Tips & Tricks

With decades of experience in the area of SAP translation, Lucy Software's experts offer a wealth of knowledge, tips and tricks gathered throughout our many years of involvement in this field.

Below are some articles which will ultimately help you to lower your SAP translation costs and improve quality of both the translation and the source development. These are intended as an "appetizer".

Contact us to find out what Lucy Software can do to optimize your international SAP rollouts and translation processes.





Hardcoded texts cannot be translated!

The text in the example cannot be translated!

WRITE:/ 'Number of lines:', LV_SUM.

WRITE:/ 'Do you want to create the', LV_SUM, 'unknown entries?'.


Texts in tables without a language field cannot be translated!

The language field is usually called LANG or SPRAS.


Always create texts in the logon language (unlike in the example here, where there is a German text in an English field).

wrong lang 


Never split texts across multiple lines! Split texts are impossible to translate as almost every language has a different word order.

split sentences

Split lines lead to discrepancies in the translation memory (proposal pool)!


Be as consistent as possible when creating texts:

  • Consistent terminology
  • Avoid ambiguous words and typing errors
  • Define capitalization / style guidelines

Avoid creating source texts with minimal differences - these cause additional translation costs.

DE = übernehmen

EN = copy, save, transfer, adopt


As this example shows, “übernehmen” is a very ambiguous word in German and can have multiple meanings in English: Be as specific as possible to avoid potential mistranslations!


Avoid abbreviations whenever possible, or at least create them sensibly (use standard abbreviations from SAPterm1).

Full text: Number

Correct abbreviation: No. (not “Nr.”!)


Leave sufficient space for all translations: e.g. Spanish requires 30% more space than English.

DE has 2 characters for Ja, however EN requires 3 characters for Yes

EN has 2 characters for No, however DE requires 4 characters for Nein


Avoid fields containing 1, 2 or 3 characters (these cannot be translated for double-byte languages, and are also confusing).

German: F                English: B            Japanese: ???

German: AT              English: GT         Japanese: ???


Use key variables (e.g. &1) due to different sentence structures in different languages (for long texts, use the format &V1&). If variables are not numbered, the translation will contain the wrong values, leading to confusion and user error. 


Source text DE:       & &     (Auftrag anlegen)
Translation EN:       & &     (Order Create)



Source text DE:

Material &1 ist im Auftrag &2 nicht vorhanden

Translation EN:

Order &2 does not contain material &1


Do not transport test entries - they will appear for translation and therefore generate unnecessary translation costs!

this is a test         Gerald was here

TEST    1, 2, buckle my shoe

[1] SAPterm is a terminology database available in every SAP system. It can help you find existing, approved terminology for your interfaces. Lucy Software offers consulting on how to use SAPterm effectively and efficiently to achieve better usability in the original language and better translation quality.