How to Translate Tons of Content Simultaneously Using Google Sheets by@chloespilotro

How to Translate Tons of Content Simultaneously Using Google Sheets

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Chloe Spilotro

I love all things content and martech 🧡

Estimated time: 15-30 minutes

If you have lots of content and are looking to translate it into multiple languages, this is the guide for you. In this walkthrough, you'll learn how to translate thousands of records of content into multiple languages quickly and easily using Google Sheets.

PS: You don’t have to be a tech wizard to do this!

There are 4 steps in this guide:

  • [ ]Export content to CSV
  • [ ]Upload CSV to Google Sheets
  • [ ]Create new sheet for translated content
  • [ ]Use Google Sheets Translation function

Et voila!

Before Getting Started

Every Content Management System (CMS) is different and this is a generic guide to using Google Sheets to translate large volumes of content. Before you get started, you'll want to review how to export content from your CMS.

For this guide, we'll be using demo site ZFLIX as an example. In our example, we'll export the Movies and Shows content model and translate this content to French.

Please keep in mind this uses the Google Translate API which may not be 100% accurate translations.

Step 1: Export content from your CMS.

This step varies as every CMS is different. Usually, exporting content from your CMS is fairly simple. We recommend visiting your CMS' documentation site (docs) and searching for "content export."

Most exports will come in a CSV format, which is what we want for this tutorial. If yours does not come in a CSV format, please convert your file to CSV before proceeding.

Pro tip: Does your CMS export to JSON? Convert JSON to CSV easily with this handy tool.

Step 2: Upload your export to Google Sheets.

This step you've likely done before. Take the CSV of content you've just exported and import it into Google Sheets.

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Make sure that when you import your CSV, you right click and open the file in Google Sheets. This will convert your CSV to a Google Sheets file, which we'll need for the next step.

Step 3: Create a new sheet for translated content.

Your uploaded file should look something like this:

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Your file may look slightly different based on what content was exported.

Create a new sheet using the + Button in the bottom left hand corner. With your blank sheet, you'll want to copy over just the content you want to translate.You'll also want to add a column in between, as that’s where your translated content will go.

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Step 4:  Translate content using Google Translate function.

This is the fun part! Use the Google Sheet's Translate function to translate content to your desired language.

=GOOGLETRANSLATE(reference, "[source_language_code", "target_language_code]")

Not sure what your source language code or target language code is? You can find the full list in Google's documentation here, but here are some common references:

Language

Language Code

English

en

Spanish

es

French

fr

Portuguese

pt-PT for Portugal, pt-BR for Brazil

German

de

Chinese

zh-CN

Japanese

ja

Hindi

hi

Russian

ru

Here's an example of one item being translated. Make sure to wrap your language codes in quotation marks, or else this formula won't work.

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Once you've got one, you can click on the corner of the translated cell and drag down, copying your formula to all of the cells you want to translate.

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Then after you've completed, your sheet should be fully translated. Remove the original content, and you've got a CSV of translated content ready to go!

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After translating all of your content, you’re able to use it as you please. You’ll likely want to export it back to CSV and re-import it to your CMS. Make sure everything looks good, publish all of your new pages, and sit back and relax now that you've successfully translated your content.

Et voila! You're done! Rinse and repeat for as many languages as you like.

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