Implementing translations


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Implement translations to configuration labels
  • Collect requirements in the Translation Workbook
  • Set up languages in Provisioning
  • Configure the Succession Data Model XML file in for translations
  • Implement translations in People Profile

Translation best practices

The following are important criteria for successful translation:

  • Appoint a translations lead who will act as single point of contact and be responsible for coordinating the translations across the different languages. The translations lead should be familiar with the modules being translated so they can explain the context to the translators as necessary.

  • Agree on the plan for the translations process with the project team, including deliverables, timelines, and resource availability.

  • Ensure that the testers are trained in how to navigate in the instance. The local testers must be familiar with the module or process so that they can validate the translations effectively.

  • Ensure that final configuration is signed off before translation work starts.

  • Ensure that there is cross-team coordination. Where multiple work streams are involved, ensure that common terms are agreed upon.

  • To prevent a slowdown in system performance (3 Tier), minimize customization of system texts.

  • Use one document (translation workbook) for all translations and feedback.

Translation process prerequisites

The following are important things to consider before you begin translations:

  • Get every detail finalized and tested in the default language (English) first.

    It is crucial that all configuration is complete before the start of translations. If your customer continues to make changes to functionality and the default (English) labels, it is impossible to keep the configuration workbook up-to-date. Finalize all labels and features and conduct sufficient testing before the start of translations.

  • The customer is responsible for providing translation, while the consultants provide the workbook.

    SAP SuccessFactors does not provide translation services. It is the customer’s responsibility to provide translations and test these translations against their configuration. Do not attempt to translate anything for the customer.

  • Review the SAP SuccessFactors Offerings per Language Pack and the Detailed Language Matrix on Partner Portal.

    These matrices show the module support and feature support per language pack. Not all modules or features are supported in all languages. Do not assume that the Writing Assistant, Spell Check, Legal Scan, and so on, are supported for all languages.

  • Get organized.

    It is in your best interest to be very organized when coordinating translations. Plan ahead to spend sufficient time gathering configured text and labels into the translation workbook file. Make sure that the customer has also planned ahead for all resources to be dedicated to translations and testing during this time. Be mindful of local holidays and vacation schedules. For example, many employees in China take extended holidays in January or February, and many employees in Germany take extended holidays in August. Ensure that everyone on the project has set aside the time to meet the project milestones. Stick to the plan. If you do not consolidate your documentation or milestones, it is extremely difficult to stay in control of the process.

Translation process overview

The steps in a typical translation process are as follows:

  1. The customer obtains a language pack.

  2. The customer obtains and opens up the translation workbook.

  3. The customer provides the translations.

  4. The consultant configures the translations provided by the customer.

  5. The customer tests the translations and provides sign-off.

Translation process

If you configure a module in the default language (English), you need to translate it. When you go to translate the label, you must go to the source where you configured it. The translation process for each module varies. For labels that are visible in People Profile, translations can come from the Succession Data Model, BCUI, Picklist Center, or Configure People Profile.

Language configuration elements

The elements of language configuration are as follows:

  • Default Language Pack

    Covers error messages, menus, rollover text, and so on. Basically, all the text you did not configure in the default language (English). The modification of text that belongs to the default language packs are not part of the translation project. We discourage customers from making too many requests to these system texts due to the fact that a key can be associated with a label appearing in different places in the instance and changing it in one place may not make sense somewhere else. Moreover, the system may be slower if there is too much text replaced. That said, the tool called Manage Languages can be used to modify system text.

  • XML Template Translation

    Covers all text that you configured in the default language (English). Template name, labels, and text are configured directly in the XML. Manage Templates offers some translation options, but these are not 100% equivalent to XML.

  • Admin Center Translation

    Text Replacement, Rating Scales, Route Maps, Configure Employee Files all control labels directly where you configured the default language (English).

  • In-App Translation

    Edits are made within the application. Home page tiles, the Help & Tutorials page, and theCompany Resources page are translated by an administrator directly on the page.

When configuring translations, do not forget to download backup copies before, during, and after you translate a file. If you are translating something directly in the application, you should save a copy in the configuration workbook before and after you translate the text.
When configuring translations, you will most likely have to use Open Office. This is because Microsoft Excel corrupts special characters within some languages. Open Office allows you to work with all of your files (particularly .csv) without corrupting characters. In addition, be aware that if you do not have all language packs properly installed on your computer, you may have issues working with some languages.

Language packs

The consultant verifies the language packs included in the contracts. The SuccessFactors Statement of Work or Schedule A documents list out the languages that the consultant is responsible for implementing

After a language pack is enabled, the language appears within Languages under the Settings menu.

