we built a bilingual site for one of our career college clients in florida when i worked for an ad agency. my team wrote the content in english and then we had it translated by someone on staff. totally low budget and i'm not sure how it turned out or how well it did. that was our "pilot" project and it was quickly abandoned once completed. the language was spanish. no big surprise there.
Currently, we are planning a website with approx. 16 languages represented, since next year we will become a decentralized network of Learning Centers located in 15 different countries across Europe! We are working to promote their independence so we are focusing on also implementing multiple sub-sites for each language so that each learning center can handle their own content and some aspects of their look and feel but still fit into the overall marketing of larger institution (a work in progress itself).
Currently, we are looking at two possible CMS's: Joomla and WordPress!
Our Joomla option could use the following extensions
-JoomFish for the translation/maintenance of different languages
-Multiple Sites for the management of different subsites
-Virtual Domains for domain mapping and subsite configuration
-As well as a few custom bits of code to handle switching between sub-domains and the like
Our Wordpress option would use the following plug-ins
-WordPress MultiLanguage for translation/maintenence/translator mgmt
-Child Themes to control the look and fell of each subsite
-WordPress MU Domain mapping to manage sub-domains and config files
-As well as a few bits of new code to handle translation switching
I'm maintaining a university site in Wales - bilingualism's a legal requirement and Welsh translation can often be a factor in timings etc. Most difficult thing is to make small changes here and there to alter tone or a small mistake you've spotted and then having to track the changes to get translation done. Very easy to forget but there's always someone out there to spot the difference for you once it's live!
We're in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where there is a large Spanish-speaking population. We do not offer our entire site in Spanish. We offer Spanish-language pages on topics of interest to parents, since for our demographics they are likely the non-English speakers.
We've purposefully not just used a translate function of our site b/c automatic translators just can't do the job like actual people can. There's also the issue of the dialects of the other languages to consider. Our Spanish-speakers do not speak the Spanish of Spain, and have their own idioms for many expressions.
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