Here at ExtraDigital one of our specialist areas is developing Multilingual website, database systems and mobile applications in over twenty languages.
Successful Multilingual Website Development
When developing high quality and successful websites in non-English languages there are several factors specific to each language that needs to be considered to ensure that the end result is fit for purpose.
Our team of designers, developers and marketers, work together to ensure that language-specific factors and issues are addressed from the start.
ExtraDigital are able to provide you with the complete multilingual package from design and development to marketing and ongoing maintenance.
Interested in learning more about multilingual development and marketing? Check out our blog posts below to gain more insight...
Common Issues with MultiLingual Web Development
There are many factors that impact multilingual website development, each of these issues is specific to the language in question. However, they do fall into certain groups.
The Language Itself
Naturally, when developing a multilingual website the main issue is the languages being used. Problems arise if you don't take into account the impact that the language has on the design and then the development.
For example, certain fonts do not work in certain languages, largely due to the complexity of the strokes within each character.
This means you need to select your font based on the ones that can actually be used.
This gets more complex if you have an existing website in another language using a particular font already or if that font is part of your branding.
In these situations, a close match might be found, but flexibility in the styling might also be required.
Another issue is companies not realising the space required for content due to the words taking up 25% (or more in certain languages) more space than they do in English.
This length of words affects your website design which then affects your website development.
Character sets within a language are also a challenge – most western languages are based on the Latin alphabet but differences in accents within languages will need to be considered.
Other languages are based on very different scripts, for example, Cyrillic – these all require different character sets to be used within the website and the database.
Issues can arise with some commonly used code that converts characters into URLs as these will not work within Cyrillic or Arabic alphabets.
Cultural Implications and Technological Trends
Each culture and each language are different and when it comes to website development it means alterations need to be made to provide your business with the best outcome.
For example, preference for the use of mobiles as the main source of the internet by many countries, in particularly Arabic nations and China, means that any website targeting these languages must be responsive - aka mobile friendly.
Slow internet speeds in many developing countries and even in some developed countries mean that highly optimised website code is required to ensure fast loading speeds.
The Text Direction
A further consideration required for website development is the text direction. Languages like Arabic are read right to left instead of left to right which is what we are used to.
Chinese and Japanese are written from top to bottom – although for online purposes this is often changed.
This change in direction impacts the development of any website hugely. The website design needs to take this into consideration when setting out wireframes for calls to actions and content blocks.
When developing the website you need to consider what platform you are planning on building the website on. Not all content management systems (CMSs) actually allow for content to be shown right to left.
Applications built without the language in mind can be very costly to convert to multiple languages.
Multilingual Development with ExtraDigital
We have in recent years developed many multilingual websites and online applications for clients across different industries and sectors.
You can view more of our multilingual work by checking out our portfolio.
We work with many different CMS platforms including Magento and WordPress to ensure each project has the right systems and additions for success.
For brilliant multi-lingual website developments, contact ExtraDigital today on +44 (0) 1227 68 68 98 or tell us more about your plans below.