Seach Input translation

Robert Granlund
Robert Granlund used Ask the Experts™
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How are companies translating search terms on international sites.  Like GE.com
The website site uses a translation API that translates a page on the fly. The Content in the CMS is all in English.  So when someone types in a search term in Italian,  but the pages being searched are all in english, so the Italian term needs to be translated into english so the DB can be searched and appropriate results can be returned.  How do you think they are doing it?
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Commented:
I would imagine they are using something like Google Translate.

Details of the Google Translate API can be found here

https://cloud.google.com/translate/docs
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Commented:
The Content in the CMS is all in English.
It does not look that way to me, and machine translations are rarely good enough for "prime time" around the world.  I believe that GE has native language content.  Please see: http://www.ge.com/it/

See also this article on the general design for a polyglot web application.  It shows directory structures that work well, and allow for native language expansion without disrupting the existing translations.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/PHP/A_8910-A-Polyglot-Web-Site-in-PHP.html

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Commented:
@Ray and all,
Thank you for the information.  However, let's say www.MYSITE.com has only English content.  A third party API like Transifex to translate pages on the fly.  If a person is in Germany and they use a German term in the search box, that German term will not be in the English content.  

So my question is this; how do you translate a search term into english so it returns the appropriate results?

In addition, the website knows your geo location and knows what the native language is,  so that is not an issue.
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Commented:
Current within the last couple of weeks:
https://cloud.google.com/translate/v2/pricing

Example of Google auto-detect:
https://translate.google.com/?text=#auto/en/schweinchen

Regarding geolocation, what if I'm an English speaker traveling in France?  I think it's wiser to let the client choose the languages of choice.  You can make a guess for them, but good UX tells me that it would be right for us to give the client the power to choose and have the choice remembered.  That is illustrated in the article about polyglot sites.

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