Internationalization and Translation for our new Web Site

I’ve added language packs to a development version of the Drupal site for each language where Middlebury has a Language School. These language packs help to translate the user interface of Drupal. However, most of our users will be interacting with Drupal through Monster Menus, rather than the default interface. Fortunately, Drupal provides an interface to automatically detect strings in UI screens and adds them to a database of strings that can have translations. Both Middlebury and MIIS should consider who within their organization could provide interface translations for each of our supported languages.

Speaking of which, here are the language packs I installed:

Arabic 0/5373 (0%)
Chinese, Simplified 2511/5373 (46.73%)
Chinese, Traditional 2514/5373 (46.79%)
English (built-in) n/a
French 4695/5373 (87.38%)
German 4500/5373 (83.75%)
Hebrew 1450/5373 (26.99%)
Italian 3488/5373 (64.92%)
Japanese 2883/5373 (53.66%)
Portuguese, Brazil 2650/5373 (49.32%)
Portuguese, Portugal 0/5373 (0%)
Russian 2363/5373 (43.98%)
Spanish 2539/5373 (47.25%)

The second column shows the number of strings and percentage of total strings the translation pack comes with. Note that there currently is no supported language pack for Drupal 6 for either Arabic or native Portuguese, though the maintainer of the Arabic language project just started up work on it again this week.

None of this needs to be decided today, of course, but do we want to support both versions of Chinese and Portuguese? Are there other languages we want to support? Middlebury and MIIS can have either the same, or different, sets of languages enabled in their site, so which would each site like?

And that’s just interface translation! We should also be considering content translation, as we’ve already seen that this will be a likely prominent feature of the MIIS site and I would be shocked if it weren’t featured at least on the language oriented parts of Middlebury’s site. When talking to areas of the college about content development, be sure to mention this.

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