Lost in Translation

Got divisions around the globe? Want to Internationalize and Localize your web presence to other countries and languages? Maybe you’re just looking to address a non-English speaking audience right here in the U.S.

Here are eleven things to consider:

  1. Language/country combinations – which ones will you support?
  2. Accurate translations – think about building a company process that ensures accurate and eloquent translations for the populations you’re targeting.

    Here’s an example of what you don’t want: “Localization support in .Net Framework 2.0 become much more easier and brings fun during localization process.” Ironically, this was pulled from a site about building multi-language sites. Yikes!!

  3. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – Determine the fonts you’ll need to accommodate in your CSS. For example, most Latin based languages require special characters (Spanish, German, French, etc.) ; Chinese and Japanese require symbol support, and Arabic is written right to left.
  4. Design Standards – Corporate site design templates should anticipate content size differences. Size disparity can be significant from language to language.
  5. Video, Audio, Image Content – country/language specific versions are often required. Develop this content with an eye towards localization when possible.
  6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – country/language specific sites should be tagged with localized meta data, titles, images, links, video, etc.
  7. Content Management Systems (CMS) – make sure your CMS supports all the languages you’ll be maintaining and that user authorizations can be assigned and managed by country if necessary.
  8. Ecommerce Solutions – does your shopping cart offer the necessary languages and currencies for product browsing and checkout? Can product descriptions be maintained in different languages and assigned to the appropriate countries?
  9. Site Navigation – can navigation text be easily customized by country/language?
  10. Store Locators – will your U.S. solution support users in other countries? Will the integrated map still work overseas?
  11. Site and Product Search – will search solutions still work for non-English sites?

The list above should get you started down the right path. More questions?  Contact topLingo…

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