In today’s interconnected world, expanding your online presence globally requires a localized approach. Multilingual websites have become a necessity for organizations aiming to connect with a diverse global audience. Not only do they enhance your ability to reach new target markets, but they also lend credibility to your brand, foster familiarity among visitors, and increase the likelihood of turning users into customers.
Recent research conducted on the top 150 global brands across various industries revealed that Wikipedia, Google, Nestlé, Airbnb, and Adobe were the top five brands excelling in multilingual support, localization, and global user experience. If you’re considering localizing your brand as you go global, Drupal is an excellent choice of content management system (CMS) due to its robust support for multilingual websites. In this article, we’ll explore how Drupal 9’s multilingual features work and how content editors and teams can harness these capabilities.
Drupal 9 simplifies the process of building multilingual websites with four core multilingual support modules that are readily available. Enabling them is all it takes to get started. To do so, follow these steps:
This module allows you to add and configure various languages, providing support for over 100 languages.
While not directly visible to end users, this module is invaluable for site builders. It translates configuration text, including views names.
This module enables the translation of content entities and types, such as blocks, comments, taxonomy terms, custom menu links, and more.
The Interface Translation Module facilitates the translation of user interface elements like Home, Forms, Titles, Body, and Descriptions.
You can configure these modules to be enabled for all or only specific content types, entities, configurations, or interface elements, providing flexibility and control over your multilingual setup.
Now that you’ve enabled the multilingual support modules let’s dive into the configuration process:
In your Drupal 9 admin interface, navigate to Configuration -> Regional and Language -> Languages. Click the “+ Add language” button to add languages of your choice. You can also set your default language preference.
Utilize the “Translate” option to import interface and configuration translations from localize.drupal.org. Thousands of Drupal contributors collaborate to translate interface and configuration strings into regional languages.
Enhance user experience by adding a language switcher block to any region of your webpage, allowing users to switch between their preferred languages effortlessly.
Configure which content types and entities should have translations by navigating to Configuration -> Regional and Language -> Content language and translation. Select your preferences to enable translations as needed.
With the multilingual modules configured, it’s time to explore how content teams can effectively translate content:
Whether you’re creating a new page or editing an existing one, you’ll notice a new “Translate” tab alongside the usual options (View, Edit, Delete, and Revisions) for content types that support translation.
Click on the “Translate” tab, and you’ll find a list of available languages. Choose the language to which you want to translate the content. If the language isn’t listed, you can add it.
As you enter the translation mode, all interface elements will switch to the selected language. Simply add the translated content as required.
After translating the content, remember to save your work. The translated version will be accessible to users through a language-specific URL prefix, making it easy for them to switch between languages.
To illustrate the effectiveness of Drupal 9’s multilingual capabilities, let’s look at a real-world example. SEMI, a global industry association with over 1.3 million professionals and 2500 members worldwide, needed a multilingual setup to cater to its diverse audience. With eight regional offices worldwide, they required a cohesive multisite, multilanguage experience. Drupal 9 was the solution of choice. Learn more about how SEMI achieved this on their website.
Creating a multilingual website in Drupal 9 is a straightforward process that significantly expands your reach and enhances user experience. By leveraging Drupal’s built-in multilingual support modules and following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively connect with global audiences and build a strong online presence. If you require assistance with Drupal development for your next multilanguage website project, feel free to reach out for expert guidance and support. Embrace the power of multilingualism to unlock new opportunities and take your online presence to the next level.
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