Ensure content for multilingual & LEP audiences is culturally-relevant, not just a word for word translation of the content developed for English speakers. This is particularly important for certain types of information, such as health-related information, but should be considered early on in the process of understanding audiences and developing websites, not after the site has been fully developed in English.
Content in other languages
What can we do to improve how global audiences and people with limited English proficiency access federal websites?
Test multilingual content / design with representative users to ensure usability and understand audience needs.
If content in other languages is provided, ensure that users can search in those languages, with accents and without, and that search results are presented in that language.
If you're linking to pages in English (internal or external) from content in another language, notify the users that this is the case using the in-language equivalent of (in English) or some other sort of visual notification.
This is particularly important for less-savvy users who may get lost in the process.
With the renewal of the federal government commitment to Executive Order 13166 by Attorney General Erik Holder, there is renewed interest in creating content for LEP populations. Let's move towards making multilingual content sustainable, in other words, let's integrate serving LEP populations into our customer service overall strategy so it can be maintained through the years.
In sites with such a wide target audience, it is important to address varying degrees of computer literacy as a form of localization.
There are varying degrees of computer literacy within each cultural user group. The implications of this need to be identified during a robust discovery process and central to the generation of the sites' interaction design.
Access should also be in-language, e.g., If you're providing access to content in Spanish, it should say "en español"
Access is usually provided in the upper right hand corner, but wherever it goes, it should be easily found.
And don't use flags!
The US Government should create a centralized translation glossary for all agencies to use. This will provide efficiency and consistency.
I believe it's important to do your audience research and make sure you understand what information is needed first and then make the decisions as to how it will be provided, i.e., original content, transcreation,... more »
Generally translations tend to miss the cultural context of the communication. A cultural adaptation of the text is usually better at expressing the intended content. That is starting the communication from scratch after assimilating the intended meaning instead of translating the words.