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multilingual question

Posted on 2000-03-09
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Last Modified: 2010-04-09
hi,
a website were making is too be in english and in italian.
what is the best way to do this?
i mean do i have to make 2 versions of every page?
its possible the users will be using older browsers (i was thinking of using layers but not sure what browsers will support it)
do you have any ideas?
can i load static text from a text file or something depending on which language was chosen..
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Question by:inthe
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9 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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jbeaman earned 200 total points
ID: 2602473
I would recommend having a start page where people coming to your site could click on the appropriate language (or flag even) and then get directed to the site with the language they chose.  It would mean having to create 2 versions of your site, but I feel that this is the best implementation for the end user.  Here is an example of a English/German website:

http://www.elaborate-bytes.com/

My 2 cents,
John
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:jbirk
ID: 2602505
I think the best way to do it is to have two complete versions of the site.  But I like when the default language is the start page.  Then you can choose to toggle to the other language.  So if you expect the majority of your users to want it in italian, make that the default and have a link on that page which says "English", and vise versa.  I've seen this done on a lot of web pages (amazon.com, yahoo.com, netscape.com)

-Josh
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Author Comment

by:inthe
ID: 2602518
this is what im trying to avoid if at all possible ..all the sites i find seem to use this method that is why i ask if there is any other way..
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Expert Comment

by:jbeaman
ID: 2602533
Not that I know of.  What would be cool is if a website could pull the language being used in the browser and use some java to direct the visitor to the correct page.  I have seen this done where people using IE get sent to one location and people using NN get sent to another.  Maybe something like that exists now, but I have never run across it.  If not, it would definitely be something to include in future browser versions.  :-)
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:jbirk
ID: 2602572
It's possible to find out the language version of the browser, which is not necesarily the language version of the OS or the person...
In netscape look at this variable:
navigator.appVersion
Then parse out what's between []  it will be a 2 letter code representing the language...  but this won't work for all the browsers and versions...


you CAN do the layer method, but it would require extra download time (all the text twice!), would have problems on older browsers, and may have problems when the window is resized.  Also Netscape sometimes doesn't like things in layers which work fine outside a layer (has lots of bugs in other words...)  I wouldn't recommend this method.

There may be a server side solution available to you though.  On the server side, you can grab this 2 letter code as well, and then the page could be generated based on that...  with a default if the code isn't present or not italian or english...  This would put a lot of strain on the server though if you get a lot of hits...
-Josh
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LVL 17

Author Comment

by:inthe
ID: 2602661
i have no control over server whatsoever
dont even know where it will end up.
(im making site on behalf of a person who in turn is having it done for another company)

im also woried about using any scripts etc that are too special because of the browser issue (im told some maybe veiwing it in version 2 of ie & netscape )

looks like only option is duplicate twice the pages :-( but i'll leave question open til tommorrow night see if there are any viable options someone else knows of that we havent thought of yet.
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Expert Comment

by:jbeaman
ID: 2603013
There is a javascript that will redirect your visitors depending on the language of their browser.  You can download the code at

http://www.javascripts.com

search for language, and you should find it.
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Expert Comment

by:kikkertm
ID: 2604627
If you want to prevent creating two identical websites in two differnt languages, you should choose for a database-driven site. This would mean that you would only have one version of all the generic stuff, layout and code, and the language specific stuff will all come out of a database (or even out of include files), This makes the site much more maintainable than having two seperate standalone versions, because if you choose to , for example, change the layout of the site, you only have to change it in one place instead doing it twice. If you take a good look around, you'll see that most grand-scale sites are actually database driven..Offcourse, This descision depends on the scale of your site, if it's only a few pages, don't bother, just create two versions. If there are a few hundred however, believe me, you want tot go for database driven !


Goodluck
Mike.
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LVL 17

Author Comment

by:inthe
ID: 2606426
oh well ,2 versions it is  :o(

ps/
nice site that javascript one .
cheers
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