lucy24 - 8:59 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)
When I last reviewed it, the suggestion was to try to avoid mixing of language on a page if possible.
Can't help but think you may be better off if all the secondary languages use a different script, because then even a computer can tell the difference. If the googlebot meets Greek or Sanskrit or Inuktitut (I am sorry to say that I have at least one page that includes all three) it shrugs its robotic shoulders and moves on. But if there's German or Latin, it doesn't know what to do.
Real-life example. I think I've posted about this before, but in more of a foo-type context. I asked g### to translate a Japanese story-- that is, the English translation of a Japanese story-- into German. Results were, hm, uneven. The key point is this: at two or three places in the story, the (English) text says, in italics, sake. The German dutifully says willen in italics. We will not talk about how long it took me to figure out why it was throwing in this word in contexts where it made no sense.
It now occurs to me to wonder: The original e-book is in HTML 4 and the word is in ordinary presentational <i> tags. Now, I've got a nebulous idea that HTML 5 has a tag that means, specifically and semantically, foreign. If this tag had been used instead of plain <i>, would the word have been left untranslated?