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How To Have One Web Site Display Different Laguages When Viewed Around The World?


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#1 netessentials

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 12:06 AM

I was on a competitors web site recently and saw that they had different languages for the same site. The path was \en\index.php for English, so I typed in \fr\index.php and saw it in French. This seemed like a great idea for our international potential clients and we want to do the same for a few languages. We have a PHP site now.

I'm looking for the code to use that would recognize what country the visitor is in and then redirect them to the language that they may like better than English. I've seen other sites that have about 4-5 flags and when you click on that language, you get it, but I'm under the impression that there is a way to redirect automatically to another language.

Edited by iamlost, 24 December 2011 - 12:31 PM.
Removed unnecessary self-referencing link


#2 Dr.Marie

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 12:46 PM

I'm no expert on this, but I do know that there is a lot of information you can get via php using $_SERVER. One of the elements is HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE. I'm assuming that you could use this to figure out which language the user is using and then redirect to the appropriate version of the page.

#3 iamlost

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 01:18 PM

There are a number of such php scripts available, just do a search such as [ php redirect by language preference ].

Two points to consider:
1. the need to both pickup the browser's preferred language array, i.e. en-ca, en-uk, en-us, en, and then deliver the best available choice. This requires a preset language dataset and methodology; at least the ability to truncate, i.e. en-ca to en and/or recognise that en or en-ca means that your available en-us page is acceptable.

2. the ability for the user to over-ride the served choice simply and easily such as prominent alternative language choices. Never assume that an algo/script determination is always best.

#4 A.N.Onym

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:47 AM

Not to mention that it's more effective in the long run to use country-specific .tlds, rather than a single domain, IMVHO :)

#5 iamlost

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 12:09 PM

Not to mention that it's more effective in the long run to use country-specific .tlds, rather than a single domain, IMVHO :)

When there is a country tld that is often best practice especially combined with hosting in that country. Of course this does increase costs but often boosts ranking as shown to queries from those countries plus increases prbability of being returned by country/region/language specific niche SEs.

Where having multiple languages available on a single tld is definitely best practice is when a country has significant language minorities whether official (such as Canada: English and French, Belgium: Dutch, French, and German) or simply a matter of significant numbers.

A matter for serious consideration is that often a single text translation can accommodate a broader number than aural (podcast or video with voice). You really need to know your demographic targets because translation is an expensive endeavour when done correctly.



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