As a Salesforce consultant, I rarely expect my French major to come in handy. Today, I put it to good use as I went to test out translation features in the Community Builder, known in French apparently as the “Générateur de communauté”, from inside the Winter ’16 Napili template. Here is what I learned:
You can translate template-based communities into many other languages.
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Chinese (Traditional)
Once additional languages have been enabled in the Site.com Studio, you will see a language picker appear in the Community Builder toolbar. By toggling from English to French, I am able to update the properties of the pages and lightning components to be in French. If I toggle back into English, I see the English version of those pages and lightning components. For example, I can rename my home page to ‘Accueil’ and the ‘Ask a Question’ button to ‘Posez une Question’. If you are building a community in a language you do not speak, expect to create a list of all labels to translate and pass it to a translator.
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It is recommended to create one community per language.
While you can translate all of the metadata (labels, topics, moderation criteria), if you mix languages in a single community, the data itself (e.g. conversations being had by the community) does not translate. This can make for a poor user experience. For example, if someone posted a question in Japanese, a language I regretfully do not speak, I would see their post in the community but not be able to make sense of it. Instead, build one community, clone it to create one for a different language (learn how in my last blog), enable the desired language in Site.com and then translate the template’s metadata. By having separate communities, each moderator has a unique place to manage their topics, recommendations, reputation levels and moderate the conversations happening in their community. It also gives flexibility for regional variation in layouts, images, topics and subtopics, data category access, etc. You may use different imagery to appeal to an audience in Japan than in the United States, for example, or may not offer the same products in all regions.
If you have good reason to create one community for multiple languages, it is definitely possible to do but takes a few more steps to setup. You will need to:
- Translate topics in the translation workbench
- Translate reputation level names in the translation workbench
- Translate user messages for moderation rules in the translation workbench
- Translate the navigation menu in the translation workbench
- Use a Visualforce email template to welcome new Community Members in their native language
- Create a custom channel for each language to allow community managers to allow you to target recommendations to users in their language. You’ll need to write code to add new users to the channel through the API.
Other things to remember if you are thinking of doing a single community for multiple languages:
- Each community sends the welcome email from a unique email address
- Each community sends the Chatter email with a single company logo and single, mailing address in the footer
- Users who have not logged in will see the community’s default language upon arriving at the community and can use the language picker to change into a different language. So if a Japanese user navigates to your community that is translated into English and Japanese, but the site’s default language is English, they will see the English version of the community and can switch over to Japanese using the language picker. Once a user is logged in, they will see the language indicated on their user record and the language picker is no longer visible.
Have other questions on translating your community? Post them here as comments!