Ashley Sheridan​.co.uk

Candi International

The Candi international website was quite an interesting project to work on purely for its multilingual aspect. I've worked on websites which required different languages before, but this was different as the two languages other than English were Chinese and Arabic, the first of which doesn't seem to ever have spaces in the text, and the other which reads from right to left, and neither of them use any western characters. This wouldn't be an issue but for the fact that the same website template needed to be used for all 3 languages, and there was little room to tweak in the CMS that the site had to use.

In order for me to enter the translations correctly (which was made more difficult because of my not knowing the two other languages!) I first dumped out all the English into XML in a custom schema I created specifically so that I could have the structure of the content preserved during the translation process. This worked really well, and although there was no automatic import/export feature for this sort of thing, the use of the XML sped up my delivery tremendously, with very few amends.

As well as delivering the site in several languages, I also tried to make as sure as possible that the site was accessible, to the point where the animated banner at the top degrades gracefully without JavaScript enabled and core functionality is built using core technologies. Because of this effort, the natural search engine results were also dramatically effected, and traffic from the targeted countries the additional languages were intended for went up by 400% in some places!

I learnt some interesting lessons from this project, and am looking forward to working multilingual again.

Skills Used

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