How to set up a multilingual knowledge base for Jira Service Management (formerly Jira Service Desk)
Last updated on November 1, 2023
This article was published on November 2020 and last updated on July 2023.
Intergrating Jira Service Management with Confluence
Connecting Jira Service Management (formerly Jira Service Desk) to a Confluence knowledge base has many advantages: If a user enters a search on the Jira Service Management (JSM) portal or opens a new ticket and starts typing, articles from Confluence’s knowledge base will be presented. This self-service approach can reduce the number of tickets created. Atlassian has written an excellent article on how to set up a knowledge base.
How to set up a multilingual knowledge base for Jira Service Management for Data Center or Server
For Confluence/JSM for Data Center or Server case, assuming you have the following configurations set up:
Your users have a login for both Confluence and Jira Service Management. *
You already have a knowledge base in Confluence. Its content is in English.
* If this is not the case for you, we have an overview of other combinations that may suit you when it comes to using Confluence for documentation and knowledge base in our app documentation.
A multilingual knowledge base for international Jira Service Management users
If you use both Confluence and Jira Service Management, you should absolutely make use of this powerful integration. However, there is one important question to keep in mind: Are your users searching for help in JSM in one language only?
Short answer: No! International companies know from experience that customers want to (and will) use Jira Service Management in multiple languages. Let’s say your data suggests that users are looking for content in mainly English and German. And why shouldn’t they? Since most companies’ websites are available in more than one language, users are right to assume they can use their preferred language in a support portal as well. It is all about providing a seamless user experience.
Of course, you have the option to set up Jira Service Management’s interface in English, German or any other languages you prefer. But if your users start looking for help articles in German, what will happen? That depends on the structure of your Confluence knowledge base.
Workflow without Translations for Confluence
If no German translation exists in your Atlassian Confluence knowledge base, there are two outcomes:
The user might not find any answers at all. They will eventually create a ticket or contact support by phone.
Users will be forced to use an English keyword as an alternative. This would take them to the English documentation but it won’t be a smooth experience.
If your Atlassian Confluence knowledge base contains German translations as separate pages, what could happen is:
The user will be presented with exactly that page suggestion. Well done!
If they use a keyword that is used in the translations as well, say “ZIP”, at least two articles will be presented as search results: The German and the English one.
Wouldn’t it be great if only the relevant languages showed up in the Confluence help desk and knowledge base search results? Well, with Translations for Confluence, it is possible!
The main difference that sets Translations to Confluence apart from the others is that all translations are located on one single page only. Depending on the user’s profile settings, only the language relevant to them will be displayed when they access a page. You can use this to create a multilingual experience in Jira Service Management.
How to set up a multilingual knowledge base using Translations for Confluence
Translate existing knowledge base articles in Confluence. You may want to start with two languages. In our example, it’s English and German. You may also want to start with the most relevant knowledge base articles.
How to test the multilingual knowledge base in JSM
Now you can watch the fruits of your labor in your newly multilingual Jira Service Management. Here’s how:
In your user profile in Confluence, set your language as English.
Access Jira Service Management with the same user.
Enter a search string and click on the search result.
The relevant knowledge base article is presented in English.
Go back to Confluence and change your language settings to German.
Enter the same search string in Jira Service Management.
The knowledge base article is now presented in German.
Check the following pictures to see how this could look in practice.
How to set up a multilingual knowledge base for Jira Service Management for Jira Cloud
The process for a multilingual knowledge base in JSM is slightly different from the Data Center case explained above.
It is technically not possible to translate page titles in Confluence Cloud. This means that the page titles will always be displayed in the same language, no matter the user’s profile setting. However, the page content will be displayed according to the user’s browser language.
Language settings can be changed in the Account Preferences of the user. These are valid for all Atlassian products. This means that you can change the language preferences either in Confluence or Jira/JSM. However, the language setting in the user account will not affect the language of the knowledge base article.
Both Confluence and Jira Service Management (formerly Jira Service Desk) are powerful tools. Their knowledge base integration makes them even more versatile.
However, it currently leaves users who have a different native language out of the picture. As stated before, these users are entitled to look for content in their native language.
Will you have to invest time and work to create a multilingual knowledge base in the first place? Certainly. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Providing international users with an intuitive workflow will not only decrease the number of new tickets created but also improve customer satisfaction. In the long run, your knowledge base will also be much easier to maintain since all language versions are on the same page.