Apart from RupertChesman.com, which has its roots way way back in the land of GeoCities, Film Me’s website is one of the oldest sites that I have, going back ten years when it was first created in Dubai.
Back then the website was in English and Arabic, which creates some complications that are a challenge to work with design-wise.
Arabic is written right-to-left, making all elements have to be on the right hand side if you click on the Arabic button, which makes coding rather complicated from a design perspective. Do you make the whole website all centred so it doesn’t matter which way the text is going? Do you have a left site and a right site? Or ignore it altogether and just make each language totally different?
It’s also rather easy to mess up the hyperlinks. Ensuring that when you click on Arabic that it stays on the same page, but in Arabic, can be a little confusing, as well as ensuring all the text says what you want it to say.
I do speak some of the language but not sufficient to fluently translate it, so I commissioned a translator in Jeddah to get everything perfect, and in the Saudi dialect as they were my main client.
Now Film Me is based in Sydney Australia, with some awesome clients in Saudi Arabia and Dubai who know me well, and likely never look at the website anymore, so the need for A full translation into other languages has declined.
When thinking about translation, there are some things to consider.
- When you update your site, you have to do it in every language
- Can you make your site more visual, with minimal text that will require translation?
- is the language necessary? Film Me, for example, does still have a lot of Arabic-speaking clients, but winning clients is very much word of mouth in that region and the website is of minimal assistance. What is it like for you? How do your clients find you?
Film Me is structured so it can be translated again should the need arise, and once it’s feature-complete it’ll certainly be a consideration, but for now we’ll stay in English. British English though, I’m still not Australian 😊