Multi language site / how to change language

Currently I’m working on the corporate site (redesign number 5), which is going to be available in 7 different languages (currently working on the master pages).

Question : How can I (when I’m on a certain page) change language, and land on exactly the same page but in the chosen language?

This is the current setup :

Site folder

- index.html

- NL (folder)
   - index.html
   - subfolders etc.

- EN (folder)
   - index.html
   - subfolders etc.

- DE (folder)
   - index.html
   - subfolders etc.

- FR (folder)
   - index.html
   - subfolders etc.

- IT (folder)
   - index.html
   - subfolders etc.

- PL (folder)
   - index.html
   - subfolders etc.

- RU (folder)
   - index.html
   - subfolders etc.

- CSS
- Resources
- JS

http://cobeco.nl/beta/index.html


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Are you looking to provide a language switcher interface to the user? Or do you want the site to auto-detect from the browser’s language preferences?

For the former, I would make a little flag link for each language, and make a link to the appropriate page manually. (There’s probably another way to do this, using JavaScript or PHP to rewrite the links for you. That’s more than a trivial example for while my coffee is taking place, though.) For the latter, take a look at my ContentNegotiation Action, which works with a server side setting (your hosting provider will have to configure this for you) to detect the browser’s preferred language and redirect silently.

Walter

On May 29, 2013, at 7:53 AM, Richard van Heukelum wrote:

Currently I’m working on the corporate site (redesign number 5), which is going to be available in 7 different languages (currently working on the master pages).

Question : How can I (when I’m on a certain page) change language, and land on exactly the same page but in the chosen language?


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Thank you Walther,

indeed it is the former. I was afraid for that, but kind of expected it at the same time. That’s what it’s going to be then.

When I’m finished, I’m going to split the FW document into 7 (one for each language) and delete the obsolete language directories from each of them and republish them all in order to make the Simple Site Search work only for the selected (active) language. I think my next few weeks are spoken for …


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On 29 May 2013, 12:30 pm, waltd wrote:

For the latter, take a look at my ContentNegotiation Action, which works with a server side setting (your hosting provider will have to configure this for you) to detect the browser’s preferred language and redirect silently.

I certainly will have a closer look at this one as well!


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If you do, then put all the languages in the same document. That’s how that Action works, sadly.

Walter

On May 29, 2013, at 9:05 AM, Richard van Heukelum wrote:

On 29 May 2013, 12:30 pm, waltd wrote:

For the latter, take a look at my ContentNegotiation Action, which works with a server side setting (your hosting provider will have to configure this for you) to detect the browser’s preferred language and redirect silently.

I certainly will have a closer look at this one as well!


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On a side note Richard, if you need country flags for your links here’s a nice collection of 100 free .png flags (made with Sketch) http://dribbble.com/shots/1089488-Stripe-Flag-Set.

Todd
http://xiiro.com


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@Walther
Note taken considering the action!

@Todd
That’s a nice set of flags indeed.
I’m not a fan of things like that normally, but these seem very modest. Could work for me :slight_smile:


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Those are really nice! If you want smaller ones, these are the gold standard: famfamfam.com: Flag Icons

Walter

On May 29, 2013, at 10:31 AM, Richard van Heukelum wrote:

@Todd
That’s a nice set of flags indeed.
I’m not a fan of things like that normally, but these seem very modest. Could work for me :slight_smile:


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Those made it to my download folder as well :slight_smile:


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Hi Richard

I’m currently doing the exercise myself. My experience may help.

After some pretty dismal auto translation attempts I tried Systrannet, which worked pretty well, but it translated everything on the page, and there was some text I didn’t want translated, such as my business name. Also when I showed my Japanese pages to some Japanese friends, I found them questioning and laughing at some of the results:-(. It uses a widget and will translate each page as loaded. This results in each page name in the browser showing ??? instead of the actual page name. I don’t know whether that would effect page hits and Google stats etc etc?

Anyhow I stumbled across imtranslator.com which I think is a better (but longer) solution. The beauty is that it provides more language choices, and also a reverse translator, which I find fantastic.

I duplicate my page in Freeway, select the text, copy and past in imTranslator, and then check the “back translation”, which is often way different to what I hoped it would be. I then play with original text, swapping words, or positions of phrases until the back translation is acceptable. Then just copy and paste the new language in the duplicated page.

Below is my home page, where I have used imtranslator to translate the text on the pages linked from the country flags, but I also have the systrannet widget still installed until I finish all my translations. You can have a play and compare the results if you want.

	www.goldcoastasian.com

There is also an imtranslator bookmarklet for Firefox which allows a choice of Translators, such as Babylon, Google, Microsoft and Bing, but I found the Google choice always better.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with imtranslator or Systrannet.

This is my first responsive site, (thanks to Caleb and Backdraft) - everything is a learning curve…

Hope this helps a bit.

Paul

On 30/05/2013, at 4:20 AM, Richard van Heukelum email@hidden wrote:

Those made it to my download folder as well :slight_smile:


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Thanks Paul for your effort in this, however … my issue isn’t the translation itself, we use native translators to translate everything, In my opinion the best and most reliable way.

However, even though I resent translation services I got curious, I’ve taken a look at your site to see how ‘good’ Systrannet really is, and (in my case) I can only give my opinion on the dutch translation, and it is very poor. Grammatically it’s a total mess, some expressions are not good translated at all. Some even don’t need translation at all, but still Systrannet forces a translation. Gold Coast as a name for instance … translated in dutch it becomes ‘Gouden Kust’. Translated correctly it should be ‘Goudkust’, however in this case ‘Cold Coast’ is a name and so shouldn’t be translated in the first place. Same goes for ‘in dutch adopted english words and expressions’. They’ll make no sense.

In my opinion, when you can’t offer a proper translation … just don’t.
I’d rather offer only a proper english and dutch translation than an additional poor translated italian and polish section. It’s just not that reliable, and let’s be honest … when a company is trying to look professional, you don’t when you offer your visitors a translation that only raises questions like ‘what the hell does this mean?’.

This particularly is my aversion to these kind of services.

But … I do understand the motivation though, when you don’t have the funds to rely on native translators (humans) and still need some kind of translation. It’s a choice.

In my case … I’m pretty sure I’ll always go for the secure solution.


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I have only done a couple of small sites available in both English and French but I have gone for the flags method ie British and French flags link to corresponding language pages.

No autotranslations for me - but these are only relatively small sites and only 2 languages.

I agree about the inaccuracies of these services and have used real people for the translations.

David


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