Managing Director at Cranmore Digital Consulting Ltd
16 February 2010 12:38pm
I have a client with global websites, same framework, branding and infrastructure but translated into about 27 different languages, including Japanese.
Local marketers in Japan say they need a different design to allow for the difference in nature of Japanese typefaces. In particular the character width is so different the layout of the page has to be radically different.
Can anyone shed any light onthis or suggest any tried and tested approaches? Or generally advise.
Technical Project Manager (MBA, MBCS, CITP, CEng) at Naxtech.com
18 February 2010 13:24pm
I am not suprised. Depending on the amount of text and its translation you might end up needing a different layout or simply different versions of page elements.
Versioning of page elements is usually the best option, with a different page version being probably the next best thing.
I hope this helps.
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Director at Codehouse
30 March 2010 12:17pm
An up-to-date WCMS should help manage (and version) the content creation across multiple languages. It should also separate the content (authored text) from the presentation (layouts, markup, etc) allowing it to present the same content item (in differing languages) to different localised, optimised layouts. As above, flexibility can be added by allowing authors to choose from a selection of predefined page element layouts to suit their copy.
Plug - http://www.codehousegroup.com/services/cms.aspx
30 March 2010 19:41pm
Being fully bilingual in English and Japanese (I am Japanese living in London) and having worked on global websites in both the UK and in Japan, I don't think you need a different design. You just need to make sure that the CSS or whatever is controlling the font style to include the necessary Japanese fonts (some are better than others). Also remember that Japanese characters are double byte so Japanese pages will always take longer to load when designing templates. Having said all of the above, I would have thought that most decent CMSs should be able to take this into consideration automatically. Whilst in print we read both ways (left to right and right to left, top to bottom), most Japanese websites are like English and we read left to right.
Hope this helps :)
21 June 2010 15:55pm
If you have not managed to resolve this yet why don't you try a company like web-translations who will translate the website and mange the site for you. Their website is www.web-translations.com
International Marketing Lead at JD Sports Fashion PLC
12 July 2010 10:36am
I am fully fluent in Japanese as well (I am Japanese as well...) and my company deals with 20+ different websites in Europe.
I do agree with "Anonymous": the design should not suffer too much if you configure your CSS accordingly.
I do face a lot of issue with translations myself, especially with Russian, Dutch and German which take a lot more space than English.
The additional point is also concerning rich-media flash, you should use .xml or .as texts feeding into place holders within flash so that you have easy translations. The downside is that the design 'might' suffer, The plus die is that the translations are made much easier with the possibility of only editing a text file (xml) rather than re-editing the whole flash animation from scratch.
I hope it helps.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need more info.
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