update help articles in more than 52 different languages. There are two methods in which translation can take place:
  1. Manual
  2. Automatic
Read more about supported languages in Zoho Desk.
Note: Auto translation is available for Enterprise and above edition.

Setting up the Multilingual Help Center 

Setting Multilingual help center consists of following steps:
  1. Setting default language for the help center
  2. Enabling the Multilingual option
  3. Adding additional languages
  4. Choosing the type of translation
  5. Configuring the help center according to the chosen mode of translation

Setting Default Language 

Before enabling multilingual support, the Desk admin must set the default language for the Help Center. It is typically the most common language that is spoken by your customers. Customers who visit the help center for the first time will view the articles in the default language. All the existing articles in the knowledge base will be automatically mapped to the default language. The default language can be changed whenever required. 
Before changing the default language you must ensure that the help articles are already translated in the new default language. For example, if you want the default language as French, then you must ensure the help pages are already translated in French and available in Desk. In case of unavailability, articles will not be displayed in the knowledge base. 
To set the default language
  1. Go to Setup > Channels > Help Center
  2. In the left panel, under Help Center, select Languages 
  3. In the Languages page, select the default language from the drop-down menu. The default language will be saved.

Enabling Multilingual Support 

If your organization wants to support help center articles in more than one language, then after setting up the default language you must enable the multilingual option and add the list of languages in which you want the articles to be viewed. You can add as many languages as you want. 
To enable multilingual support
  1. Go to Setup > Channels > Help Center
  2. In the left panel, under Help Center, select Languages 
  3. In the Languages page, switch On the Multilingual toggle.
    The default language will be displayed under Additional Languages. A crown icon ( ) on the language indicates that it is the default.
  4. Click Add Additional Languages.
  5. In the Additional Languages window, select the languages.
  6. Click Save.
Note
  1. Help center name can be edited to the preferred name.
    Hover on the help center name and click the
    Edit icon, after entering the name click the tick icon to save.
  2. You can toggle a language that you do not to display anymore in the help center.
  3. Zoho Desk will not display Help Center based on the customer's browser language setting.
  4. In case of multi-brand feature, for each brand multilingual support support must be enabled. Also, default and additional languages must be configured.

Choosing the Type of Translation

There are two ways in which the translation can happen: 
Manual - The help articles must be translated and uploaded to the Desk portal. 
Automatic - The help articles will be automatically translated by the selected translation engine. There are three translation engines available: Google translate, Unbable, and Zia. 

Setting up Manual Translation

Manual translation requires translating categories, sections, help articles etc. individually by the admin and also uploading the translated versions whenever required. Before displaying the help articles in various languages, language specific versions of the categories, sections, and articles must be published.

For example, if you set your Help Center to support English, German, and French, you should create article in each for these languages. Once that's done, your customers will be able to view the content in their preferred language. 
Please keep in mind that an article that is not published for a specific language will not exist in that language's version of your help center whatsoever. Also, if the category (or any section) is not translated, but the article is published, the category will be displayed in the default language.

To setup manual translation
  1. Go to Setup > Channels > Help Center
  2. In the left panel, under Help Center, select Languages 
  3. In the Languages page, select the Translation Type as Manual.

The steps to manual translation are: 

Translating a Category 

A category is the root-folder of your knowledge base. This should be translated before translating the articles within it. 

To translate a category
  1. Go to the Knowledge Base (KB) module.
  2. In the left panel, go to Manage KB > Organize Category
  3. Hover on the category that you would like to translate and then click the Edit icon.
    The codes for the languages that have been added to your help center will be displayed.
  4. On the Edit Category page, do the following:
    1. Select a language for the translation you want to add
    2. Enter the translated name and description for the category
    3. Repeat this process for each language you’d like to enter for this category
  5. Click Save.
  6. Repeat steps 4 to 6 for the rest of your knowledge base categories.

Translating a Section 

Sections are used to organize related articles under a category so that your end users can easily find what they are looking for. Once you've translated the category, try doing the same for the sections underneath it.

To translate sections
  1. Go to the Knowledge Base (KB) module.
  2. In the left panel, click Manage KB > Organize Category
  3. Click on a category to navigate to the sections underneath it.
  4. Click the More icon ( ) corresponding to a section or a subsection and then click Edit.
  5. On the Edit Section page, do the following:
    1. Select a language for the translation you want to add
    2. Enter the translated name for the section
    3. Repeat this process for each language you’d like to enter for this section
  6. Click Save.
  7. Repeat steps 5 to 7 for the rest of your category's sections.

Translating an Article 

After translating your help center categories and sections, you can easily create multiple languages of a given article. For each article, there are a few different properties you can manage for every language:
  1. Published state (unpublished vs. published)
  2. Article Status (updated vs. outdated)
  3. Language (default vs. additional)
The articles list shows a color-coded status for each of your articles so you can easily see which articles need translating, those that are published, and those still in draft.



Adding a Translated Article Without Versions in Another Language

To add a translated article
  1. Go to Knowledge Base (KB) module.
  2. In the Category Home page, click the Add icon from the top panel.
    The Add Article page will open with the default language selected.
  3. In the Add Article page, do the following:
    1. Change the language of the article from the list at the top of the page, if necessary.
      Note that it is not mandatory to publish the article in the default language.
    2. Enter the content into the page. For example — title, description, meta tags, etc.
    3. When you're done, do one of the following:
      1. Click Save as Draft to save your article translation as a draft.
      2. Click Publish to publish your article translation.
        You can also preview how the article will look to your end customers by pressing the
        Preview button.