Company Resources

To set the language for the Company Resources page, proceed as follows:

  1. On the Company Resources page, click the Edit icon.

  2. Choose the language.


During the implementation project, this can be a task to delegate to the customer project team in order to encourage the customer to learn more about the system.

Help and Tutorials

To set the language for the Help & Tutorials page, proceed as follows:

  1. On the Help & Tutorials page, choose the Edit icon.

  2. Choose the language.


Help and Tutorials feature will be deleted on November 15, 2024.

During the implementation project, this can be a task to delegate to the customer project team in order to encourage the customer to learn more about the system.

E-Mail Notification Templates

To set the language for a notification, proceed as follows:

  1. On the E-Mail Notification Templates screen, choose the notification type.

  2. In the right-hand pane, choose Switch to.

  3. Select the language.


During the implementation project, this can be a task to delegate to the customer project team in order to encourage the customer to learn more about the system.

Customer testing

The customer is responsible for testing the instance and consolidating all feedback or changes by the agreed upon due date. Consultants can provide guidelines, but customers are responsible for creating test scripts and conducting thorough testing. It is important for the customer to keep testers focused on the language only, and not consider any feedback about the configuration decisions or the process design. These topics are appropriate for iterative testing and user acceptance testing (UAT), but not for translation testing.

Implement translations

Business example

You want to implement some translations for configuration labels and test your changes in the instance.


  1. From Provisioning, activate the French language (fr_FR).

    1. Log into Provisioning, select the name of your company and go to Company Settings.

    2. Make sure that the checkbox for Language Packs is enabled or enable it if it is not already the case.

    3. Activate Français (French) SF French (fr_FR).

    4. Choose Save Feature, type your company ID, and choose confirm.

  2. Translate the word Region into Zone Géographique from the instance.

    1. In the Action Search enter Manage Business Configuration.

    2. Open the list of Standard Elements and select custom01.

    3. ChooseTake ActionMake Corrections.

    4. For the label, choose the globe icon.

    5. Add the words Zone Géographique for French.

      If the French Language is not available in Manage Business Configuration, go to Provisioning and create and run the job of type "Synchronize Business Configuration". For additional guidance on this aspect, review the exercise "Enable the Business Configuration UI and Setup Admin Permissions", point 2. 
    6. Choose Done and choose Save.

    7. Go to Provisioning and download the Succession Data Model to your desktop and open it with your favorite xml editor. Although you could continue to find and replace labels in the BCUI if you do it in XML you can use search and replace functionality to make the changes faster.

    8. Press the Ctrl+F combination on your keyboard to find the custom01 standard element and copy the code that was added for the French translation.

    9. Paste this code for custom02.

    10. Replace the label for custom02 in French with Situation Matrimoniale.

    11. Save your Succession Data Model as a new version.

    12. Import it in Provisioning.

  3. Add the translation for the ecMartitalStatus picklist from the Picklist Center.

    1. From the Action Search go to the Picklist Center.

    2. With the Picklist Search, find the ecMaritalStatus picklist.

    3. Edit the picklist by selecting ecMaritalStatus.

    4. Select each value and each time use the globe icon to translate the four labels into French:

      • Widowed = Veuf/Veuve

      • Single = Célibataire

      • Married = Marié(e)

      • Divorced = Divorcé(e)

    5. Choose Save for each French translation you add.

  4. Test the translation you implemented.

    1. From the name menu go to Settings.

    2. Choose Change Languages and select the radio button for Français (French), then choose Switch.

    3. From the main navigation menu, select Mon dossier d'employé.

    4. Choose the pen icon to see the different labels including those for the picklist.

    5. Choose Annuler and go back to the name menu. Choose Paramètres, then Changer de langue.

    6. Select the radio button for English US (English US) and choose Basculer.

The Translation Workbook

After receiving configuration sign-off, consultants are responsible for providing the translation workbook. The consultants fill out the template with the configured text and labels for their customer in the default language (English). A translation workbook template is available on PartnerEdgeImplementTools & AssetsTools & AssetsFoundationConfiguration Workbooks.

This is a good point in the translation process to make backup copies of all form templates, goal plan templates, data models, and other files to be translated. For areas that cannot be downloaded easily, take screenshots of the default language (English) text and save them all in one file.

Translation Workbook in detail

Workbooks are Microsoft Excel files with tabs for each template and module.

The consultant is responsible for filling out the workbook with the English or default language translations. Go through each template and list every field name, introductory text, and label that you configured. Put them in the workbook in the "English" column of the table. In each additional column header, enter the customer’s language packs. Repeat for every template and module that you are responsible for translating.

