Multilingual Chatbots: 5 Tips from Translation Company Experts

language, multilanguage, chatbot

What is a multilingual chatbot?

A multilingual chatbot is a chat application that can converse with users using multiple languages. It is a bot in the sense that it does not rely on an operator to give out responses to users. It gives out the replies automatically, based on the queries of the users. It is a simple form of AI but its benefits are substantial. It allows an organization to provide support to a diverse audience without spending too much on resources which can be very costly.

Providing support for several languages without a multilingual chatbot would normally mean hiring agents who speak the languages that are supposed to be supported. Not to mention the cost of the infrastructure to back up a team like that. Developing a chatbot can be expensive, but it will be more cost-effective in the long run than maintaining an entire team of experts who will deal with your clients. That might even mean hiring an entire call center or even building a facility.

International users want a multilingual customer experience 

If you are dealing with international customers, it is necessary that you provide them with a multilingual customer experience. Even your clients who speak English as a second language might prefer and definitely appreciate being able to interact using their native language. It motivates them to learn more about your product or service. Another important reason why a multilingual customer experience should be provided is that it makes it easy for customers to get the information that they need about the service or product that they are asking about.

Translation company sector’s tips in creating a customized multilingual chatbots 

Creating a multilingual chatbot is a complicated process with multiple aspects. One crucial aspect is the language component. 

For this, a company focused on translation can provide useful tips and insights. But not all companies that deliver this service can handle chatbot projects; Tomedes, a translation company, is knowledgeable in multilingual chatbots because it has worked with businesses building those platforms. 

The company reveals that it’s important to be clear about the purpose of the chatbot right from the beginning. Will it be answering questions about the service or will it be used for replying to technical questions?

Another translation company, TransPerfect, revealed that creating a list of possible questions of users will be a shortcut when translating a chatbot. It’s relatively easy to predict what the most used questions will be.

Up next are the five tips that can be used when translating a multilingual chatbot.

1. Create multilingual chatbots that can detect the user’s Language

Chatbots are rudimentary AIs and their main advantage is their independence from human intervention. Once up and running they can operate and provide information needed by users while not needing any guidance from an operator. Part of the reason why it’s considered to be an AI is because the response it will provide is entirely dependent on the question of the user. Now, another level of independence that should be built-in into a chatbot is the capability of detecting the language of the user.

A chatbot might be capable of interacting with different languages but if it cannot recognize the language it’s supposed to communicate in then everything else will be useless. This means one of the must-have features of a chatbot is the ability to accurately recognize the language being used by a user. It should be able to do that seamlessly, without any perceivable delay in the response which can frustrate users.

2. Can multilingual chatbots detect the user’s language?

The short answer is yes. There are several ways by which a chatbot can detect the language of the user. There are the pre-translated chatbots of which there are two types. The first type uses  selection/filtering. Under this model the user is prompted to select the language when they try to interact with the site. The second type is the IP based chatbot which defaults to a specific language based on the user’s IP. 

Then there are the chatbots that are equipped with Natural Language Processing or NLP. In simple terms, NLP is a form of AI which allows the bots to detect a language based on the text input. These chatbots can understand the actual intent of the user based on the text input allowing for more natural responses to be given.

3. The best chatbots with built-in multilingual features

There are numerous chatbots that are available now and many of them have enough AI features that will make them useful in building multilanguage platforms. Here are some of the best AI chatbots now:

  • Netomi
  • atSpoke
  • WP-Chatbot
  • Zendesk Answer Bot

There are other AI chatbot platforms that are worth checking out when you are building your own platform. These are the most well-known ones now.

4.  How to build multilingual chatbots

The success of the chatbot mainly rests on the conversational design. This is how it communicates and interacts with users. This becomes even more complicated when you are trying to create a multilingual chatbot from scratch. It’s easier if you are building a pre-translated  chatbot since it is just a matter of selecting the language but with chatbots that rely more on AI, those should be trained. For more information on how to build the right chatbot, you can check out the article entitled, How to Create and Build Your Perfect Chatbot

5. Test and then test some more

The only way that you can be sure if the chatbot is working is to test it. So, once you have a prototype, start running tests. If your chatbot uses pre-translated content then it’s easier to test. If it relies on NLP then you need to test extensively going through different scenarios. 

Building a multilingual chatbot with the help of a translation company

Creating your own multilingual chatbot can be a worthy investment as it helps to boost the user experience on your website. User experience might not be everything in e-commerce but it accounts for a great deal. A translation company can help you in improving the user experience of your chatbot. That can help increase your sales and it can also increase your overall customer satisfaction.


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