If the Worldwide section of Inside Government is to effectively explain the UK government’s structure and activities overseas, it is going to have to be available in languages other than English.
In 2012, for example, 59% of page views on the FCO’s China site were on Chinese language pages, 59% of views on its Brazil site were on Portuguese pages and 34% of views on the Spain site were on Spanish pages.
Forty plus languages
We will be launching Worldwide with the ability to translate into 44 languages, including Arabic, Russian and even French.
FCO has been publishing online in these 40+ languages over the last few years, but if something changes and we need to add to the list we can.
In this first release, location home pages, organisation profiles, priorities, news stories, speeches and staff bios will all be translatable by FCO’s network of publishers in locations around the globe.
Each content item can be [manually] translated into multiple language editions; so a news story published by the British Consulate-General in Los Angeles can be translated into Spanish, or Arabic for that matter.
Page furniture too
The language options for a content item will be displayed to the user at the top of each page.
The page labels, dates and times will all be translated in time. And, as users navigate through the site, the locale will be retained so long as there is translated content available.
Ways to go
With the help of the development talents in Go Free Range, we have managed to produce a solid first iteration of a multi-lingual Inside Government in just a few weeks.
There’s still some work to do before release but we’re really pleased with it so far. Iterations will quickly following after the first release, things that we plan to do and that we’ll discover that we haven’t thought of yet.
So watch this space, and as ever we are open to ideas.