How to incorporate multi-language text

Did you know that organizations can use ThruText to text in other languages and alternate character sets all the time? As long as you have a keyboard that can write different alphabets, you can paste those characters into ThruText. Currently, our interface only has an English language version, but we have admins with Spanish-speaking volunteers using Google Chrome's ability to translate our page with some success. You can read more about that on Google's support page. 

You can also download the Google Translate Chrome browser extension from this page, and when you go to a webpage to translate, you can click on the extension at the top bar and click "TRANSLATE THIS PAGE" to change the text to the preferred language. However, please be aware that Google Translate isn't always accurate! 

This is an example of what the page would look like:Conversations page showing multi-language use

NOTE - Since a GetThru account requires logging in for access, the Google Translate website tab will commonly give an error if attempting to access via that page; however, this error does not occur when using the Google Translate browser extension, as detailed above.

Here are some other best practices when texting in multi-languages or with alternate characters:

  • Be careful about assuming you know which language your audience speaks. Unless you are 100% sure they are mono-lingual Spanish, Korean, etc. (meaning they have checked a box or otherwise chosen a preference for that language), you may want to include a phrase in the other language that indicates you can communicate in that language too.
  • For example, a Spanish language text might end with — "If you prefer English, let us know."
  • Or an English text to someone who might prefer Spanish — "¿Prefieres Español?"
  • If they do prefer the other language, be ready to re-send the original message (via a recommended reply) in the preferred language.
  • Some people send the entire message in both languages, but we find this to be a bit clunky. Also, long messages can affect deliverability.
  • Keep an eye on your script length. It can be harder to keep it to a reasonable 1-2 segments when using special character sets due to encoding necessities
  • Depending on your long-term goals, you may want a survey question that captures language preference.
As special characters will increase the total amount of segments needed to send a message, your organization can consider sending an messages as MMS, as it may reduce your costs.