Multilingual websites

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How do you build a multilingual website? In this presentation you get the main items to consider!

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Multilingual websites

  1. 1. Multilingual Websites Global Marketing 7th of August 2013
  2. 2. Contents 1. Introduction 2. How to build a multilingual website 3. Conclusion
  3. 3. 1. Introduction  The case for translated web pages. Example: Facebook in French  After Facebook launched a French language interface in February of 2008, the site’s popularity skyrocketed, growing 443 percent (…) to an estimated 12 million visitors.  Read more: http://techcrunch.com/2009/02/17/facebook-is-big-in-france/
  4. 4. Non-English-speaking user increasing  2002 – 65% and 80% of all websites were in English  2007 – 45% of all websites were in English  End of 2009 the percentage of English-speaking users dropped to 39.5% Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, October 2009: "Five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese language content.“ 1. Introduction
  5. 5. Main items to consider:  Centralized vs. regional website setup  Web design  Length and height of text and text labels in pages, navigation menus and forms  Handling of dynamic content  Language variants  Handling of product names  Translation process  Google Webmaster Guideline and Search Engine Optimization  Character set and language display  Browser testing 2. Building a multilingual website
  6. 6. Key questions to ask early on in the project:  Centralized vs. regional?  What is the default or source language?  How are the navigation menus set up?  Static (normal .html pages) vs. dynamic (news, blogs, Twitter, Facebook) content?  Are all static pages translated into all languages?  Different legal requirements per country?  Local content to suit local needs and tastes?  Multimedia content (audio, video)? 2.1 Centralized vs. regional
  7. 7. Web design must support multiple languages  Language toggle button  Offer a non-Javascript alternative for users that have Javascript disabled  Art work and design must be culturally acceptable in all the countries being targeted  Example: show people from different ethnic backgrounds if target audience is in USA  Avoid art work, colours and designs that are offensive or considered unlucky. Get local feedback.  Possibility to invert web design for languages that read from right to left such as Arabian  Support browser „Zoom In“ functionality to increase text size of website 2.2 Web design
  8. 8.  Consider length and height of text and text labels in pages, navigation menus and forms  Web design must be dynamic, length of a navigation menu entry or label should not be fixed  Example: French tends to be longer than English.  Example: Chinese and Korean and Japanese characters have a minimum height requirement for labels and forms. 2.2 Web design
  9. 9. Some languages have many variants:  US English vs UK English  Swiss French, French French and Canadian French.  Chinese simple vs Chinese traditional  Portugal vs Brazilian Portuguese  This depends on the main markets addressed, but can become very complicated in a centralized setup  Example from CLS website: Fax vs Télécopieur 2.3 Language variants
  10. 10.  Translate product names? Get local advice!  Example from CLS website:  China-based translators recommended localizing product names such as „CLS Machine Translation “ in Chinese Traditional and Chinese Simple  For large set of corporate terms CLS can build a corporate language dictionary, see http://www.cls-communication.com/en/services/other-services/terminology- services/online-corporate-dictionaries 2.4 Handling of product names
  11. 11.  In what format are translations carried out? Word.docs ? Directly within the CMS? HTML? XML?  Example from CLS website: set up the default language English, completed all the content for this and then exported the files to XML and then started the translation process in parallel.  Benefit: avoided a lot of small errors such as wrong links because we used XML instead of Cut and Paste from Word, this is esp. true for Asian languages where you don't understand any of the characters. 2.5 Translation process
  12. 12.  Follow Google guidelines to build effective web pages:  Keyword research – identify 5 to 12 keywords that people may enter to find a service or product  Develop interesting and useful content around these keywords  Incorporate keywords intelligently and in a coherent manner  Write in short sentences  Use well-structured text with headings  Write for people, not search engines Besides technical requirements, quality and frequency of content is important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  CLS offers writing, editing and translation services for multilingual website content. 2.6 Google Webmaster Guideline and Search Engine Optimization
  13. 13. Character set and language display:  UTF-8 : always use this character set  Display language based on browser language settings  Spanish browser – Spanish version of website  Chinese Trad browser – Chinese Trad version of website  Test multilingual content management systems early 2.7 Technical aspects
  14. 14.  Test website in all major browsers: http://yuilibrary.com/yui/environments/ 2.8 Browser testing
  15. 15. 3. Conclusion Good reasons why you need a multilingual website today rather than later:  Shift away from English internet users  Cost Effective Marketing Tool  New Customers  Beat Competitors  Culturally Sensitive  Search Engines 15| Presentation for XY | Author | Date
  16. 16. Contact Legal notice CLS Communication AG Saegereistr. 33 8152 Glattbrugg-Zurich Tel. +41 44 206 68 68 Email: info-ch@cls-communication.com www.cls-communication.com 16| Presentation for XY | Author | Date

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