How to Enable Multilingual AI Support for Virtual Characters

Convai Team
July 2, 2024

As the world has become more connected, the gaming industry has grown to include people from all over the world and all kinds of languages. Multilingual support has become an essential requirement to effectively cater to this widespread user base. 

However, creating AI characters that can converse naturally in multiple languages presents numerous challenges and unanswered questions.

Developing multilingual artificial intelligence (AI) characters is a complex task that goes beyond simple translation. It requires a deep understanding of linguistic nuances, cultural context, and speech patterns to ensure conversations feel authentic and engaging for players worldwide.

From accurate speech recognition and natural language understanding to expressive text-to-speech capabilities, every aspect of the AI character's interaction must be tailored to the specific language and cultural context.

This article will explore the significance of multilingual support in the gaming market and the difficulties developers face in achieving it. 

It will then provide an overview of Convai's playground and plugins for developing multilingual virtual characters using advanced natural language processing and AI models.

Understanding Multilingual AI

What is Multilingual AI?

Multilingual AI systems can understand, process, and generate multiple languages. This capability makes AI applications more useful by allowing them to interact with people who speak different languages.

Understanding multilingual AI is crucial for developers and interactive application designers who aim to reach a global audience. 

It ensures that their products effectively communicate with users across diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Multilingual AI has many applications, including virtual assistants, translation services, and virtual characters in games and other AI-powered interactive environments.

Recommended: AI Gaming Trends → Innovations Shaping the Gaming Industry in 2024.

The key components that power multilingual AI technology include the following:

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) involves using large language models (or LLMs) to analyze and understand human language. LLMs, and generally, NLP algorithms, help AI systems comprehend context, semantics, and the intent behind user inputs across different languages.
  • Machine Translation (MT) is the automated translation of text or speech from one language to another. It helps AI systems overcome language barriers so that people who speak different languages can easily talk to each other.

Speech Recognition converts spoken language into text. This component is vital for multilingual AI, as it allows systems to understand and respond to spoken inputs in various languages to enhance user interaction and accessibility.

Challenges in Implementing Multilingual AI

Implementing multilingual AI presents several challenges due to the inherent complexities of human language.

Some of the key challenges include:

  • Diverse Linguistic Expressions: Languages vary significantly in grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and idiomatic expressions. AI characters in your virtual experiences must be able to handle these diverse linguistic patterns to understand and generate content in different languages accurately.
  • Accents and Dialects: Within a single language, there can be numerous accents and dialects, each with its own unique pronunciation and vocabulary. multilingual AI characters must be robust enough to recognize and interpret speech from different regions and communities.
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Context-Awareness: Language is deeply intertwined with culture, and AI characters must be sensitive to cultural nuances and context to avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations. This involves understanding cultural references, humor, and social norms, which vary significantly across languages.\
  • Real-Time Translation and Speech Synthesis: In real-time applications like gaming, AI characters must be able to translate and synthesize speech quickly and accurately to maintain a seamless and immersive user experience. This requires efficient algorithms and powerful computational resources.

Overcoming these challenges requires continuous research, diverse language data, and advanced AI/ML models that can effectively capture the nuances and complexities of multiple languages while delivering a seamless multilingual experience.

Let’s see how to do just that with Convai.

Convai’s Approach to Multilingual Support

Understanding Convai's approach to multilingual support is crucial for developers looking to create engaging and inclusive experiences for a global audience.Platform Capabilities

Convai's platform is designed to seamlessly integrate with various environments, including Web (Three.js), Discord, Unity, and Unreal Engine game engines. 

This broad range allows developers to incorporate AI-powered virtual characters into various applications, from interactive websites to immersive gaming experiences.

Asset store visuals for Convai game engine integration within Unreal Engine, Unity, and Three.js

The platform's most important parts are the playground and chat UI. These let users interact with their AI-powered characters in a sandbox. 

This interactive environment facilitates natural conversations for users to interact with virtual characters in an intuitive and engaging manner.

Showcasing Convai’s multilingual support for a character in the playground.

Technological Stack

To achieve multilingual support, we use state-of-the-art speech recognition technologies. Convai primarily uses a combination of in-house models and NVIDIA’s Riva speech-to-text model for high-accuracy recognition in English, while Google’s GCP speech-to-text service extends this capability to multiple languages. 

In addition, we are actively experimenting with Deepgram’s speech-to-text service, which offers faster conversion times and lower costs compared to Riva and GCP.

Our technology stack scales to ensure your virtual characters can understand and respond to users in various languages to improve accessibility and engagement.

Life of a multilingual interaction on Convai.

Custom Pronunciation and New Word Recognition

One key feature that differentiates Convai is our custom pronunciation feature. It improves word recognition accuracy by adjusting the internal probabilities of the speech-to-text (STT) model. 

Use custom pronunciation to recognize new words, even with accents or similar-sounding words. This feature is useful for recognizing brand names, technical terms, and other specialized vocabulary. 

It enables developers to specify the correct pronunciation of words using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

This ensures that virtual characters can accurately pronounce the words naturally, with appropriate context and accent, across multiple languages.

