Skip to main content

Articles tagged with "internationalization"

Language Hierarchy: More power and flexibility without extra effort

4th Nov 2015

Several of our recent projects have involved setting up languages that feel like 'child' languages of other languages, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's for marketing, so that content can be overridden for markets using a specific currency, other times it's to target a specific audience. Our classic examples are 'Euro English' and 'British English' - in either case, these are special cases of regular English. A more traditional example would be Canadian French - where most content would be the same as French, but some pages would want different spellings or customisations. We came across Amazee Labs' work on language fallback which inspired us to work on the Language Hierarchy project.

Language Hierarchy

Read more

Saving the web with responsible websites

22nd Jul 2015

I recently read the trending article The Web We Have to Save, by blogger Hossein Derakhshan ('Hoder'), who had been imprisoned in Iran for six years. In the article, he talks about how the internet had changed over that time. Quality can be drowned out; what is important is diluted in amongst the trivial.

Personally, I believe any expression of culture will reflect the society it flows from. The internet is a global society, so incorporates so many different aspects of humanity - different, good, and bad.
What does the internet say about our global society? I believe that we should all take responsibility to some extent -- especially those of us in the business of websites and content on the internet! Can we contribute to a more responsible internet? Are we equipped to do so?

Read more

Language lessons: 10 Useful tips

14th Oct 2014

To complete my series on multilingual Drupal, here are some mini-lessons I've learnt. Some of them are are to improve the experience for administrators & translators, others cover obscure corners of code. The first few don't require any knowledge of code, but the later ones will be much more technical.

Read more

Language lessons: What are you translating?

19th Aug 2014

Content (node-level) translation or entity (field-level) translation?

It seems an obvious question to ask, but what are you translating?

The tools exist to translate just about anything in Drupal 7*, but in many different ways, so you need to know exactly what you're translating. Language is 'a first-class citizen', in the sense that any piece of text is inherently written by someone on some language, which Drupal 7 is built to recognise. Sometimes you want to translate each & every individual piece of text (e.g. at the sentence or paragraph level). Other times you want to translate a whole page or section that is made up of multiple pieces of text.

Read more

Language lessons: Default language

10th Jun 2014

When you are going to have multiple language set up on your Drupal site, it's important to set the default language appropriately before creating content. Once that is set, content will normally be set to be in that language, and any translations made on the site will be assumed to be from the default language as the source. So changing it is not a good idea, as there's no way to differentiate between translations made before and after the switch in Drupal 6 or 7! (This has been resolved in Drupal 8.)

So, once you've thought first about what is necessary for your multilingual site, the next step is to pick the right default language, ideally before setting up anything else, as everything is 'in' a language in some way. It's usually an obvious choice, but did you know that the Drupal software itself and associated modules (i.e. the codebase, referred to as the 'interface') is all written in U.S. English (as per the coding standards)?

Read more

Language lessons: Think first!

16th May 2014

Architecture has to be carefully thought through before implemented, or it could all come crashing down at an unexpected moment. You may not realise it, but language is a piece of architecture in all websites. Site builders will be used to thinking about how best to model content, usually in terms of content types, fields and vocabularies on Drupal sites. Every piece of text is modelled somehow - and every piece of text is written in some language. As soon as it matters which language that is - so that translations can be associated with each other and shown beside or instead of one another - that content model needs to incorporate language.

Read more

Language lessons: Getting started

24th Mar 2014

I recently got the chance to implement Drupal's multilingual capabilities on a major client site. Drupal has some of the best functionality around for localizing & translating a site, but it does take quite a lot to understand & configure. We will host a series of articles on this, entitled 'language lessons', starting on ... how to get started!

Getting started with multilingual Drupal 7

The first places to visit when getting started with languages in Drupal are the handbook page and Gábor Hojtsy's blog. Among other things, Gábor heads up the multilingual initiative for Drupal 8, which...

Read more