Multilingual Sites – designing custom solutions
We look at multilingual sites as a matter of workflow and technical problems. That’s not everything, we also have a lot of social and political issues.
How are they connected?
That also depends on what kind of multilingual sites we are talking:
Is it plain internationalization (translating the same content in several languages)?
Is it mixing local with international content?
Do we have to deal with one source language or several source languages?
Do we have a centralised editorial board or several editors with equal rights?
The effect of a detailed content and purpose-analysis may be, that the translation effort grows because of higher diligence and better quality. I guess that only happens with translate everything to everywhere-pages.
In most cases the effect will be a substantial decrease in the amount of text that has to be translated. That can take us so far, that our carefully designed and well built processes may seem to be superfluous – Do we need all that workflow stuff if it is used only once in a while?
I think we do. I would embrace the opportunity and be happy to design functional and secure tools and workflows. If you don’t have 100 heavy users using them intensively every day – they have a chance to function, even while they are new…