How can I make my site available in multiple languages?
I know that it's not optimal, but I want to make the product information pages on my online store available in a bunch of different languages without paying the major bucks to get a professional translator to maintain them. I know that services like Babelfish let you enter a URL and get the contents translated automatically, but is there some way to hook that into a site directly?
You're right, and you're right. It is the case that machine translation through services like Altavista's Babelfish are inferior to having a human translate them (for a good discussion of why this is the case, please see my earlier article why human translators are better than machine translation).
Nonetheless, if you want something quick and dirty and are willing to accept that the results might be somewhat cockeyed, weird, puzzling or inadvertently amusing, then automated machine translation can be a good option.
Rather than Altavista's service, however, I'm more of a fan of Google's Translation Service (I swear, I'm not on Google's payroll, I just like their products and services!).
Fortunately for both of us, my friend Brad Feld recently added an automatic-translation feature to his popular blog and his programmer blogged about it, including showing his custom code to achieve the translation. Sweet indeed!
<option value="">Translate This Page</option>
<option value="zh-CN">Chinese Simplified</option>
<option value="zh-TW">Chinese Traditional</option>
As you can see, it supports quite a few of the languages Google offers, for better or worse. If you don't want to support them all, just axe a few lines from the code block, so you can, for example, just offer translation into French, Spanish and Italian if you wanted.
How's it work? Well, here's an example with the code actually live:
Try it, check out this very page in Russian or Greek. Cool, eh?
You'll notice that Ross has added some CSS style attributes to the select statement too: if you don't like how he's set things up, you can definitely tweak 'em to get a different result.
Hope that helps you add this capability to your site. Let us know how it works out with your overseas and non-English speaking customers.
✔ How to Create Predefined Google Image Search Links?
Thanks for the Amazon URL [see Creating Amazon Search Links]. That worked beautifully. In fact, I sent you $5.00 for coffee in thanks....✔ Can I embed a Facebook search box on my blog site?
I've seen your articles about how to add a Twitter or Google search box on a Web page, but I have a tougher...✔ Can I use CSS for drop shadows on my blog?
I want to give my site a bit of a facelift and add some neat graphical elements. One of which is drop shadows....✔ How can I embed interactive photo panoramas on my site/blog?
I read through your blog entry about how to take panoramic photos with iOS 6 and an iPhone 5 and got enthused. I've...✔ How can I create a Twitter search URL shortcut?
I'd like to add a few Twitter search links to my Web site. Is that possible, or does Twitter prohibit this sort of...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+