Multilingual Websites: Reach Out To The International Market
English is no doubt the most widely used language in the world and most commonly used in the internet but still a majority of the world population doesn’t speak English or understand it that well. English accounts for 38.3% of internet usage. This can create a language barrier thus accounting for a drop in user views as people generally entrust sites in their native language and they feel it easier to surf. A multilingual website can thus help to reach out to the global market. Companies also implement multilingual support in their websites to destroy the language barrier and expand the target market by attracting potential foreign investors or customers. Using jQuery and XML can very easily convert your site’s content to support multilingual approach.
Some tips for making your website multilingual are provided below:
Programming languages like XML and jQuery allows easy conversion of content to different languages.
Earlier different encoding scripts were used for different languages to display the characters making it difficult to convert the content to other languages.
- A unique number is provided for each character irrespective of the language, platform or program.
- Industry leaders like Apple, Microsoft, HP, and IBM etc., have adopted it. Thus Unicode is supported in all the commonly used O.S. and browsers.
- Web designing applications like Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage allows developing Unicode web pages.
- Unicode can be used for writing in more than 90 scripts and supports over 100,000 characters.
The best option for creating web pages for the international market is UTF-8 as it encodes characters of variable length for Unicode and allows using characters from different languages.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Using CSS allows quicker loading because of the smaller file sizes. The Design is separated from the content. So conversion of content can be easily done by editing only one style sheet.
Installing a widget like Google Translate allows to easily translate the content to any globally recognized language but it has one shortcoming that the sentences might not be grammatically correct or even make proper sense. So, it’s better to use professional translators.
It should be made sure that correct web designing tools are used to make the site compatible with a range of web browsers.
Arabic language requires switching of the navigation bars to right-to-left. Also, people from different region have different cultural tastes which must be taken care of. Meaningless conversions can hurt the sentiments of the people. So proper research about the cultural background must be done prior to conversion.
The conversion to different languages needs to take into consideration the cultural tastes, preferences of the people and respect their language. Using Unicode, different software, widgets, applications and translators can be a bit troublesome. But a multilingual approach to your web page worth the time and efforts required for conversion. Multilingual sites can reach out to the global customers. Else in the international market users might prefer visiting sites in their native language which provides them a better understanding of the site. Losing out potential international buyers is something you would not like to happen.
Reach out to the entire world with Bounceweb Hosting’s support for multilingual websites!
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