Would You Like Your Spreadsheet in French? German? Chinese? Japanese? Any Language?

Zoho Sheet is currently translated to 13 languages, although I hesitate to write thirteen, by the time you read this post, the number may jump:

If it jumps, it won’t be because Zoho has an army of translators busy typing away… nothing beats the wisdom of the crowds. Yes, Zoho outsourced crowdsourced the translation to their users: you and me. Would you like a to use an online spreadsheet in your language? Take a stab at it.

Anyone can pick the language of their choice and contribute translation in one of two modes. Power mode is nothing to write home about: a table where all all English messages are listed and you can write the translation right in the next field. Simple and efficient. Yet if I were to start translating, not being a power spreadsheet user, I would probably prefer to see the messages in context.
That’s where the WYSIWYG mode helps: you can use the live Zoho Sheet UI, and be guided by colored highlights as you translate different parts of the spreadsheet. (Note: if you’re reading this in a feed reader that does not display embedded graphics, please click through to the blog post, or you’re miss most of it).

The translation tool is not a mock-up, it’s the actual, fully functional spreadsheet (but don’t save your private data there). The wisdom of the crowd does not lack QA though: once a language’s translation progress reaches 80%, the Zoho team verifies it and makes it available to all spreadsheet users.

You can keep track of progress here: currently the Japanese version is most complete with 97.77%, followed by Simplified Chinese (92.15%), then Russian and Spanish at 91.20%. The lowest one is Hungarian, at 0.11% – it looks like someone just started it. I have no idea who it was… smile_wink

Update: See the Zoho Blog post and a demonstration video here.

Update (9/14): Wow, never underestimate the power of users! smile_wink A day later, my measly contribution of one single word to the Hungarian version grew to 13.62%. Even more impressive is what some Romanian users achieved: they requested Romanian added to the list in a comment yesterday; next thing I read today was this blog post – I don’t understand a single word, but the table shows 33.94% readiness, and finally, by the time I clicked through to check it myself, Romanian is up to 84.04%. Congratulations, you’re very close to having your own version!


  1. Wherever you are, there is always a mysterious Hungarian lurking nearby 😀

  2. Or two 🙂

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