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Guides and the Resource Center can be written in your preferred language. Content is exported as an XLIFF file (the standard format for translation data), translated outside of Pendo, and then imported back into Pendo. Pendo uses the language metadata you pass through your Adopt installation to display the appropriate language to your user.


Pendo Admins can access and manage Localization settings in Subscription Settings. Pendo Users with Create Guides from layouts or from scratch permissions can edit translations.

Set up Localization Settings

Localization Settings are app-specific and can be enabled for individual apps in a multi-app subscription.

  1. From the left-side navigation, go to Settings > Subscription.
  2. Under Applications, select the app you want to configure localization for. 
  3. Open the Localization Settings tab from the top of the page.
  4. Toggle on localization settings. This expands the options available to you and shows you the localization settings applied to guides in your app.


Language Preference Metadata

Select the language metadata value from the Language Preference Metadata dropdown menu.

Pendo determines which language to serve Visitors based on the Visitor’s local metadata. Use the default language metadata Pendo collects from the Visitor's browser or set up a custom language metadata value in the install script and Data Mappings settings. The metadata field name and values of that metadata are up to you.

Pendo recommends using your own values for analytics accuracy, but a Visitor’s browser language metadata can be used if you don’t have another option.

Supported Languages

  1. Select + Add Language from the top-right corner of the Supported Languages section.

  2. Select the language you want from the dropdown menu. The list shows all available languages and the default metadata value collected by the browser for that language.

  3. Change the metadata to match your custom language metadata value if necessary.
  4. Select Add to save the new language. Repeat this process until you have added all the languages you want for Guides.


Supported Languages shows a list of all added languages. Hover over a language to show the Edit and Delete icons to the right of each language in the table.


Missing Translation Language Behavior

This is an important setting that will prevent a user from seeing a guide if they have a language setting that doesn’t match your preferences. For example, users might set their preferred language to Korean in their browser even though they can read English. In this case, the user wouldn't see a guide unless it was translated into Korean. 

Missing Translation Language Behavior controls whether a Visitor sees a guide in the default language when their translated language is unavailable for that guide. This could be because that language hasn't yet been translated or isn't set up in your Pendo subscription.


Toggle on Show Default Language if Translation is Missing to display Guides using the default language, which is indicated in Supported Languages.

Toggle off Show Default Language if Translation is Missing to hide Guides if the available translated languages don't match the Visitor's language metadata. 

This setting also applies to the guides in the Resource Center.

Working with XLIFF code

Translate a guide by exporting the XLIFF file, adding the translation into the file, and importing the translated file back into the guide's localization details. For instructions, see Translate your guide.

XLIFF is the industry standard file format for content translation and localization. It identifies the specific UI elements and text contents, the original and translated languages, and the original and translated content. The XLIFF file exported from Pendo provides the code for all translatable content in the entire guide.

Each object is organized by <trans-unit> in the code. The file exported from Pendo is ready for translation and doesn't have a target language or target content. If you want to translate into multiple languages, each language requires its own XLIFF file. A single file doesn't support translation into more than one target language.

A trans-unit is an individual block of text in the code. You might have multiple trans-units in a single guide step. Each trans-unit must be translated individually. Translating multiple blocks of text in a single trans-unit is unsupported. You can edit the translated phrasing in the XLIFF file for the target language to improve readability and formatting in the rendered version of the translated guide if needed.

  • source-language-"en-US" - Language code for the source content
  • target-language=" " - Language code the text is being translated into
  • <source></source> - Source content from the Guide written in the source language
  • <target></target> - The container where the translated text is entered for each <trans-unit>  


<file... source-language="en-US" target-language="fr-FR">
<trans-unit id="ID String">

Pendo XLIFF Code Sample

<xliff version="1.2" xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:xliff:document:1.2">
<file original="ID STRING" datatype="pendoguide"
source-language="en-US" target-language="TRANSLATED LANGUAGE CODE">
<group id="ID STRING">
<trans-unit id="ID STRING">
<source>How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or coworker?</source>

Translate a guide

Translating a guide involves exporting an XLIFF file that you can translate and then import.

Always start with a completed guide with the final version of all text. The translation file doesn't update if you edit your guide content after exporting your XLIFF file. Instead, you must repeat the export, translate, and import process to make content changes.

The XLIFF formats translations for any text entered into a Building Block except for unstructured text in images and code blocks. The alt text and URL used for images is available for translation in the XLIFF.

For example, text in a Text Block and button text are captured in the XLIFF, but text in an uploaded image isn't. If you have a translated version of the image, you can replace the image URL in the XLIFF file so that the guide loads your translated image instead.

Localization is accessed from the Details page of the guide you're translating, which you can find by navigating to Guides in the left-side navigation and opening the guide you want to translate. From here:

1. Find the Localization tile at the bottom of the details page for your guide and select Edit in the top-right corner.


2. Select Export to download the XLIFF file for your guide so it can be translated.

This file contains your guide content as strings that can be translated into other languages. If it's a multi-step guide, strings from each step are included in the same file.


