A “multilingual” website is simply a site where all content appears in more than one language. You might consider investing in a multilingual website for many reasons: For example, you may work for an international organization or an organization whose target audience includes people who speak different languages. Or, you might be a company located where customers themselves are multilingual, and want to give them the option of a preferred language.
Here are three important things to consider with multilingual web design:
What languages you’ll need translated
First, you’ll need to review your target audience, customers, and unique situation to determine what languages need to be translated. What language do you want to consider your “primary language,” and what other languages need to be translated? How many languages total will you need translated? The amount of translation can affect your decision on the method of translation.
Whether you want to use manual or automatic website translation
Do you want to use an internal translator or hire an agency to manually translate your website copy? Or, do you want to make an automatic, site-wide update? Each option has its pros and cons, and sometimes this decision is based on your translation budget. For example, someone familiar with a language will understand certain nuances that might be mistranslated by an automatic translation service. On the other hand, it’s often cheaper to do automatic translation, particularly if need many different languages or unique languages (i.e. Creole) translated. If you are using manual translation, keep in mind that any updates to your site will need to continually be translated.
What service to use for translation
Whether you’re using manual or automatic translation services (such as Google Translate embedded in your site design), you’ll need to determine a site infrastructure to support your multilingual website. Will you do one website with a translate button, or split your website into multiple locations? Will you automatically direct users to different URLs based on their location? Each of these methods requires different coding, and may affect the cost of your website update.
You have many different options when it comes to implementation of multilingual website design. An experienced website design agency (such as Skyfall Blue) can help walk you through your options. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you create a multilingual site.