Multilingual Website FAQ

Q. What is a “multilingual” website?

A. Background

 “Multilingual” is a word that has a very specific meaning when it pertain to websites. There are very specific requirements with respect to design, development, and deployment, and these requirements could call for different technical solutions.

Simply stated a “Multilingual” web site refers to a web site that uses more than one language.

Multilingual sites can exist in different forms. A site might offer language selection and then present the content in only a single language at a time. A multilingual site might also mix multiple languages within the same page, either because the audience is believed to be multilingual, or because there might be a need for embedded foreign text. An online foreign dictionary is a common example of such a site.

Understanding the international and multilingual requirements for a site will help to determine and define the file structure of the site, the hardware and software requirements, the structure and markup of the content, and provide valuable input for designers to allow for possible scenarios in presentation. The site’s navigation is also dependent on these requirements. International sites typically navigate users through country/region selections plus language, and multilingual sites may just involve language selection. Revising any of these later is a significantly greater challenge then allowing for the possibility of international and multilingual aspects from the beginning.

By the way

A multilingual site is concerned with more than just the language. There are many regional and cultural differences in the way that information is displayed. Some cultures use a comma as a thousands separator and a period as a decimal point, while other cultures use the period and comma, respectively. For example, 1.547 in one country and 1,547 in another country might actually be the same number. While the only difference in this example is a single character, the difference in meaning is significant.

The presentation of dates and times are a very typical example of something that causes confusion for the user. When using two digits each to represent year, month, and day, the actual date might not be obvious. A few examples from different cultures include DD/MM/YY, MM/DD/YY, and YY/MM/DD. A single date in the format “01/02/03” could be interpreted as three different dates.

There are many other concerns that should also be addressed when creating a multilingual site (such as punctuation, text that reads from right to left, displaying prices in multiple currencies). This is only a sampling of some of these.

Q. What shall be the pricing for having a multilingual website?

A. Put forward your query and we shall indicate you on an indicative pricing.

Ask for our Multilingual website designing service.