Planning Your SAP Translation Project


Estimating Translation Costs

If you are planning a global SAP rollout, it's very likely that translation is on your to-do list. But since translation is not part of most SAP projects, it can be daunting to come up with a good cost estimate. The scope of your translation effort, the number of languages you need, as well as the complexity of your implementation and the amount of customization you have done are all important factors to consider. If you need a reliable estimate, there is no getting around the fact that you need to perform a proper initial analysis in your SAP system, possibly bringing in external consulting services. If you bring in an expert, this is a matter of a few days, and after that, you should have numbers that you can plan with. Read more...


In every SAP translation project, the goal is to always translate what you need, but not more than that. There are various methods to identify the exact texts you need, but they all involve analyzing which parts of the custom functionality added by your organization will end up being used at the locations that you are rolling out to. SAP's standard translation tools offer quite a bit of functionality for scoping, but third-party tools can help complement them. After the scoping process is complete, you will have compiled a list of objects you are going to translate.

Roles and Personnel

SAP translation is an undertaking that involves business users, development teams and SAP Basis in equal measure. To make the project successful, it also takes at least a part-time project manager who is directly responsible for the project, who can be internal or external. If you work with an external project manager, it's a good idea to also have an internal counterpart for him or her to report to. To perform the scoping, it makes sense to either have deep knowledge of SAP's language architecture and the various strategies and tools in-house, or to bring in a consultant who does.

Selecting the Right Tools

Tools for SAP translation generally fall into on of two categories: tools for editing translations manually, and tools for enabling, managing and automating translation. SAP has solid offerings in both categories, in fact, it provides a complete translation environment out of the box. But the feature set offered can be extended by third-party translation solutions that can help make your life a quite a bit easier. Our own tools mostly fall into the second category.

Choosing a Translation Editor

The three most commonly used ones editing environments for translating SAP texts are probably transaction SE63, translation industry tools, and Microsoft Excel. Translation SE63 is fairly widely known, but not necessarily widely loved. It is very complicated to use, but very powerful, and it obviates the need to purchase additional tools. Translation industry solutions like SDL Studio or Memsource offer a great working environment for translators, but are not adapted to SAP translation, and require a separate tool to export the texts from your system. And finally if you need a quick and dirty solution, there are also tools that export texts to Microsoft Excel, even in the SAP Standard. Read more...

Planning for Translation when Implementing SAP S/4 HANA

If you are moving from ECC to SAP S/4HANA and are planning to roll out the new solution beyond your borders, or if your first rollout is already on the roadmap, and that means, it’s time to think about translation, or it will be soon. You may ask, what are the differences between SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP when it comes to translation? How can your custom SAP Fiori apps be integrated, how can user experience quality be improved? Read more...

How Do the SAP S/4HANA Editions Differ When It Comes to Translation?

SAP offers four main editions of S/4HANA, not counting any sub-variants. But is there any difference between them for the purpose of translating your custom developments, customizing etc. into other languages, say in the context of a global rollout? This is a high-level overview of the translation options you have on each of the editions of SAP S/4HANA. Read more...

Balancing Scoping and Automation

If you are starting an SAP translation project as part of an SAP rollout to a location abroad, you will want to make sure that you keep translation costs in check for all languages. There are two main ways to keep costs down: scoping and automation. The fact is, both scoping and automation contribute towards a common goal: putting in as little manual effort as possible while still getting all the texts translated that are displayed to your end users on your SAP GUI or SAP Fiori screens. Read more...