Writing Translation-Ready Employee Comms Campaigns


This guide is intended for administrators who have configured Multilingual Support with On-the-fly translation and are ready to leverage dynamic translation for employee communication campaigns. Learn more by reading OTF Employee Comms.

Authors of campaigns must follow these guidelines in order to minimize incorrect translations that may happen from English to various languages. Fundamentally, language translation is a challenge even for expert human translators so even state-of-the-art translation models aren't able to perform as intended, at times.


  1. Use proper grammar - including subject-verb agreement and proper verb tense.
    1. Poor English will produce poor translations.
  2. Use clear and concise language, and avoid ambiguity.
    1. Don’t use too many modifying adjectives or complex syntax.
    2. The denser your phrases are, the higher the chances that the machine translation will misinterpret them - a phrase like “record past time off” is difficult for a machine to parse.
    3. Never leave off direct objects. This may be grammatically impossible in the translation.
      1. ❌  It is encouraged to update by Friday.
      2. ✅ You are encouraged to update your operating system by Friday.
    4. Unintended ambiguity can create translation errors
      1. ❌ “User selected to resolve the issue” - “selected” here could mean “The user [who was] selected” or “The user [had] selected”
      2. ✅ The user chose to resolve the issue.
  3. Minimize idiomatic language.
    1. Especially avoid partial idioms
      1. ❌ “It’s been ages!”
      2. ✅ It’s been a long time since you sent me a message.
  4. Provide context for possibly niche terminology.
  5. Use consistent terminology
    1. Ex: If you use “employee” or “team member” always use the same term.
  6. Check for cultural sensitivity and avoid slang.
    1. Short greetings that feel fun and friendly in English often cause translation mistakes (usually because they are translated literally) - “Hey there!” gets translated as “Hey - There!”
    2. Custom terminology has the risk of being untranslatable - for example, at Moveworks, employees are called “Movesters”, and there aren’t any equivalents in other languages.
    3. Formality may translate differently across locales - i.e. informal English is friendly, but in translation it may cause offense in a business setting.
    4. Jokes involving plays on words won’t translate.
    5. Your carefully chosen emoji may mean something completely different in another culture.