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I want to create a blog where posts can be in various languages. In the current version, I have 209 posts total, with 29 in English and 1 in Italian (the rest is in French).

I've read that Google prefers if you don't mix two or more languages on the same page; so I'm guessing that showing a blog post in Italian means that the interface (links, pagination, title, etc.) has to be in Italian as well.

Most (all?) websites seem to let the user choose a language at the beginning and then allow him or her to switch between translations (ie. Wikipedia)

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My problem is that I would like visitors to see all posts; even those in other languages, even if they don't fully understand it.

I want to do this because :

  • even if most of my users are French, they have a basic level of English, especially since I mostly write about technical stuff.
  • Trying to understand a short paragraph in another language is fun :)
  • Someone who speaks English and French will want to see all posts

But if I mix all the posts together, the user will be very confused when the navigation links switch from English to French, for instance...

Is there a solution to my problem, or should I just compartmentalize languages like every other site ? How can I separate languages without hiding them completely from view ?

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"showing a blog post in Italian means that the interface has to be in Italian as well." => It won't be enough : google won't like that the language change from one page to another. –  Julien N Dec 20 '11 at 13:45
    
You might want to ask on Webmasters as well in regards to SEO, I'm not sure what Google will think of your site with multiple languages like that. –  Ben Brocka Dec 20 '11 at 23:27
    
@BenBrocka: why would Google care about multiple languages on a site, or even on a single page for that matter. I am pretty sure dictionary.com etc. are well regarded by Google. Probably all they care about it correct declaration of languages used. And that might be challenge when using a standard CMS. But only because most CMS's don't cater for multi-language pages or sites (not out-of-the-box anyway). –  Marjan Venema Dec 21 '11 at 8:58
    
@JulienN: Do you have links to back up that statement? I don't see why Google would care about multi-language sites/pages as long as the headers/meta correctly reflect the language(s) of each page. –  Marjan Venema Dec 21 '11 at 9:00
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I found this: "Although Google can recognize a page as being in more than one language, we recommend using the same language for all elements of a page: headers, sidebars, menus, etc." googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/03/… –  Manu Dec 21 '11 at 9:02
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can provide a short snippet of text for posts that are not writen in the current language and a link labelled "see full content in Italian".

In this way multi-language audiencies interested in the topic do not lose information, and single-languaged people do not get the impression of being lost in the Tower of Babel.

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The Home page could display just the post titles as below:

No matter what language certain posts are written in, you can have all post titles in English. Then you could indicate the language of the post alongside as a link to the actual post.

That way the Home page will stay uniformly in English and actual posts would be under the respective language.

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Yes. Choose a language that "your blog" is in, regardless of the languages of some individual posts. Keep that consistent and signal the deviations in individual posts. –  Monica Cellio Dec 20 '11 at 17:02
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