Display Format

Choose how automatic translations are shown in the channel

There are five choices for Display Format when enabling automatic translation in channel. Note that Source First, Translation First, and Replace require the user to Authorize the app to edit their messages to add translation.

Source First

The source message in the original language is display first, with the translated message shown below.

Translation First

The translated message is shown first, with the source message in the orginal language shown below.


With the Replace display format, the source message in the original language is replaced by the translation. Only the translated text is displayed to other channel members.

This format keeps the channel very clean and enables more natural conversation between team members using different languages. At the same time, there are some potential drawbacks to consider before choosing Replace:

  • Translations are very accurate but not perfect. Having the source message included can provide important context to better understand messages (when members have some comprehension of the source language)

  • Even the posting member will only be able to see the translated messages when they review past conversations in the channel. Again, having the source message in their own language can help provide context about the messages sent.

New Message

The New Message display format will send translations to the channel as a separate message. The original message, in the source language, will be posted to the channel unchanged -- and a second message will be sent with the translation.

Note: in cases where a user has not authorized Translate to edit their messages, the New Message format will be the default.

Thread Reply

With the Thread Reply display format, the translation is posted a separate message as a thread reply to the source message. The reply in the thread is not also shown in the main channel view. To reveal the translation, members must open the thread.

The Thread Reply display format can be very useful in a scenario where only a small number of channel members require translation. For example, consider a channel with 10 members and 9 of the 10 speak French (but understand English) and 1 members speaks on English. The conversation happens in French but only 1 member requires translations to English. Rather than append English translations to every French message -- which all of the French members would see when they view the channel -- by choosing Thread Reply the English translations are only shown as replies to threads. This keeps the main channel view cleaner and easier to read. When French members see that a message has a single thread reply, they know that it contains the translation, so they don't need to open the thread. But the English member can open the theads to view the translations.

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