Translation requests and guidance


Translations on

On, we are committed to making trustworthy, consistent, and clear content available to San Franciscans. To do that, we prioritize translating service content and supporting information into Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino.  

You can also request translations for other pages. We will not translate these pages by default, but we will cover the cost to translate these pages. The pages must be at or below 5th-grade readability for us to translate them.  

Content not on

We know some content doesn’t live on but still needs to be translated, like forms, confirmation emails, and contact forms. But we don’t have a budget for that, so that translation slows down other content work, like moving departments onto

Content from departments (not Digital Services and not on should be translated by OCEIA, using their translation request form. OCEIA needs at least 48-hours notice to translate. 


How to get translations

Please only submit content that absolutely needs translation. Think about who your users are and what they need to do with your translation. 

To get your content translated, you need to submit a translation request. We will ask you who the page is for and why it needs to be translated. We need all the information to have the context to translate your content quickly. 

Your content must: 

  • Be for San Franciscans, from Digital Services

  • Be at or below a 5th-grade reading level (if it’s not, we can help)

  • Be free of jargon or metaphors

  • Be clear, in plain English

  • Be final copy

  • Be in an editable format 

We do not translate: 

  • Draft content

  • PDFs or FAQs

  • Content from departments

  • Content for lawyers

  • News and Topic content types

  • In any languages other than Spanish, Chinese or Filipino


While we, as content designers, love to get involved early to help craft and focus your content, we don’t work that way for translation. We can only translate final, approved copy. Any edits to copy will radically change how fast we can get your translation to you.  


User research on translations