In February we added features that enable you to publish translated editions of documents (how to do this is explained in http://inside-inside-gov.tumblr.com/post/44215691162/worldwide and http://inside-inside-gov.tumblr.com/post/45412650932/ability-to-translate-into-welsh).
Our implementation of multi-lingual publishing provides effective visual cues to users, paths for search engines and workflows for publishers. But recently we’ve come across instances where publishers have overlooked these features when publishing translated content.
When translation features are not used, it introduces a number of problems that can only be undone by unpublishing the content and starting again from scratch:
- using English language ‘templates’ for non-English content means users and the web might well regard the page as no better than gibberish
- users who find the English or translated documents aren’t notified that alternative language versions are available
- no locale is provided in the url to verify the language (e.g. .es for Spanish or .cy for Welsh)
- translated content is not indexed properly in search
- it means unnecessary steps for publishers when creating the document(s)
- it puts the responsibility on you (rather than the app) when making updates to remember that there are parallel documents that also need to be located and updated
This mainly concerns FCO and Wales Office at the moment, but I raise it here because other orgs have expressed an interest in beginning to publish translated editions of documents.
Imminent stories on our backlog will expand on the translation features by allowing translation of additional format types (eg. detailed guidance) and the publication of documents without there having to be a canonical English edition.