Challenges for a Multilingual Website

Blog Post created by admondrays on Sep 23, 2014

Multilingual website is a very thought-provoking project. Creating it involves wider and bigger challenges than in any other. It involves various different languages keeping all the target countries in concern. Multilingual websites are designed in order to have a global reach. Basically, companies prefer these types of websites with an intention to expand their business.


There are very less people who know about the lengthy and monotonous process behind the creation of a multilingual website. Only 37% of the world converse in English. Rest consists of languages like French, German, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Greek, Swedish, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, etc. A website with multi-languages has to take care of all the languages and their translations.


Website translation, in general terms means, translation of/in a website. But, it is a task that involves great concentration and high maintenance. There are many challenges that are involved in laying its foundation that continues even after its establishment. But the four major challenges that a company has to keep in their concern can be as follows.


  • Designing

It consists of designing aspects that while translating any web page into German, the structure may be hampered. It includes length of words and their font sizes. When the length of a word is concerned, languages vary. That is, there are a few languages that have long words in comparison with a word of a particular language. For example, German has unending words and on the contrast, Chinese language consists of short words in length. Similarly, problem arises with the font sizes. Generally font size of Chinese word becomes small when translated from an English word. Therefore, the website must be designed in such a way that the space and words can be managed properly.  If not, a German Translator has to play a smart role while translating!


  • Bad Translation

This issue has been observed in most of the websites that when it comes to translation. The major problematic issue is the bad translation of words or sentences. Generally, sites are translated word to word which creates confusion and leads to meaningless content. For example, a sentence written is in English language; when it is translated to German, the meaning of the sentence gets totally changed; this will create a problem and the website will not be able to transit its message to the mass/target audience properly. So, this has to be taken care of.


  • Language Detection

Language detection method should be chosen with utmost care. Every company wants to generate clients. It can be possible if the client will be satisfied with his/her search. For example, if a client search for a word in Russian and the word that appears on the screen is the translated version of that particular word, this can create a problem. It will be great if the client finds what he/she is in search for. Try not to enter default language in search engine only.


  • Costly construction and Maintenance

As the construction of a multilingual website is not easy, nobody will do it for free. Even, it costs more than just a normal website. Building of these sites involves a great brainstorming. The site involves translation which leads to hiring of translators and developers. It is not this only, maintenance is more cost and time consuming. With the advancement in technology, changes with time have to be done in the website and hence it has to be done in all the languages that have been covered.


The challenges of creating an international websites are varied and complicated. Website translation is a very challenging project.It is of course a very beneficial venture and attracts greater target audience. Hereby, every single step has to be taken with maximum attention and caution.


About The Author:

Admond is a brilliant Website Translator working on multilingual sites. She has translated several personal, corporate and e-commerce websites into different languages. To know more about website translations visit us.