With our translation tool, you can have a true multilingual survey with multiple translated languages! While we wish this was a process that automatically translated your survey to any language, anyone who's ever used an online translation tool knows they can be great for single words but begin to lose the thread when they're tasked with an entire sentence or paragraph of text. With that in mind, we've tried to make this manual process as painless as possible.
This getting started guide to creating survey translations in Alchemer will walk you through what you need to know to get started setting up multilingual surveys. There are several things to consider before you even create a survey so be sure to give this a read!
How Translations Work In Alchemer
Let's start by discussing how translations work in Alchemer. We'll discuss the basic, default settings and options to customize the default settings and behavior.
Understanding Default Language
The first thing to know is that your survey has a default language. This is the version of the survey that you are working with on the Build tab in Alchemer. By default, the default survey language is set to English. You can change your default survey language on a survey or project level. Before you do so though, make sure to read the considerations below!
Once you've built out your survey in whichever default language you chose, you can then begin adding language translations to the survey via the Text & Translations tool. Before you do so though, it is important to understand how Alchemer decides what language to display to your survey respondents.
Understanding What Language Displays When Respondents Access Your Link
The second aspect of a basic multilingual survey that is important to understand is how Alchemer decides what version of the survey to display when a respondent accesses your survey.
By default, the language of all survey share links are set to Auto. This means that Alchemer will automatically detect the language preference that is set by the respondent in his or her browser. If a translated version of the survey matching that language is available, it will display the translated survey in that language. If there is no matching language translation available Alchemer will display the default survey language.
Below is a table with more detail about how the default Auto language setting works. Again, there are several customizations that you can make to control this experience for your respondents which we'll cover below.
|Available Survey Translations: An Example||Respondent's Browser Language Preference||Link Language Setting||Language Displayed to Respondent|
Considerations For Multilingual Survey
Default Survey Language
As we discussed above, your survey's default language is the version of the survey that will display if your survey does not have a language version that matches a given respondent's browser preference. For this reason, you may want to change your survey's default language. Check out our Change Default Survey Language Tutorial to learn more!
It is important to consider your planned share method when creating multilingual surveys. Depending on how you plan to share your survey you may need to provide extra translations or build out extra share links. Check out our Share Options for Translated Surveys Tutorial to learn more!
Best Practice Tip: Steps for Creating a Multilingual Survey
For best results, please follow these best practice steps when creating a multilingual survey.
- Create a Survey.
- Decide on your Default Language and change it if you wish. Check out our Change Default Survey Language Tutorial to learn how!
- Build out your survey questions in your default language on the Build tab.
- Test your default language survey and get approval from your colleagues and stakeholders as far as the questions included in the survey.
- Decide how you will share your translated survey. (This comes before actually creating your translated versions as the translations needed may be affected by your share method). Check out our Share Options for Translated Surveys Tutorial to learn about your options!
- Create translated versions of your survey. Check out our Translate Your Survey Tutorial for more info!
- Set up your share method. Check out our Share Options for Translated Surveys Tutorial for steps!
- Test, test, test! Be sure to test all translation versions of your survey to ensure that there are no blank answer options. You'll also want to test various language browser settings. Changing browser language setting varies per browser. Access your browser's help menu to learn how to change this.
- Share your translated survey!
Can Alchemer translate my survey for me?
Nope. You'll need to do the translations yourself. Check out our Translate Your Survey Tutorial to learn how!
How many translations can Alchemer handle?
Alchemer has 200 available languages for translation. Check out our list of available languages.
How do I translate messages and buttons and such?
The messages, buttons and other instructional text in your survey is available for translation on the Messages tab of each language version you create. If you'd like to save these standard message translations for future multilingual surveys check out our tutorial on Reusing Translations for Standard Messages.
Please note: Dropdown Menu Grid question type answer options are not currently available for translation.
Chinese (Hong Kong)
English (South Africa)
Spanish (United States)
Inside of our Translations tool, you have the ability to add multiple languages to your survey. When respondents visit a survey that is using the Auto language setting, their browser will pass a 2 or 4 digit language code to indicate the users preferred language.
- Two Letter Codes are your basic languages such as English (en), or French (fr).
- Four Letter Codes are your dialects such as French - Canadian (fr-ca), or English - US (en-us).
Within Alchemer Translation tool, you have the ability to select dialects of certain languages. Before using these dialects through, there are a few things you should know.
Do Languages Dialects work on all browsers?
In individual links set to that language, yes. When links are set to auto-detect, not necessarily. Different browsers support different dialects and will code them differently depending on the browser type. Some browsers may define a language different from the standard language code that's used for it.
For Example, Chinese Traditional will transmit a different language code to your survey depending on the browser of the respondent. Some browsers such as Firefox and IE consider Chinese Traditional to be Chinese Hong Kong (zh-hk). However, other browsers such as Chrome consider Chinese Traditional to be Chinese Taiwan (zh-tw). This means that if you're trying to translate your survey into Chinese (Hong Kong), you may need to also fill out the language Chinese (Taiwan) so that Chrome users taking your survey will still be able to see the language you intended.
Language Dialect Codes/Browser Compatibility
When auto-detecting a language on a browser, Alchemer will display a particular language based off the language code that is being passed to it.