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Multi Language Site?

Thread began 9/27/2010 10:54 pm by eopco265885 | Last modified 10/10/2010 5:47 pm by Miguel | 729 views | 2 replies |


Multi Language Site?

I have developed a site for a client who is now requesting a French Version of the site. I designed it as a php site. I made it php in case we decide to make it a dynamic site in the future, but for now it is static. It seems to me that the only way I could create a second language for the site would be to create a duplicate page for each current page and make that the French one. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, the only problem I see with this would be that it would cause double the work each time I need to update the site. Is there a tool out there that can automatically translate a page? If so, I would be very interested in knowing what it is.



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Hi Rich,

I've built a lot of multi-language sites over the years and to put it mildly, there is no easy way to do this. You mention creating a second page, but this is likely my least favorite way to do it. It does double your work load, but it also created a hornets nest of files and images. As for $$$$. It's not my business, but be careful. When I do a multi-language site the cost is at least double that of a single language site, not including the cost of actual translation. Don't sell yourself short! The workload might be double, but so should the pay. A customer should not expect this for free!

I don't know of any magic tool you are asking about. Sure there are page translators out there, but they are not that good. Your site will look like it went through an auto translator, and the 2nd language people will not be impressed.

The easiest way to do a multi-language site is to simply mirror each language into it's own folder. IE: Set the English site into a /en folder, and a french site into /fr or a spanish into /es. YES - this will double your work load, but the separation of the sites makes it easy to organize and maintain. If you maintain your url structure in both, it is really easy to maintain. (ie: same image and file names, just different language content)

The more difficult way is to create a CMS that handles multi-language and pulls the content from a database into each page, depending on a URL (GET) variable (lang=en, lang=fr, lang=es). You should use GET variables rather than Sessions or Cookies, as that is the only way a user can bookmark the page, and search engines can find it. Even in this method, you increase your work load because each lanaguage content needs to be added. There is one other "gotcha" to this method. Don't forget you will likely need to display different images and logos for the site as well. IE: logo-en to pull an English logo, logo-fr to pull a French logo etc... That makes image management a little trickier.

Which ever way you choose, organization is the key. Lay things out, and stick with it! As soon as you deviate just a little your site(s) will become a complete mess.

Just my 2 cents.

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I do this with cookies and session variables its the best way also on each table of the database i have the diffrent languajes fields for example; TitleENglish, TitleSpanish and so on then with a session variable i can filter wich one to show

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