Messaging Translations

CommCare supports translating any text send out in SMS reminders, keywords and broadcast messages.  There are two main elements to an SMS system that need to be translated:

  • Any text that you include in SMS reminders or in an SMS survey. An SMS project can be configured to support multiple languages.  If you're using SMS surveys, you'll also need to configure the CommCare application that contains the surveys into any languages you require. 
  • The default text we send out for errors, or other default responses.  These are Messaging translations and can also be translated into the language of your choice.

Configuring Languages for an SMS Project

There are two places that you need to configure the languages for an SMS project:

  • Under the Messaging tab, on the Languages page.  You should add any languages your project needs to support here.  When sending an SMS message reminder or broadcast message, you'll be able to provide specific text for each language here. 
  • If you're using SMS surveys, in your application that contains the SMS surveys, also add any languages that your project needs to support.  Then when creating your SMS forms, you'll be able to provide specific text for each language. 

Choosing the Language for a Mobile Worker

If you're sending SMS messages to a mobile worker, you can choose the language they receive these messages on the mobile worker edit page.  

Note that if you don't provide messaging translations for the mobile worker's chosen language, they will just receive messages in your project's default language. 

Choosing the Language for a Case

When registering or updating a case, you can add a specific case property to indicate the desired language for that case.  The case property should be named language_code and its value should be the language code (ex. fra) for the case.  This should match the language codes specified in the SMS language page and the application.

Setting Default Translations

There are a number of built-in messages that CommCareHQ can send to users (i.e. invalid keyword, or an invalid response to a survey question).  These are also translatable to the user's desired language. 

  1. Go to the Messaging tab, Languages page and make sure your desired languages are specified there, and a default language is set. 
  2. Then go to the Messaging Translations tab and choose "Download Messaging Translations"
  3. In the Excel file, you can translate any messages into your desired language.  NoteCommCareHQ doesn't support accents in these messages so they will need to be removed from any text.  For French users, the Messaging translations are here: translations.xlsx

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