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Multilingual Chatbot

What is a Multilingual Chatbot?

Multilingual Chatbots refer to chatbots that are configured to hold conversations with users in multiple languages. Such chatbots can prove to be exceptionally valuable tools for any organization. 

They become more valuable for organizations that deal with clients from different backgrounds. The most interesting thing is that these multilingual chatbots are able to hold entire conversations with users in the language selected, instead of just translating words and phrases into English and translating replies back into the language selected.

Multilingual chatbots can be extremely beneficial for social justice & charity organizations that work with and for marginalized & impoverished sections of society. The people they’re working with may not understand English. Chatbots can help these people by conducting surveys to find information that can drive real social change. UNICEF has been conducting surveys to collect valuable information from local communities. Some of the research that they conducted resulted in them kicking off projects with governments that drove real social change and dramatically improved the lives of millions of people (especially children) in those local communities.

Engati assists you in building and managing your chatbots in multiple languages as well as for building and managing chatbots purely in non-English languages. These capabilities span across the various important parts of the platform, especially Intents and FAQs, which drive the NLP behavior and the paths or the conversational flows.

One may tag and associate Intents and FAQs to a specific language to better manage them as well as use the NLP models specific for that particular language.
One does not need to build separate paths for different languages. All you need to do is simply build a single path/flow and add the strings for the different languages that you support.

Even if your organization only has an online presence, customers want to interact with your brand in their native language. A Common Sense Advisory conducted a study of shoppers in ten countries and found out that 60% of consumers rarely or never make purchases from English-only sites, while 67% prefer to be able to navigate and receive content in their language and 75% of consumers want to make purchases in their own, native language. These statistics indicate that the customers who are actually going to spend money on your brand would prefer to make their purchases in the language in which they are most comfortable. Making your customers feel comfortable would be one of the most valuable investments you could possibly make.


How to make a multilingual chatbot?

Multilingual chatbots can be built and configured by making use of the localization feature.

The first step to enable the localization feature is to go to the configure section, select languages and click on ‘Enable’

‘Properties’ files to manage the user-facing messages in the paths are generated for all the paths of the chatbot as well as FAQs are set up to support this functionality.

You will be able to see the screen on which the languages are available. Also, the strings for the various paths and settings of the bots can be managed from this section itself.

The chatbot has a default language that it uses to fallback for missing strings for other languages as well as for the FAQs/Intent lookups. The default language would initially be set as English. This can be changed later.

Any other languages that you would like your chatbot to support may be added using the ‘Add New’ button.

The keys and corresponding values for all messages may be downloaded in the properties file. This helps in easy management of the messages as well as in getting them translated and updated since all the messages are in the same place. The file contains all the user-facing messages from all the paths that are set up in the chatbot at that very point in time. Whenever any paths are added, the keys are also updated to include the new paths. This file also contains messages corresponding to a variety of settings that can be localized. 

The keys/messages in the file are divided according to the path in which those messages are present and are then grouped by nodes. Comments for each section are added in the file to help you navigate the file easily. It is recommended that you manage the strings after completing the bot flow design and setting up all the paths. This would lead to a reduced frequency on the updating of the strings. 


Best Practices for building multilingual chatbots:

  • Make getting the option to change languages easy for your user. If you are very sure of their configurations, make use of the Select Language node.
  • If you are not sure of their preferences, make the options for selecting language clearly visible upfront.
  • Be sure to add the necessary messages for changing the language in all the languages you support.
  • Review all the strings/messages for all the languages that you have added to check whether anything is missing and if everything is correct, including the settings and default values. 
  • Avoid using special characters like *, “”,^.$,#, as they throw an error for some languages. 

Multilingual Chatbot Benefits

Multilingual chatbots can be beneficial, both to large organizations that operate across a vast variety of regions that have customers speaking in a number of different languages, as well as small organizations that operate in areas with customers speaking languages other than English.

The best way to sell something is to get your potential customers to trust you. They’ll only trust you and your organization if they’re comfortable interacting with you.

It’s been established that we prefer to have conversations and interactions in our native languages. It’s what makes us more comfortable. 

Breaking down the language barrier is vital for any business.

If you want to make your business known worldwide, it’s essential to make sure that prospects in your new markets get the kind of customer service that they want and deserve.

This means that your chatbot should be able to speak and comprehend as many languages as possible.

Generally speaking, people are more inclined towards trusting brands that put in a little more effort in order to gain a better understanding of their needs and pain points. By allowing your clients to provide the feedback in their own language, you’ll even be able to gather larger amounts of accurate data. This can provide you with useful insights into how to fix potential issues and offer your customers exactly what they want and need.

Out of the 7.6 billion people that live on this plant, only about 1 billion people speak English. That’s accounting for both native speakers and those who speak it as a foreign language. That means that approximately 86-87% of the world does not speak English at all.

Creating a chatbot that can only hold conversations in English essentially means that you are limiting your chatbot’s scope. It means that only about 14% of the world can even understand what your chatbot is saying to them.

A multilingual chatbot enables you to have conversations with the rest of the world that could not communicate with you through the medium of a simple, English speaking chatbot.

The main benefit of a multilingual chatbot is that it expands the size of the audience that your chatbot could reach and hold conversations with.


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