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Multi-language in one page?

 
 
Jukka K. Korpela
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      03-10-2005
Carolyn Marenger <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> "There is a perfect symbol for any language which you can use on
>> the Web: the name of the language in the language itself"

>
> That works very well for a small number of languages, but some
> sites, HP.com as an example, are available in dozens, if not more,
> languages.


The name of the language still works, but you could organize things so
that each language name is preceded by the language's two- or three-
letter code and the entries are in alphabetic order by that code.

The http://www.hp.com is a descriptive example of how things should
_not_ be done. When you view it with JavaScript disabled, it
idiotically babbles "Current date is displayed here by JavaScript code"
and contains a select menu that does nothing. It mixes country choice
with language choice, which opens new problems.

Concentrating on the language selection alone, you _might_ consider
using a select menu for the language links to save space, but then you
should at least have a server-side backup for the actual selection.
Besides, the European Union site, for example, seems to deal with the
language choice issue mostly with links, despite the increased amount
of languages. They often have two-letter character codes as links, and
this might be a tolerable compromise. After all, it is not unreasonable
to expect that a person learns the two-letter code of the language he
knows best, such as "en" for English.

> The best long term solution is getting the browsers and
> servers to communicate language preferences and select the
> appropriate language version of each page.


The real problem here is to make _users_ involved and educated. This is
something that Web authors cannot do; the technical side is manageable.
I think I already mentioned this material of mine:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/multi/

> It is strictly a personal site, but I am working on one in English
> which will be translated to French, German, Dutch, Portugeuse,
> Czech, Slovak, and maybe Spanish. Excluding the language someone
> is reading, that would mean at least seven links to the equivalent
> language pages.


That's surely manageable if you can produce the actual content in that
many languages.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html


 
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Dan
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      03-10-2005

Carolyn Marenger wrote:
> The best long term solution is getting the browsers and servers to
> communicate language preferences and select the appropriate language
> version of each page. Any idea where I can find out more about what

is
> being done to that end, and how to implement it on my own sites?


I have some notes on this in my site:
http://webtips.dan.info/language.html

--
Dan

 
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Andy Dingley
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      03-11-2005
It was somewhere outside Barstow when "Jukka K. Korpela"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>The http://www.hp.com is a descriptive example of how things should _not_ be done.


Well that's the answer, now what was the question ?

You think that's bad ? You should try _working_ there, supposedly
pushing forward the SemWeb boundaries while you have a site that looks
like _that_ !

 
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