See Also: Language and Speech Documentation in Convai.

Implementing Multilingual Support in Virtual Characters

This section provides a comprehensive guide on how to set up and optimize multilingual capabilities using Convai's playground.

Step-by-Step Guide

Using the playground to test and refine multilingual interactions

Step 1: Access the Convai playground through the dashboard and navigate to the Language And Speech bar.

Step 2: Select your multilingual character, and under Set Language, choose the languages you want to support your character.

Step 3: Engage in conversations to test language understanding and response generation.

Step 4: Utilize the feedback mechanism (thumbs up/down) to help improve the model's performance.

Step 5: Use the Add Custom Pronunciation and New Word Recognition feature to help your character recognize new words appropriately and learn specific terms, names, and corresponding pronunciations.

Best Practices

Guidelines for adding and managing multilingual vocabulary:

1. Use the custom pronunciation feature to ensure accurate pronunciation of brand names and specialized terms.

2. Leverage the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for precise pronunciation specifications.

3. Group related terms and phrases into thematic vocabularies for easier management.

4. Regularly update and refine your multilingual vocabulary based on user interactions and feedback.

Tips for ensuring accurate and context-aware translations:

1. Provide context-rich training data for each supported language.

2. Use language-specific datasets to capture idiomatic expressions and cultural nuances.

3. Implement regular quality checks to ensure translations maintain the intended meaning and tone.

4. Consider working with native speakers or professional translators for critical content.

Following this guide and these best practices, developers can create robust multilingual virtual characters that engage and culturally sensitively interact globally. 

Keep updating your multilingual support based on user feedback and new language technologies.

Case Studies and Use Cases

Implementing multilingual support for AI-powered virtual characters opens up various applications across various industries. 

This section explores some key use cases and real-world examples that demonstrate the potential of this technology.

Gaming Industry

Enhancing player interaction with multilingual NPCs

multilingual support in AI-powered virtual characters revolutionizes player interactions with Non-Player Characters (NPCs) in games. 

Game developers can create more immersive and inclusive games by letting NPCs speak the player's language.

For example, in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), players from different countries can interact with the same NPC, each receiving responses in their native language. This improves the gaming experience and broadens the game's global appeal.

Examples of dynamic quests and personalized gameplay experiences

multilingual AI characters enable the creation of dynamic, language-adaptive quests and storylines. For instance:

  • A detective game where witnesses and suspects speak in multiple languages, requiring players to use in-game translation tools or multilingual skills to piece together clues.
  • An adventure game that generates side quests based on the player's language preference, incorporating cultural elements relevant to the language chosen.

Learning and Education

AI tutors and training applications with multilingual support

multilingual AI characters can serve as personalized tutors or language-learning companions. 

These AI tutors can adapt their teaching style and content based on the learner's native language and proficiency level.

For example, a language learning app like ReEducate features an AI tutor that converses with users in their target language while providing explanations and translations in their native language when needed.

Benefits of personalized learning experiences

multilingual AI tutors offer several advantages in educational settings:

  • Customized learning pace and content delivery based on individual needs.
  • 24/7 availability for practice and questions.
  • Consistent quality of instruction across multiple languages.
  • Ability to simulate real-world conversations in the target language.

See Also: How AI Companions are Revolutionizing the Gaming Industry — and More.

Brand Agents and Customer Service

AI companions as brand agents in multilingual settings

multilingual AI characters can be brand ambassadors, providing consistent messaging across languages and cultures. 

These AI agents can engage with customers in their preferred language, offering product information, answering queries, and guiding purchasing decisions.

Real-world applications in customer support and engagement

Examples of multilingual AI characters in customer service include:

  • Virtual concierges in international hotel chains, assisting guests in their native language.
  • AI-powered shopping assistants on e-commerce platforms, helping customers navigate product catalogs and complete purchases in multiple languages.
  • Technical support chatbots that can troubleshoot issues and provide solutions in various languages.

Businesses can improve user experiences, expand globally, and provide more personalized and efficient services to diverse customers by using multilingual AI characters in these diverse applications.

Check out the Convai Gallery, a collection of games, apps, demos, and samples built on the Convai Platform.


Multilingual support has become an important feature that lets developers make games that are more fun and accessible for players all over the world. Throughout this article, we've explored:

  • Multilingual support is important for breaking down language barriers and expanding the reach of games and applications.
  • Convai's approach to implementing multilingual capabilities uses advanced speech recognition technologies, such as Nvidia's Riva and Google's GCP speech-to-text API.
  • Adding custom pronunciation is among the challenges and solutions to creating AI characters that can converse naturally across multiple languages.
  • Real-world applications and case studies demonstrate multilingual AI characters' potential in gaming, education, and customer service.

At Convai, we have played a pivotal role in advancing AI-powered virtual characters for customers by providing a platform (playground), plugins, and SDKs that integrate with popular game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine

Join the Convai community and contribute to the ongoing development of AI-powered virtual characters. Your insights and experiences can help shape the future of this technology.