How to use your own language/spellings for region names

Let's say you are making a choropleth world map, and you want everything – title, labels, tooltips, and attribution –  to be entirely in your native language. Good news! It is possible to create maps in whatever language you want. All of the text elements in the maps are fully customizable. 

In this article, we'll create the following map showing the percentage of internet users per country entirely in Spanish:

Using translated region names in tooltips and map labels

To change the spelling of regions (e.g. "Deutschland" instead of "Germany"), you'll need to pre-process your data. In step 2: Add your data, include two columns in your dataset:

  • one that matches the English matching key in Datawrapper (e.g. country names or ISO codes)
  • a second that contains the name of the regions in the language in which you want them to appear on the map. 

In the example below, the uploaded data has a 'Name' column (left) for the English names of the countries and a 'Nombres en español' column (right) for the Spanish names of the countries. The dataset is matched on the 'Names' column since the country names provided by Datawrapper are in English.

Then when it comes to customizing your tooltips or map labels in the Annotate tab in step 3:Visualize, you can select your special column with the correct language. On the Customize tooltips menu, select which column you'd like to appear for the hover tooltips. 

In this case, you'd want to use "Nombres_en_esp_ol" (the computer will have trouble showing accents over letters). This will result in the hover tooltip showing the Spanish name of the country:

For map labels, also select the Spanish name ("Nombres en español") column from the dataset. Then the map labels will appear in Spanish:

For your chart title, description, and legend/color key title, you can of course use any language you want (even emojis!). 

Translating footer text, dates & number separators

There's one thing more to do in the Design tab: Using your language as the Output locale. This will change the following: 

  • translate the footer information, e.g. translating "Source" to the Spanish "Fuente".
  • define decimal and thousand separators, e.g. 1.000,00 instead of 1,000.00
  • translate month and weekday names. 

Note that the Output Locale is unrelated to the Geo-Code. The Geo-Code will in most cases still be in English. Changing the Output Locale also won't affect the title, labels, nor tooltips of your map.

Congrats! You now got a translated chart, with full control over which language the map labels, tooltips, title, and attribution text appear in.