How does your team maintain knowledge in multiple languages?

  • 23 September 2021
  • 11 replies

Do you have your Guru content in multiple languages at your companies? If so, what solutions do you have for it or what problems are you facing? We now have multiple boards for two different languages and cards with the same content linking to each other. 

11 replies

Userlevel 3

Elise and I work together – hiya, @Elise Kroes! Hope it’s ok if I chime in here and share a few more details, so others may share their approaches with us. 😊

Naturally, maintaining content in two languages means double the work, so we chose to go bilingual only in areas where it is business-critical. For us, that’s customer support.

Our customer base is primarily speaking one language at this point, so our support reps need to be able to rely on Guru’s AI to fire suggestions in that language. At the same time, we’re looking to a future where a proper customer experience in English (as the lingua franca on the web) and other languages will become more and more important. We’ll need the same knowledge in those languages too, and we chose to start with English.

So maintaining customer support knowledge in multiple Collections per language makes sense for us. Guru also enables us to assign different SME groups for topics in different languages, so when a Card expires, SMEs will be notified accordingly and can verify the Card in their language.

🔥 Where it gets interesting is when an SME updates and re-verifies a Card in one language, but they are not responsible for, or even capable of updating its counterpart in another language.

The intuitive thing to do would be to drop a comment on the Card, with an @-mention to the SME group of the other language. Simple and easy, and I do like simple and easy! What I don’t like is: it puts an extra burden of responsibility on the human where the same responsibility could well be handed over to the machine.

🌊 My current plan is to look into ways to automise notifications for that particular kind of scenario, so that if a Card gets updated that links to the same knowledge in another language, the SME of the other Card receives a notification to look out for knowledge changes.

I expect it should be a relatively straightforward hack with Zapier – although language relationships in content management are notoriously complex. Obviously, it would be amazing if Guru tackled this natively, but I assume it’d be difficult to prioritise, no hard feelings.

As Elise asked above:

Are any of you folks dealing with similar scenarios?
Or facing challenges around multilingual knowledge in general?

We’d be excited to compare notes!

Userlevel 6
Badge +3

Hey @Elise Kroes  and @Caspar Hübinger ! Thank you both for getting this conversation going. It’s really awesome to learn more about your experience Caspar.

Looping in @David Parle  and @Joaquin Felix Dalla Via who spoke on how they navigate this, as they navigate multiple regions.

@Taylor Paschal  and @Lindsey Hart , any new learnings from Noom’s approach?

Userlevel 2

Great topic @Elise Kroes and great insights @Caspar Hübinger ! My name is Hillary and I lead the Customer Experience team at Guru -- we’ve had a lot of customers try out different ways to do this over the past few years and it really depends on your team structure, what permissions you want, and how your knowledge will be used / edited in different workflows. We recently documented some of the top ways we’ve seen this done in a Help Center article here: 

Hope this helps! 👍

Userlevel 3

Thanks, @Hillary Curran, that article is really thorough. I agree, there are many ways to approach and scale localisation, and they largely depend on an organisation’s goals and team structure. There certainly is no one way to get it right. Glad to see you folks included those tips in the Help Center, they sound really helpful. 👏

Userlevel 1

Hi everyone! Great discussion point. I am Jess and am leading global efforts on the Guru Platform at Noom @Callie Rojewski :) We are experiencing the same pain points as @Caspar Hübinger with the international cards often at risk of being outdated because there are different SMEs for each language.


We have English, German, and Spanish-speaking employees using the knowledge. Even though we also communicate most things in English there are protocols, user information, clinical topics, and app differences that our employees need localized/translated. We have main collections for everyone (English), and each language has an additional collection where the localized knowledge lives. We are also working with linking the localized/translated cards onto the “mothercards” (as suggested in the article) and encourage communication between the SMEs if the “mothercard” gets updated.


Something different we tried is to have one main SME for each area (i.e. App Tech, Support) and have them update for all three languages which gives the responsibility to always check in with language experts on changes that need to be made. That seems to be working best right now! Also, we try to work with German and Spanish keywords on the bottom of the cards to help with findability of certain topics (especially since the localized cards get lost within all of the information of the platform if not filtered). Filtering becomes difficult though because of the fact that most information does apply to everyone and it is hard for employees to know when to search in which language.


Biggest pain point is that we can’t separate the knowledge and bilinigual employees spent more time trying to confirm if the information or resource they found applies to them. I believe once all cards have been linked, keywords added, SMEs receiving a more global responsibility, and board permissions per groups have been utilized more, the experience will improve. Am I missing anything @Taylor Paschal


I know suggestions like this go in the feedback box, but I truly believe that adding the ability to add cards to multiple collections not just boards could help with permission settings and eliminiating content not needed for all languages while having necessary content updated with one single card across multiple language platforms for better search results.

Userlevel 1

Hi everyone!
My name is Joaquin, I am Global Project Specialist at Stuart. @Callie Rojewski  In our experience, we work in different markets in Europe and each one with a different language. To try to solve this complexity we have defined certain rules:

  • The tasks that are common to all countries are in a global collection in English, since we consider that all our stakeholders have a minimum base of English to understand.
  • Each country has an Expert, in charge of the specific processes in their language.
  • We audit our knowledge periodically to ensure we do not duplicate our global cards in each country, or if possible unify similar cards from different countries in a single global process card in english.
  • We created a Knowledge Council, where we coordinate this type of information, we share ways of working in all countries, we unify criteria and we promote the use of Guru to our agents.

I hope this information is helpful!


Userlevel 3

@Joaquin Felix Dalla Via Thanks for sharing! These make a lot of sense to me, definitely taking away some ideas. 🙌

In Quebec, Canada we have an obligation by law to provide information in french; the major problem I have is to know when an article is out of date, where the up to date information is, etc. Since we have more of a community-driven knowledge management method, anyone updating a card will now be responsible for either translating it, or make sure to notify someone somehow (e.g. a ticket system). This becomes pretty troublesome.

What I would really love, would be to have language built-in Guru. Each “paragraph” should have it’s matching text in other languages (bitext in the translation world) so we can see what is out of date in terms of translation, and more easily detect and apply changes. I know it’s a whole additional thing, but it would make maintainin knowledge in distributed teams much easier, especially in countries other than the US where english is not necessary the “default” language.

Great question, we created a request:

Ideally, we wouldn’t have to create the same card in multiple languages. Because there is no translation option, we have to duplicate our English cards in French. However, Guru isn’t quite coded right, and any card created in a different language is still flagged as English. This means that it is not WCAG 2.1 compliant. This is preventing us from moving forward with releasing public cards to our bilingual clients. A user should be able to flag a whole card or content with a specific language.

Userlevel 4

Hey everyone 👋 Chiming in to share I’ve updated the Maintain knowledge in several languages article to reflect the Assist (Beta) feature’s translation capabilities, both the ability to translate while writing and to translate while viewing Cards. I also added a FAQ covering how to add a lang attribute to a Card using HTML in a Markdown block. I hope this is useful!

I can confirm that it works! It passed our AODA compliance review! Thank you Guru team for making this happen 😍