Does anyone have multi-language websites?

My website is currently only in English but I am thinking about creating a (cut-down) French version.

Have any of you experience of creating a version of your website in another language? I've read that you should use the appropriate domain name for the country you are targeting i.e. .fr for France to be found by search engines. - maybe I should ask this in the webdesign forum but I thought I start here a my website is to advertise our gites.

Would you translate the name to the other language - my website is - it would be in French.

Maybe I should ask this in the webdesign group but I thought I'd start here as my website is to advertise our gites.

Any feedback appreciated.

Very true Finn - so difficult giving general advice and like you I haven't worked for a french agency in years as I found them to be the worst. Specialist field knowledge goes without saying too. I'm the one that gets pretty much anything technical from one agency because others, to quote their words, don't even understand what the text is talking about!

that's what I understood, mine was just a general comment following Brian's. I'm pretty much out of translating and teaching, working on perhaps the last one as we speak - what do I know Brain and Finn, I'm going to be selling fags, sweets and lottery tickets for the next god knows how many years from now on (and earn a lot more money doing so!)

Bonne soirée à tous

I meant as a plugin on a wordpress site

if someone just wants a translation to understand what is being said then OK, and I'll do that too. BUT most clients and agencies want a translation that appears to be the original text written in that language and NOT a translation. at times I spend up to half my time proofreading exactly what we're talking about, various agencies I work with use inhouse translators who are far cheaper but not native, they then pay me more than they paid the original translator to, at times, re-write the text. Horses for courses, it depends what the goal is. If someone who is truly bi-lingual then yes no problem, but those of you who are so really are in a tiny minority amongst linguists ;-)

Yes, ja, oh dear I am bilingual, so which... No I go along with Finn. I have had to use languages in my work and some I do very well and a few are enough to say hello, how are you and goodbye just about. But I will happily translate German into Spanish as long as it is proofread and reviewed. Reviewing texts is the missing link. Does the translation say the same as the author's work. Jack (Jean-Louis) Kerouac was born in the USA but his family were from Quebec and he knew French and refused to let the first version of the translation of 'On the Road' (Sur la Route) be published in French until it said what he was saying. No software reviews, so it still needs the human input.

you'll always be the exception to the rule Finn, and I mean that nicely! the golden rule applies to the vast majority of translators but there are exceptions and yours is one, like many scandinavians who use English to a better level than many native English speakers! mother tongue does in no way guarantee correctnes and the French used by most French students at the Uni where I teach is dreadful and full of mistakes. i correct all my (French) OH's written work too. But I still lack that real feal and flair for more complex texts and so don't and that's the standard trade advice, and especially the advice I'd give to any budding translators here on sfn ;-)

Yes, never, never, never use software for translation, only cat tools, and only ever translate INTO your mother tongue professionally. the two golden rules for tranlsators ;-)

Thanks Neil - it's been over a month since I posted this so now have created a french version of my website - I'm sure other people will find this useful though :-)

No, I stick to languages I can do myself and get somebody to proofread, never software which does odd things to language too often.

no, sorry :-(

Has anyone tried qtranslate?

Hi Maria, I have created ours with just the gite pages in French and Spanish with rest of the site in English only. We had only one English family last year; the majority of our clients are French or Spanish.

One of the sites we advertise on is who translate your information into 9 languages thereby reducing the necessity for translation on our own site. I then cut and paste their translation onto the relevant pages on our own site. This cuts out the cost of a professional translator and makes sure the translation is correct and we don't have to rely on ourselves, family or friends! If we wanted to reach all of the European countries in their own language it would make the site rather large. Please have a look at our site:

My design work on:


Interesting discussion as I am in the process of creating my website and want to have it in English and French, but thought I could do it with one domain, but did wonder if I should have a domain with a French name as well.

you're more than welcome Maria, the example was more to give you an idea of an easy to put together multi-lingual site than to say go with free hosting, Finn is so right given the what are now tiny costs ;-)

Yes, totally agree Finn and accept that a domain name is far better, I had one to start with when they were still expensive and I had problems with the hoster. As nearly all my business then came from a client base that I developed more through and translators.café etc. The site is looking rather old fashioned now and needs changing but I'm getting out of the translation market anyway so not really worth it!

Phew, glad you posted that Finn, I've already purchased a domain name and started working on the website - what else is a wet bank holiday weekend for - as you say the cost is relatively small and I think well worth the investment.

I do appreciate you trying to help me out though Andrew :-)

Hi Maria, I think you've got most of your answers by now but just thought I'd add that if you're not too fussed about the domain name you can do it all for free, I used a free template back in 2006, you'll see it's now more than a little dated!, and wrote all the pages myself and it doesn't cost me a thing as it's hosted by voila where you can have up to 5 sites and email adresses, the main page is on my sfr hoster but then you enter the language you want and are diverted - have a look round, it's very easy to do just takes a long time and you can change things whenever you want ;-) ps I used frontpage when I wrote it: not advertising Catharine and James as you're more than aware of my changes ;-)

You're right Brian - these people have to find ways for their businesses to pay - I stick with the basic stuff as my "business" such as it is (our holiday home which we let if we can) doesn't need bells and whistles...