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I have local people to do the translations but my question is what is the best way to do this -
Do I just need to change the <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us"> tag to whatever language the page is supposed to be in and then send the translators the existing page and they simply remove all the visible English text with Chinese.
Can the html still be in English? including the keywords etc or do they have to also be changed.
For Chinese I want to reach the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese market is it best to have two translations one for each market using different Chinese language sets?
Which language sets would be best? Is <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=big5"> suitable to both mainland and HK markets?
...they simply remove all the visible English text with ChineseBe careful that the translators know not to mess up the HTML...or that they know what to replace. If they're not comfortable you could break out your page elements into a flat text file and then recombine things later.
Can the html still be in English? including the keywords etc or do they have to also be changed.You would want to translate all the ALT text, any TITLE elements, all of the KEYWORD and DESCRIPTION metas. The HTML itself will work globally.
Which language sets would be best?I use gb2312 for my mainland China site and do get HK visitors. However, I'm not sure if that is optimum for the HK market. Others here could probably give better advice on that.
colour code the copy that goes to the translator and warn them that it's how you will be working out how to mark up the page so it's essential they keep the colour coding...this is especially important for taking copy in Latin languages into languages that use CJK ideograms...the layout will look very different
make sure you've included things like keywords and descriptions meta tags, and any link text you'll need for switching between languages (having to pay a translator to just send you the ideograms for "Simplified Chinese" in Simplified Chinese is not efficient)...let the translator know what keywords and phrases you want a consistent translation of...and ensure that the translator knows how you want the text encoded
I am trying to keep the same layout and style on every page whether it is in Chinese or Thai or English etc.
From your experience do se's know that a page is in X language and then consider returning that into the SERPS when they are searched in that particular language?
Then of course you have to have content in the local language as well...I use this on my Chinese site:
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=gb2312">
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="zh">
That should provide enough for the SE to determine your language and target market.
I think the ideal for a large number of languages is to use a mix of content negotiation and a "language switching" page...set content negotiation to take those who come to any index.html to the index.html that matches their browser language setting...on each page offer a link (in that language) to "other languages"...and build a unicode page that links to every index page using the two letter language code, the name of the language in that language, the name of the language in Rnglish, and a short descriptive sentence in that language as spider food...on ALL pages make the link to the home page a link to default.html and don't use content negotiation ANYWHERE other than on index.html