Basic requirements of a multilingual website

(Last Updated On: March 11, 2016)

You’ve just got your translated content back from the translators and proofreaders you think now you’re ready to begin your international domination with your multilingual web site. But wait, there are still some things you need to take care of.

Tips for a perfect multilingual website

Naming the page urls.

You will need new page urls for the your content for each language in your multilingual website. Name the pages so that the name of the language is obvious in the url address. They don’t have to be the whole name, just initials like Fr, It, Ge will do.

Clearly labelled links

You will need links to your translated pages from the home page, and everywhere else, in your multilingual website. Make sure that the language options are clear and can easily be found. Also make sure that the options can still be understood even when viewed from other languages’ pages. You don’t want a visitor running away completely from the site when they pick the wrong language option and get frustrated because they are lost in a language they can’t understand and they can’t go back to the main page or to their own language.

Encoding

Encoding the source code of the page html allows the characteristic fonts of the language to be displayed correctly. If this isn’t done the translated page might show up as gibberish or the characters will be unrecognisable. You also have to make sure that your site host can support multilingual websites. If not, maybe it’s time to change hosting companies.

Layout

Take note that word length will also differ depending on the language. What can be said in 2 characters in Japanese might take 24 characters in German. You may either have increase or decrease the font size, or make tables, banners, buttons etc. shorter or longer accordingly. If not done properly, your multilingual website will look very messy and unprofessional.

Other languages will also flow from right to left instead of from left to right. You must make sure that the text is aligned correctly.

The technical details might be exhausting, but there is nothing like the satisfaction of having your own multilingual website. However, a translation company like ISO Translations will translate your content and add it to your site so you don’t have to worry about that.