Things to Consider When Building Multi-Lingual Websites

Things to Consider When Building Multi-Lingual Websites

Saturday, 21 May 2016
Web Design

Often, we are offering content, products and service for people with native languages other than English or own specific language. In this situation, there are things to consider when we want to build our own multi-lingual website. There are billions of people who don’t speak English natively and it is important for us to serve their requirements. There are many subjects can be difficult understand, so it is important to present the information with native language. This will improve the overall comprehension. People will be better able to understand our topics and this is something that we want to achieve.

As an example, there are websites that are related to engineering or pharmaceutics. These topics may contain multiple phrases that can be difficult to comprehend. It is our job to make sure that people are able to understand them better. We may also need to provide product information and sales copy in proper languages. There are different languages that we can use to allow people understand our information better, such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Dutch, Persian and others. There are things to consider before we start our multi-lingual website. The best platform that we should use for our website is Unicode.

Unicode can be considered as a numeric presentation of specific characters, with the ability to show up to 65,535 characters. This should allow us to access many characters that are used by many languages. We also need the appropriate tools for creating webpages based on the Unicode format. There are many web development tools that include Unicode support. When choosing a web development tool, we should make sure that there are options to design something based on specific languages. There could be specific HTML tags that need to be inserted in the codes to ensure better accessibility.

When creating a multi-lingual website, it is also important to understand the nature of the language. Each language has specific sets of grammars. Middle Easter languages are read from right to left, so it is important to adapt the layout to allow people read the content properly. In Microsoft Windows, it should be easy to adapt the system to specific languages and keyboards. When using our website, users will use special input methods and this is something that we may need to consider. When users type in special characters in the registration forms and search fields, we should make sure that the website can handle that.

There are design and navigation considerations that we should focus on. Some languages may require us to apply some changes in the overall navigation and design of our website. As an example, the vertical menu bar can obstruct the flow of the content, if the text is read from right to left. This is something that we need to consider when designing the web page. The change from one language to another shouldn’t cause significant alteration in navigation and image placement. This can be achieved only if content becomes the center of the website and design of the website is made flexible.

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