Translation

LAST EDIT Oct 08 2021

Chat messages can be translated on-demand or automatically, this allows users speaking different languages on the same channel.

Message Translation Endpoint

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This API endpoint translates an existing message to another language. The source language is inferred from the user language or detected automatically by analyzing its text. If possible it is recommended to store the user language, see "Set user language" section later in this page.

The endpoint returns the translated message, updates it and sends a message.updated event to all users on the channel.

Only the text field is translated, custom fields and attachments are not included.

i18n data

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When a message is translated, the i18n object is added. The i18n includes the message text in all languages and the code of the original language.

The i18n object has one field for each language named using this convention language-code_text

Here is an example after translating a message from english into French and Italian.

Automatic translation

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Automatic translation translates all messages immediately when they are added to a channel and are delivered to the other users with the translated text directly included.

Automatic translation works really well for 1-1 conversations or group channels with two main languages.

Let's see how this works in practice:

  1. A user sends a message and automatic translation is enabled

  2. The language set for that user is used as source language (if not the source language will be automatically detected)

  3. The message text is translated into the other language in used on the channel by its members

When using auto translation, it is recommended setting the language for all users and add them as channel members

Enabling automatic translation

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Automatic translation is not enabled by default. You can enable it for your application via API or CLI. You can also enable auto translation on a channel basis.

Set user language

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In order for auto translation to work, you must set the user language or specify a destination language for the channel using the auto_translation_language field (see previous code example).

Messages are automatically translated from the user language that posts the message to the most common language in use by the other channel members.

Caveats and limits

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  • Translation is only done for messages with up to 5,000 characters. Blowin' In The Wind from Bob Dylan contains less than 1,000 characters

  • Error messages and commands are not translated (ie. /giphy hello)

  • When a message is updated, translations are recomputed automatically

  • Changing translation settings or user language have no effect on messages that are already translated

Available Languages

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Language name

Language code

Afrikaans

af

Albanian

sq

Amharic

am

Arabic

ar

Azerbaijani

az

Bengali

bn

Bosnian

bs

Bulgarian

bg

Chinese (Simplified)

zh

Chinese (Traditional)

zh-TW

Croatian

hr

Czech

cs

Danish

da

Dari

fa-AF

Dutch

nl

English

en

Estonian

et

Finnish

fi

French

fr

French (Canada)

fr-CA

Georgian

ka

German

de

Greek

el

Hausa

ha

Hebrew

he

Hindi

hi

Hungarian

hu

Indonesian

id

Italian

it

Japanese

ja

Korean

ko

Latvian

lv

Malay

ms

Norwegian

no

Persian

fa

Pashto

ps

Polish

pl

Portuguese

pt

Romanian

ro

Russian

ru

Serbian

sr

Slovak

sk

Slovenian

sl

Somali

so

Spanish

es

Spanish (Mexico)

es-MX

Swahili

sw

Swedish

sv

Tagalog

tl

Tamil

ta

Thai

th

Turkish

tr

Ukrainian

uk

Urdu

ur

Vietnamese

vi