The translation process is worth a mention briefly as it is often more significant in terms of operational planning than the technology itself. Here are some questions you should answer as you plan your internationalized application:
- Who will translate the content?
- What languages will the site support?
- When content is available only in a limited number of languages, does the site display the content in the default (wrong) language, or hide it from the user?
- What process or processes will support the translation?
- Will there be parallel releases of content in different languages, or will each be released as and when it is complete?
- Which language will be primary a default language used when errors occur or resources cannot be found?
A short warning: After you build the site, the process will become the key focus. Consider it early to avoid problems after you release it. I've provided the warning because the translation process used in this
article is relatively trivial. I've used Altavista's Babelfish
to perform the translations in order to provide some sample content. The site will display the most appropriate content to our audience, but there are some restrictions in the sample application.
|Author Note: Throughout this article you will see examples of text in English, Chinese, French and Japanese. I'd like to apologize in advance to the non-English speakers for the quality of the translations. I hope you can forgive me and see the text as secondary to the technology that they are attempting to demonstrate. Babelfish, while convenient, creates some slightly dubious translations at times. I would also like to give a mention to BBC News Online, snippets of whose news items I have used for the English text of some of the test content. |