Supporting multiple languages

Localize content to support a wider audience

  • Adding translated text to templates

    You can display snippets of translated text within your Help Center page templates. The translated variant of the text changes dynamically based on the user’s selected language, which can be updated using a language selector.

    Examples of where you can use translated text include:

    • A welcome message on the Home page
    • A company tag line
    • Service alerts and notifications
    • Legal notices and disclaimers

    Many of the pre-built page elements used in Help Center are already localized. For example, the element that lets users vote on an article displays “Was this article helpful?” in English and “Cet article vous a-t-il été utile?” in French.

    For a list of available pre-translated strings, see the translation helper in the Help Center Templates docs.

    Custom translated text uses the dynamic content feature in Support.

    Specifying the language variants of the text in Support

    You specify the language variants of a snippet of text on the Manage > Dynamic Content page in Zendesk Support. For instructions, see Providing multiple language support with dynamic content.

    For example:

    Dynamic content item

    Add the content in the same language variants as the languages you support on your Help Center. If you don’t specify a variant for a language, nothing will be displayed in that language in the Help Center.

    For example, suppose your Help Center supports English and French for a Canadian website. Add English and French variants of each snippet of text.

    Dynamic content variants

    Make a note of the item name. You’ll need it for the following step. In the previous example, the placeholder is {{dc 'welcome_message'}}, so the item name is “welcome_message”.

    Inserting the dynamic content in a template in Guide

    Insert your text variants in Help Center templates with the dynamic content helper. When the page is requested by a web browser, the template helper inserts the appropriate text variant.

    Do not include Curlybars in your dynamic content. Curlybar expressions placed inside dynamic content will not render correctly in Help Center, but will instead appear as text.

    1. In Guide, click the Customize design icon (Customize icon) in the sidebar.

    2. Click the theme you want to edit to open it.

    3. Click Edit Code.

      Edit code

    4. In the Templates section, click the template you want to modify.

      The page opens in the code editor.

    5. Add the dynamic content in your template using the dynamic content helper. Example:

        {{dc 'welcome_message'}}

      If the dynamic content is missing a variant, then the default variant will be used when that locale is viewed in Help Center. Guide managers, however, will see an error message for dynamic content that does not have a variant for the current locale when they edit the Help Center theme.

    6. To save your changes, click Save at the top of the sidebar.

    For more information on working with templates, see Working with the page code.

  • Adding translations to sections and categories

    Any translated article must have a parent page translated in the same language. If you add a translation for an article that does not have a corresponding translation for the section or category, users will not be able to view the article in Help Center (even though the article is published).

    The page hierarchy is as follows:

    • Category landing page
    • Section landing page
    • Article.

    For example, if you add an article translated in German, the article must have a German section page. In turn, the German section page must have a German category page. The Help Center cannot display orphan articles.

    When localizing your Help Center, it makes sense to start by adding localized versions of category pages, followed by section pages, followed by articles. This workflow guarantees that any new translated article has a parent section or category page that’s translated into the same language so that users can view it.

    You must be a Guide Manager to add section and category translations.

    To add a translated title for a section or category

    1. In Guide, navigate to an existing section or category.

    2. Click Edit section or Edit category in the top menu bar.

      Edit section

    3. Select a language for the translation you want to add from the list at the top of the page.

      Localize section

      If you do not see a drop-down menu of languages, then you first need to enable languages for your Help Center (see Enabling languages for your Help Center).

    4. Enter or paste the translated content for the name and (optionally) description.

      Keep in mind that any translated page must have a parent page translated in the same language. After you add the translation for the parent page, you can click Refresh and it will take up to three minutes before the change is registered.

      You’ll see a warning if you add a translation for a section that does not have a corresponding translation for the category. As a best practice to prevent these warnings, create the translated categories first, then go through and translate the sections.

    5. Click Update translation to create the translated version of the page.

    6. Repeat the steps to add more translated pages.