Adding a Translated Version of an Existing Article

After publishing an article in your default language, you must switch to the language you’d like to add a translation for. You can do this either from the list view or the article's detail page. Please keep in mind that adding translated versions of articles is optional. For example, if an article is only relevant for end users who speak a particular language, you can publish it in just that language. Let's see how you can add translation from the list view.
  1. Go to Knowledge Base (KB) module.
  2. On the Article List page, click the Language icon ( ) in the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Click the color-coded language (enclosed in a circle) corresponding to the article you want to add a translation for.
    Ideally, this will be one of the languages circled in grey, for example,
  4. Enter the translated content into the page. For example — title, description, meta tags, etc.
  5. When you're done, do one of the following:
    1. Click Save as Draft to save your article translation as a draft.
      In which case the language indicator will appear like
      You can access this draft from under the All Drafts view.
    2. Click Publish to publish your article translation.
      In which case the language indicator will appear like
      You can also preview how the article will look to your end customers by pressing the Preview button.
Repeat this process for the other languages you’d like to translate the article into.

Article statuses in Zoho Desk 

The following table provides the key to different article statuses in Zoho Desk:

 Icons
 Published State
 Article Status
 Language

 Published and Draft in progress
 Up-to-date
 English | default

 Draft in progress
 Up-to-date
 English | default

 Published
 Up-to-date
 English | non-default 

 Draft in progress
 Up-to-date
 English | non-default

Missing this language
 Not applicable
 English | non-default

 Published
 Out-of-date
 German | non-default

 Draft in progress
 Out-of-date
 Japanese | non-default

Setting up Auto Translation 

In auto-translation type, the articles will be translated automatically into the languages preferred. If you still wish to translate the articles to a few languages manually, those languages can be configured for manual translation.

The article drafted in the default language will be considered as Master Article. The master article can be requested for auto-translation during publishing. Translation of the article will be carried out for the particular version in which it was requested. For example, if translation is requested for version 2.0, the translation will be done only for the content in that version. Making further changes to Master Article will not affect the translated articles unless an auto-translation is requested after the changes. After the translation is done, it will be stored as a draft and this needs to be published manually. Auto-translation will be applied to the:
  • Article Title
  • Content
  • Tags
  • SEO Title
  • Meta Description
  • Meta Keywords 
Note: The categories, sections, and sub-sections of your Knowledge Base need to be manually translated as mentioned in the manual translation section.
 Auto-translation of articles can be done using on of the following translation engines. 
  1. Google translate
  2. Unbabel
  3. Zia
Corresponding authentication details like username and apikey are required if Google Translate or Unbabel is chosen. To know how to create google translator apikey, refer to Getting the Google Translator API Key. For Unbabel, please check with your unbabel account and obtain the corresponding apikey.

To setup auto-translation
  1. Go to Setup > Channels > Help Center.
  2. In the left panel, under Help Center, select Languages.
  3. Select the Default Language from the drop-down menu.
  4. Enable the Multilingual toggle.
  5. In Translation Type, select Automatic.
  6. Select anyone of the three translation extensions.
  7. Provide the corresponding apikey if Google Translate or Unbabel is chosen.

  8. Click the language icon ().

  9. Select the languages in which you want to auto-translate the articles.
    Note: Among the additional languages mentioned in the multilingual support, only the languages supported by the selected translation extension will be displayed here.
  10. Click Save.
To auto-translate a newly created article
  1. Go to the Knowledge Base module.
  2. Click the Add icon on the top panel.
    The Add Article page will open in the default language.
  3. Enter the article title, content, tags, and SEO details.
  4. Select Publish and translate from the drop-down at the top.
    The article will be published in the default language and translation to additional languages will be in progress.

  5. Click the languages drop-down to know the status of the auto-translation.
  6. Click the particular language that shows Updated, to view the translated draft article.
  7. Select Publish.
  8. Click History of the respective language's article to refer to its auto-translation logs.
  9. The version of the master article from which it was translated will also be logged in its history.

Restarting Translation

If the translation fails for any language, then it will be shown in its status as Auto-translation failed. You can restart translation for such cases. 
To restart translation
  1. In the article, click the languages drop-down to know the status of the auto-translation.
  2. Click the status of the failed translation language.
  3. Select Restart Translation.

    When auto-translation of an article is in progress, you cannot request for another translation for the same article. However, the master article can still be updated and published without being translated.
Note: Mass publish of master articles can be carried out even if translation in additional languages is in progress. 
Marking Articles Out-of-date

Marking Articles Outdated 

When you re-publish an article in the default language, the best practice is to mark the translated articles outdated. This helps you keep track of the articles that need to be updated.
This option will be available for articles that needs manual translation of additional languages. Here, the user needs to mark the manually translated languages as outdated.

Note: This is not applicable for articles having languages with only auto-translation.

 To mark versions of an article as outdated

    1. Go to Knowledge Base module

    2. Open the article which needs to be edited

    3. Click edit on the top panel.

    4. Make the changes.

    5. Select Publish and translate or Publish from the drop-down at top.


      The outdated articles can be updated any time to match with the changes of Master Article.

To update outdated versions from the article
  1. Open the outdated version of the article.
  2. Click edit on the top panel.
  3. Make the changes if any.
  4. Click Mark as up-to-date on the right panel.
  5. Click Publish if you like to publish the version.

To update outdated versions from the KB
  1. Go to Knowledge Base module.
  2. In the list view, click Outdated corresponding to the article.
    A window listing the outdated languages of the article will open.
  3. Select the languages you want to mark as up-to-date.
  4. Click Mark up-to-date.

View Article Status by Language

The translated versions of articles can be saved as a draft, set with an expiry, or marked as outdated. With so many statuses to update and monitor, it is essential to organize articles by their language. And Zoho Desk enables you to do just that. You can quickly view the publishing status of articles like outdated, expired, drafts, etc. for a specific language. You can select the required language from the language selector drop-down menu and view the entire knowledge base in the chosen language.

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