Manage multiple languages

Including one or multiple sets of translations for your surveys can make it easier for both data collectors and respondents to understand your survey questions. The translation steps listed in this topic are specifically about the languages supported by your form. To learn more about the behaviour of each of the apps of Survey123 in relation to language settings, see Supported languages.

Translate survey questions

The process for including translations for your survey questions in ArcGIS Survey123 is as follows:

  1. Add a column to your survey worksheet and name it label:: followed by the name and two-character code used to identify the language, with the code in parentheses, for example, label::Español (es).

    For a list of language codes that XLSForm accepts and will display in your form, see the list of ISO 639-2 codes. For a list of language codes that not only display in your form but will also trigger the options, menus, buttons, and other user interface elements in the apps of Survey123 to change when the language is selected, see Supported languages.

  2. For each question to be translated, type the translated text in this column.
  3. Repeat for each additional language.
Create a label column for each language.

Translate hints and constraint messages

Hints are translated the same way as labels.

  1. Add a column to your survey worksheet and name it hint:: followed by the name and code used to identify the language, for example, hint::Español (es).
  2. For each hint to be translated, type the translated text in this column.
  3. Repeat for each additional language.
Create a hint column for each language.

The constraint message that appears when a constraint is not adhered to can also be translated using a column such as constraint_message::Español (es). Guidance hints can be translated using a column such as guidance_hint::Español (es).

Note:

Guidance hints are not supported in the Survey123 web app.

Translate choice lists

You can also provide translations for the options in your choice lists.

  1. Add a column to your choices worksheet and name it label:: followed by the name and code used to identify the language, for example, label::Español (es).
  2. For each option to be translated, type the translated text in this column.
  3. Repeat for each additional language.
Create a label column for each language.

Translate images and media

Translated images can also be provided across languages.

  1. Add a column to your survey or choices worksheet and name it image:: followed by the name and code used to identify the language, for example, image::Español (es).
  2. For each image to be translated, place the translated image in the survey's media folder, and type its file name in the new column.
  3. Repeat for each additional language.
Create an image column for each language.

Audio files attached to a question or choice can be translated similarly with an audio:: column, such as audio::Español (es).

Translate survey title

The title that appears at the top of your survey can also be translated.

  1. Add a note question to your survey and name it generated_note_form_title.
  2. Enter the translated survey title in a column named label:: followed by the name and code used to identify the language, for example, label::Español (es).
  3. Repeat for each additional language.

Default languages other than English

If you intend to use a survey with non-English labels on a device with a locale that is set to English, there is a subtle difference in behavior depending on how the non-English language is identified. The default column titled label can contain text in any language, and this content is displayed for the labels of your questions by default. In most cases, this works as expected. In some cases, you may see right-to-left text displayed from left to right, or dates, currency, and calendars displayed in English.

To ensure the best translation experience, it is recommended that you do the following:

  • Ensure all text columns (labels, hints, and messages) have the language's name and code in their titles, for example, label::Español (es).
  • Define a default_language setting on the settings tab.

When you use a language code from the Supported languages list, Survey123 not only ensures that the text you include in your spreadsheet is displayed as expected but also uses the locale preferences to display the expected numbers, currency values, and calendar pickers.

Switch languages in Survey123 Connect

To switch languages for your survey in Survey123 Connect, open the menu and choose from the list of available languages. If no translations have been supplied, no languages are listed.

To switch languages in the Survey123 web app, click the language selection in the upper area of the window to choose from the list of available languages. If no translations have been supplied, the language selection is not displayed.