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Creating a Spanish Version of a Site

What steps should I consider

     
3:50 pm on Jun 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A client is looking to translate into Spanish a portion of their content. This is for a 15-year old site that has about 25K quality content ranked in the 5,000s range in Alexa.

They have a cadre of translation experts who will translate their English papers to Spanish (not automated translations, but paid human translators that will be cleared by their Spanish communications guy).

The target audience is the Hispanics located in the US -- not Hispanics outside of the US.

Given the above, what elements should be considered, specifically:

1 - Content will reside on the main English site, not a separate domain. How should the directory for this new content best structured?

2 - Is it advisable to get a ccTLD for this Spanish content, when the target market is only Hispanics in the US?

3 - Any other things that should be considered?

Thanks
4:06 pm on June 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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1) I would use the same directory structure under a /Spanish or /es folder. In other words, the Spanish version of example.com/whatever.txt would be located at example.com/Spanish/whatever.txt

2) If I was going to get another domain, I would probably get a .us one. But since the main site already has a 15-year history, I think it might be better to just keep things on the existing site.

3) A- Are the translators in Spain or the U.S.?
B- Make sure each page has links back and forth between English/Spanish versions for that page.
4:18 pm on June 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If you are developing this language for a specific country, I would advise getting and using the country specific domain name.

If this project is for all spanish speaking visitors from all countries, I would use a sub-folder or sub-domain off your main domain.

Agree with having a link up top to jump from either english or spanish at any time. That is useful if someone ends up on the wrong one from serps.

This thread has a great tip from user "pageoneresults" about how to specify the language in the meta tags:

[webmasterworld.com...]
4:20 pm on June 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the tips

The translators are all based in the US, though they worked with translators in Argentina/Chile for one of their major books. They've been publishing the Spanish version of the book for the last 4 years, so the translation is heavily reviewed and vetted - and that content will be part of the Spanish version

The main site is a .org, and yes, the Spanish content will be put in that main site.
4:28 pm on June 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Which is the better way to go -- directory or subdomain?
5:20 am on June 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A separate domain would be my preference, but you could also consider a subdomain. I'd stay away from the folder idea.

Don't just get the material translated. Sometimes that isn't enough. You might also like to get the content rewritten by a professional native speaking copywriter. In a different language sometimes there are completely different ways to phrase things that a straight translation may not achieve.
3:54 am on July 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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What's wrong with putting the Spanish content in a directory?

I have a site that's about 13 years old. Several years ago, I went bilingual on it. The main site was already English, so I left that alone. All the Spanish content (target audience was Spanish-speaking people in the U.S.) was put in an /es directory.

I never experienced any problems getting content indexed, nor any problems getting good rankings.
2:23 am on July 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm actually working on a site right now for a bilingual English/Spanish client catering to a Spanish speaking audience in the Greater Toronto Area. It is going to be established as 2 separate domains to take full advantage of the keyword use at the top level of the name. They will cross link to each other on each page.
 

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