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Extending Your Website Reach – Multilingual Websites with Kentico Pt. 3

By Cathy Dew on May 18, 2017

Keeping your content fresh and your editors happy

This is the 3rd part of a series on using Kentico for Multilingual web sites. In Part 1 we introduced you to the idea that your web site should be multilingual and discussed some of the design philosophies, needs and costs associated with going multilingual. In Part 2, we covered the planning steps for a successful multilingual implementation, as well as, how to configure Kentico to manage and display your new multilingual content. With today’s post, we’ll explain how to manage your multilingual content. We’ll go over translations options, editing content pages, aligning your Administrative interface to your editor’s culture, as well as, some advanced options like unique page templates and date-time formats.

Translation Options / Choices

As we discussed in Part 1, you can purchase translation services to generate content for the languages you are targeting. No matter how you decided to have your content translated, via a service or manually, you can use Kentico to assist you with tracking the translation tasks.

There are several workflow paths that you need to decide on for your translation tasks. The first is machine translation or human translation. Second, with human translation, does the service support workflow automation with Kentico (e.g. Translation.com), will you have to send the translation files via email & import them back or will someone be translating the content directly into Kentico?

KenticoTranslateFlow.png

If you are considering the automated translation route, you can translate your content via machine services or via a translation service like Translation.com. Kentico supports automatic submission and retrieval of content to machine services like Microsoft Translator and Google Translator. Be aware that machine translation should only be the first step of translating your content. While helpful, machine translation will not capture culture/location specific idioms that give flavor and readability to your content.

Kentico can also track and automate the send and receive of target content with other Translation services. Out of the box, Kentico supports interfacing with Translation.com. If your selected translation service has an automation API, your Kentico consultant can program a custom communication path between your Kentico service and theirs.

Lastly, if automation is not available, Kentico has tools to assist with the export and import of translated content. Additionally, if you are translating content “in-line” using the Kentico administrative interface, notices that content is pending translation can be setup.

Again, all of these parts can be tracked with Kentico’s built-in workflow engine, assigning tasks, sending notifications, and reminders to assist with ensuring your content translations are completed.

Creating / Editing Multilingual Pages

Once you have activated a new culture in Kentico (as outlined in Post 2), you will have a language selector available in your Admin Pages application. Using this selector, you can switch between all the active languages and visually identify which pages have been translated and which pages are in need of translation. You can also create a new page that is only available in the target (non-default) language, but you should not make this a routine process. If you can keep the pages in-sync across all cultures / language you will find your administration much simpler.

Is your CMS Admin interface easy to use across languages, cultures and locations? #kentico

So now you’ve identified a page that needs translation. When you select the target page, Kentico informs you that the target page doesn’t exist for the current culture.If you enabled any of the automated translation options, you’ll see 3 options: Create Empty Page, Copy content from another language, or Translate using Service.

With the manual options, you can immediately begin working on translating the content. Kentico has a compare language versions “view” that allows your editors to compare two language versions of the page side-by-side.This is hugely convenient when translating the content in-line within Kentico.

With the automated options, the workflows will take over and send the target content to your selected translation service. A scheduled task will be created to poll the translation service for the completed package and notify you when it’s picked up and added to the new page. You can then review the translation and publish the page for public consumption. Note that until you create and publish the new page for the target culture the default culture / language will show on the selected page.

Lastly, Kentico has a page listing view called “listing mode”, that shows all the pages in a list grid. As part of this view of the pages, there are color codes that assist with tracking language translations. Green means the content for the current language is update to date. Orange means that the current language is out of date, that the default language has changed and this current language needs updating. Finally, red means the page doesn’t exist in the target language and should be translated.

Securing Cultures / Multilingual Pages

Sometimes you need to control what editors can and cannot do by language. Kentico has the option to control what languages / culture an editor can work with. In order to control what cultures an editor can work on, you make changes to their profile. Within the Users Application, edit the target user, and under the languages tab you can select All, Some or None of the active languages. If you are running multiple sites under Kentico, you can also control the language edits by Site.

Multilingual Admin Interface

You might find yourself in a position that your Kentico Administrators are more comfortable working in their native language while working within Kentico Admin UI.Kentico supports switching between languages for Admins, independent of the page languages.

Administrative Interface localization is dependent upon the installation of alternate language packs. You can download language packs for most languages at the Kentico DevNet site. If you don’t see the language you need, your Kentico Consultant can assist you in creating a custom language pack.

Once you have installed the language packs you need, you need to activate the language as a UI Culture. This is done via the Localization application. You edit the target culture and set Is UI Culture to “yes”. After these two steps, the language is available via the target user’s profile to set as the Preferred user interface culture.

Advanced Settings - Unique Page Templates

As discussed in Post 1, certain languages create design restriction on your layouts and content. If you find that the differences between left-to-right and right-to-left languages or Cyrillic versus Latin versus Asian character, are too much for your default layout, you can setup Kentico to provide different layouts for each language / culture activated.  This setting is under the target page, properties -> templates tab. There you can set “Each culture version uses its own page template option”. This change will give you an option to clone template as ad-hoc, which will create a separate copy of the page template and assign it to the current language. You can now change the design of the page without affecting the other languages.

That completes our whirlwind tour of how to setup Multilingual sites using Kentico CMS. Hopefully you found this information helpful.

2Plus2 is a Kentico Gold Partner and would love to help you get the most out of your Kentico system. Go online to schedule a free consultation with our team or call 510-652-7700 today.

Cathy Dew
Cathy Dew – CEO + Information Architect
Cathy focuses the company on our mission – Real results. Every time. Information architect and strategist, Cathy is passionate about making software work well – the function, the feel, the result.