The Project Plan tab is provided if you want to enter the due dates for each milestone of the translation process.

The Testing Plan tab is provided for the customer to outline their test plan. SAP SuccessFactors does not provide test scripts for customers.

Review your customer’s configuration in the test instance from end to end, ensuring that you have not missed any text. It can be difficult to go back and retrieve additional translations that were missed.

Translation Workbook and HTML

If your configuration contains HTML, such as hyperlinks, bullets, and line breaks, be sure to highlight this text in a bold red font. Include instructions for all translators to leave this text intact and translate around it. If a translator happens to delete or overwrite your HTML, it is going to be impossible for you to re-create the proper HTML structure and there are going to be errors in your template.

Customer translation input

After completing the translation workbook, the next steps are as follows:

  1. Send the workbook to the customer by e-mail, or post the workbook to the customer’s SharePoint site.

  2. Provide the due date for workbook completion. Provide clear instructions for the customer to translate the text in each language and provide one consolidated file back to you by the agreed upon due date. You are not responsible for consolidating the translators’ responses. The customer must coordinate this and ensure that their translators are following your instructions.

  3. Customer must coordinate translations of all text in the workbook and maintain these translations in one file.

  4. Customer fills out the language translations and sends it back to the consultant.

  5. Review the workbook that the customer has provided keeping the following questions in mind:

    • Did the translators follow the instructions?

    • Did the translators translate all labels and text in all languages?

    • Did the translators have any questions or clarifications?

      Sometimes the translator wants to know the context of the word so that they can provide the correct translation (example: translating ‘Completed’ label for forms that have been signed and filed).

  6. If necessary, alert the customer of any translations that were missed, HTML that was corrupted, and so on. Do this before you begin working on configuration of the languages.

Translation configuration

When one file with all translations has been provided by the customer, you can begin to configure the translations. You configure the translation in a test instance. It is important that you always translate everything in the test instance before you move into the production environment.

Customer approval

When a customer requests a change to system text, or the inclusion of text that is not found within the workbook, the customer should use the Translation Feedback template that is available on SharePoint and Partner Portal. Ask the project team to verify all system text changes from language testers and ensure that the text is not listed somewhere in the workbook. The project team should also filter out changes that are not essential and communicate with their testers before sending you unnecessary requests.

The customer must provide you with the following:

  • A full-page screenshot of the areas where they see this text.

  • The current English text.

  • The current {LANGUAGE} text in its entirety. Full sentences or paragraphs are required.

  • Their proposed changes in entirety. Full sentences or paragraphs are required.

Remind customers that you do not speak all of the languages that they have purchased and therefore require very detailed requests with screenshots for all questions or system text changes. In addition, remind the customers that not all system text changes can be made.

Language packs in Provisioning

To find the list of language packs, log into Provisioning and choose Company Settings. When the instance is created through Auto-Provisioning, languages should be enabled automatically. If they are not enabled, select the checkbox next to the language packs that you must enable, and then choose Save.

XML template

For Goal Management translations, in the code (Goal Plan name, categories, field labels, and so on) when you find English text that was configured, copy the tag and add the relevant language tag, for example, lang="de_DE".

Employee file configuration

When you are configuring Employee Profile Translations, configure Standard Elements and Background Elements directly in the Succession Data Model. You must add a row with a label for each element. For background elements, every column label is also translated in the data model.

Copy and paste errors happen. Save and upload the data model frequently so that you do not spend a long time configuring only to receive an error message due to something that may not be easy to spot. At a minimum, you should back up your data model before, during, and after your translation work.

Implement Translations

Business Example: In this exercise you will learn, how to translate a data field name in the People Profile.



  1. Add a translation to a data field name.

    1. Log into your instance. Use Action Search to navigate to Manage Languages.

    2. Under Locale List click on "Manage List".

    3. Select "Français (French)" and click on "Save".

    4. Note that "Français (French)" is added to your languages in the column "Locale".

    5. Use Action Search to navigate to Manage Business Configuration.

    6. At the left side under "Employee Profile" click on the link "Standard" to collapse the column and click on "First Name".

    7. Click on "Take Action" and "Make Correction" and on the globus icon next to "Label".

    8. Enter "Prenom" in field next to "French (France)" and click on "Done" and on "Save".

    9. To test your translation, click on the name menu and on "Settings".

    10. Click on "Change Language", choose "Français ‎(French)" and click on "Switch".

    11. In the main menu click on "Mon dossier d'employé" and note, that "First Name" is translated to "Prenom".

    12. To switch back to English languages click on the name menu and on "Paramètres".

    13. Click on "Changer de langue", choose "English US (English US)" and click on "Basculer".


You have translated a data field name.

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