Use Authored Language to change the source language in the XLIFF file. Edit the Authored Language if it doesn't match the language the guide was written in. The Authored Language is typically US English but can be changed to any of the languages set up in Localization Settings.

Tip: Companies who translate their apps and app content usually have a Translation Department or service that performs the text translation. This department uses dedicated translation tools to assist with the process, like Smartling or Xliff Editor. Pendo doesn't recommend any particular translation tool or service or provide translation for Guide content.

3. Once translated, select Edit in the top-right corner of the Localization tile in your guide's Details page.

4. Import the translated XLIFF file for the translated language into the Localization tile. Select Import next to the Untranslated language to upload the translated XLIFF file.

The untranslated language should be the same as the target language in the file. When the import is complete, the language moves from Untranslated to Translated. The Import button is still available to update the translated language.


5. Select Done to close the edit view of the Localization tile.

Warning: The XLIFF file must match to the corresponding guide. If the content of the XLIFF file doesn't match the guide, the import fails. The upload validates that all target containers have translated content. If some target containers are empty, a notification informs you that some content might be missing but the file is still imported.

Test and preview a translated guide

Preview a guide with translated content from the Details page of the guide. Open the Viewing language dropdown menu at the top of the Content tile.


You can make changes to the XLIFF file and reimport as many times as you need. 

Publish the guide when you're satisfied with the translated version. If the guide is already public, the translation is available as soon as the import is complete.

Translate the Resource Center

Resource Center localization includes translations for the Resource Center name, module titles and sub-titles, and any guide names included in the Resource Center. The content within any announcements and guides in the Resource Center is translated using localization settings for the each specific announcement and guide. Available translations in the Resource Center XLIFF file include:

  • Module Titles
  • Module Subtitles
  • Guide Name, Keywords, Search Bar, and Search Results text in Guide List Modules
  • Guide Name and Step Counter in Onboarding Modules

If a guide name is missing from the translation file, the Missing Translation Language Behavior setting takes effect. 

The process for translating the Resource Center is the same as translating a guide: we provide you with an XLIFF file that you can translate and then import.

  1. Navigate to the Resource Center page from the left-side navigation and open the Resource Center you want to to translate.
  2. Find the Localization tile in the bottom-right of the details page for your Resource Center and select Edit in the top-right corner.

  3. Select Export to download the XLIFF file for your Resource Center so that it can be translated.
  4. Once translated, navigate back to the Localization tile in your Resource Center's Details page, and select Edit in the top-right corner of the tile.
  5. Select Import next to the Untranslated language to upload the translated XLIFF file.

The untranslated language should be the same as the target language in the file. When the import is complete, the language moves from Untranslated to Translated. The Import button is still available to update the translated language.

Frequently asked questions

Does Pendo translate the Guides for me?

No. We provide you with an XLIFF file that you can translate.

What language file type is supported?

XLIFF 1.2 format only.

Which languages are supported?

  • Afrikaans (af)
  • Amharic (am)
  • Bulgarian (bg)
  • Catalan (ca)
  • Chinese(zh)
  • Chinese - Hong Kong (zh-HK)
  • Chinese - PRC (zh-CN)
  • Chinese - Taiwan (zh-TW)
  • Croatian (hr)
  • Czech (cs)
  • Danish (da)
  • Dutch (nl)
  • Dutch - Belgium (nl-BE) 
  • English (en)
  • English - Australia (en-AU)
  • English - Canada (en-CA)
  • English - Ireland (en-IE)
  • English - New Zealand (en-NZ)
  • English - UK (en-GB)
  • English (US) (en-US)
  • Estonian (et)
  • Filipino (fil)
  • Finnish (fi)
  • French (fr)
  • French - Belgium (fr-BE)
  • French - Canada (fr-CA)
  • French - France (fr-FR)
  • German (de)
  • German - Austria (de-AT)
  • German - Switzerland (de-CH)
  • Greek (el)
  • Hindi (hi)
  • Hungarian (hu)
  • Indonesian (id)
  • Italian (it)
  • Japanese (ja)
  • Korean (ko)
  • Latvian (lv)
  • Lithuanian (lt)
  • Malay (ms)
  • Norwegian (no)
  • Polish (pl)
  • Portuguese (pt)
  • Portuguese - Brazil (pt-BR)
  • Portuguese - Portugal (pt-PT)
  • Romanian (ro)
  • Russian (ru)
  • Serbian (sr)
  • Slovak (sk)
  • Slovenian (sl)
  • Spanish (es)
  • Spanish - Chile (es-CL)
  • Spanish - Latin America (es-419)
  • Spanish - Mexico (es-MX)
  • Spanish - Spain (es-ES)
  • Swahili (sw)
  • Swedish (sv)
  • Thai (th)
  • Turkish (tr)
  • Ukrainian (uk)
  • Vietnamese (vi)
  • Zulu (zu)

Note: Right-to-left languages, for example, Hebrew and Arabic, aren't supported yet in translations.