International Guru clients have built out their knowledge base in multiple languages. Collection Owners and Authors can create Guru Cards in any language. Below are four examples, along with some pros and cons, of various ways these clients organize the same knowledge in different languages within Guru.
Examples of Localized Knowledge Structures
1. Create all Cards in English (or another default language). Include a translation of the Card's content in an additional language, below the English.
For example, an English and Spanish Card might be titled: "Tips to maintain knowledge in several languages / Mantener los conocimientos en varios idiomas". Add the English version of the content at the top of the Card. Add translations of the same content in a different language below, for reference.
English-language Card content, and any additional translations of that content, can be found in one place.
It's easy to update Card content in multiple languages all at once.
The Card's Verifier must be able to verify all translations contained within the Card, or, a group of Verifiers must work out who is responsible for each language per Card.
2. Create Cards in multiple languages. Organize Cards in language-based Collections.
Each country/region manages the dedicated Collections with Card content in their language. If English is the originating language, circulate a list of required Cards to a manager in each region for Card translation and ongoing verification. Alternatively, if each manager speaks English, they can collaborate directly with a central knowledge manager whenever there is a change to the English version Card.
Access is easy to manage. Grant Collection permission based on user location or service language.
Card search is language agnostic. Results are purely based on the language of the search query.
Different language versions can be linked using Guru Card-to-Card linking.
A single Card cannot live in multiple Collections.
Viewing different language versions of a Card may be challenging, depending on permissions. Card-to-card links will appear “broken” when a user does not have permission to see the linked Card.
The responsibility is on the Authors and Collection Owners to keep all translated versions of Cards up-to-date.
Larger teams might find it difficult to maintain and organize Tags.
3. Create Cards in multiple languages. Organize Cards in Collections by Team. Leverage language Tags to enable filtering search results based on Tags.
In cases where (English-speaking) Guru users answer questions in other languages they aren't fluent in, help center articles sync into Guru (for all languages) and are tagged with the English title so that English speakers can identify the appropriate language article to use in their response. Knowledge Syncs can be leveraged if every language is centrally maintained.
Users can easily filter search results using language Tags ("Español", "English", etc.).
Admins and Collection Owners cannot restrict access to Cards in different languages by Board or by Tag.
Search results can be cluttered with Cards in other languages if users do not use Tags to filter search results.
4. Use a combination of tiering, translation software, and internal escalation.
At a major gaming company, all Tier 1 issues are translated using software and handled in English by a Tier 1 support team. If an issue is escalated, it is handled by a native speaker of the language. When a Card is published from a support ticket, it is translated by that same software into every available language. Native-speakers review the Guru cards that were auto-translated and add any additional cultural or customer-specific context not captured by machine translation.
A tiered support model can save costs.
It's possible vital context, specific to how different language speakers experience the issue, is not captured or is captured later.
Tips for forming a localization strategy
Localization is a continuous process as knowledge changes and becomes more complex over time. Choose a structure that will grow as your business grows, while ensuring knowledge can be reliably verified by a fluent speaker promptly.
Determine which markets, languages, and knowledge to build out first and expand from there over time, based on priority.
Tips for tagging Cards in multiple languages
Typing in a search term with an accent or without an accent may alter your search results, depending on whether the searched accent appears in the Tag.
Frequently Asked Questions about maintaining knowledge in several languages
Can I translate the Guru Web App and Chrome Extension into another language?
Guru is built in English. Translating the language of the Guru Web App and Chrome Extension into a language other than English is not supported by Guru. However, Chrome offers a workaround to change the language of your Chrome browser.
Does Guru support input method editors (IME)?
If you're having trouble using an IME Keyboard (i.e. writing in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc.), try authoring your content outside of Guru, then, copy/paste your content into your Guru Card. Additionally, the Knowledge Clipper can be used to input this type of content.
Does Guru support direct translation?
Guru's Web App does not support direct translation. As a workaround and if a direct translation is sufficient without any changes based on local nuances, you can use Workato or Zapier to automatically generate a new Guru Card containing a direct translation every time a new Card is created.
🏡Check this out in the Guru Community!
Learn how other teams built out their knowledge base in multiple languages and share your ideas in this thread.
📑 Related articles
Review how search results are sorted to optimize your Team's collective knowledge.