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Author's profile photo Leonardo Araujo

Developers and analysts translating SAP content? Seriously?! TOP 4 reasons why you should leverage SAP’s translation tools today (and always!)

If you aren’t yet leveraging SAP’s translation tools, you might be wasting valuable time and money. In my mind, using these tools is really common sense. Allow me to explain why.

SAP built in its ABAP foundation a set of tools that allow customers to perform proper translation of custom SAP content. Here I mean CUSTOM CONFIG and CUSTOM ABAP. (I mean CUSTOM because generally all standard content is delivered translated already). These tools are so good that they are actually used by SAP itself to translate all of its standard content.


Yet, customers are often not aware of them…

ABAP developers and functional analysts performing the translation. That is not bad, it is TERRIBLE. Unless you don’t care about the following:

  1. QUALITY – ABAP Developers and Functional Analysts are FAR from being the most qualified people to perform this job. Good quality translation requires trained people that know the language very well, understand and know SAP and customer terminology and who are rigorous in their job. Many developers and functional consultants are not perfectly fluent in English, and possibly less in both target and source languages (English and French, for example).
  2. SPEED – Translating this content manually, object by object is very labor-intensive. Repetitions happen very often. Different objects could be forgotten. It is required different transactions to translate each object type, Tcodes, data elements, domains, tables, structures, screen elements, program texts, messages… The list is very long. Using SAP Translation tools, one can leverage the following:
    • All objects to translate are SCANNED by the system and put together in one unified WORKLIST; Manual approach induces missing objects in a translation pass, requiring VERY LONG troubleshooting and fix. Very inefficient…
    • PROPOSAL POOL (translation Memory) allow you to propagate repetitions, greatly increasing the speed of translation. This can be done periodically to make sure that new definitions are used ASAP;
  3. COST – Your return on the investment of a professional translator will without a doubt be impressive not only on the time saved for the translation being done by an expert, but also the cost saved by allowing developers and analysts do what they do best: code and configure!
  4. SECURITY – With the use of the right technology, only the text changes in the translation process so there is no need to transport of new versions. This ensures the codes are always consistent and accurate.

In a nutshell, you can obtain translations of SAP solutions MUCH QUICKER and MUCH CHEAPER with more SECURITY and QUALITY. So why not use it TODAY?!?!?!

So, the burning question is: Why aren’t more people leveraging these tools?

Over the years, it has come to my attention that many customers are not aware of the translation tools available to them. This is unfortunately cause it means money wasted, poorly translated systems, or, in many cases, both.

But the good news is: Translation tools do exist to make your life easier!

So, knowing all this now, why do you think people are still not using SAP translation services?

I will be publishing additional BLOGs in this area. Next one will present the tool.

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      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      Hey Leo,

      Have you tried doing WDA translations with the standard tooling? It's far from obvious. (Especially translations of application and component configurations.)

      The biggest problem I have with the standard is a lack of context, unless you know where on the screen a particular text is going to appear, it can be hard to ensure that the correct word is used.

      I once spec'd out a development to enhance standard SAP translation workbench with a context view (allowing user to see where in app the change would occur) unfortunately never got to build it.

      Also worth noting that I don't think ( but may be wrong on this one) that UI5 translations are supported in standard tooling. Would appreciate feedback if I am wrong on that... All my UI5 apps aren't built on back end systems at the moment so definitely do not use any of this tooling.

      For the most part however, it's a bigger issue making people remember that apps need to be internationalised eventually, so icons with letters can't be used, and text tables must have language key...

      Thanks for raising what should be a basic, but often missed point.


      Author's profile photo Leonardo De Araujo
      Leonardo De Araujo
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, you are right, there are limitations. While WDA should work, UI5 may be a challenge (depending on how it was built also).

      But what I believe it is paramount here is that customers still today spend 99.999% of their effort around ABAP and classic Dynpros. With that in mind, all customers that need a multilanguage deployment will have to figure out how to do it themselves. It will cost money. Often too much and often with poor results.

      My BLOGs will be in this area and hopefully will spark the interest in giving a try on these tools. Customers have nothing to loose, just to gain...

      See you in Vegas ?


      Author's profile photo Gerdien Meijering
      Gerdien Meijering

      Hi Leonardo,

      Great article stressing the benefits of the SAP translation tool environment!  Another thing which many customers and partners don't know, is that there is wide international coverage of specialized Partner Edge partners, the SAP Language Service Partners (LSPs), who can support customers in their SAP related translation projects. And in all modesty, you did not mention that your company is one of them - so let me point this out then.

      The list of SAP Language Service Partners is available here:

      Many Language Service Partners are also represented in SAP Store in a dedicated SAP Store Department under Services:

      So even customers who do not want to get deeply involved in translation tool topics can receive SAP qualified support via our partner network, and concentrate on their core business.

      Just wanted to share this info with the community 🙂


      Author's profile photo Leonardo De Araujo
      Leonardo De Araujo
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Gerdien,

      Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.

      Yes, my BLOG was focused on the functionality and not on the ecosystem.

      There are may service providers out there. SAP has put together a good ecosystem.

      I just hope customers start seeing better the benefits of the tools themselves. If they need help in the future, well, then the SAP Language Service partners may be able to help.

      But there is a lot they can do on their own.

      Thanks again