Sunday, October 21, 2012

Drupal Empowers Multilingual Websites

Drupal is an open source content management system written in PHP language and a powerful tool for creating web applications. With Drupal, developers can build web applications of any scale. Ranging from small basic applications to extensive sophisticated web applications, Drupal developers are able to develop with ease using Drupal.

Many web application developers opt for Drupal for its extensive and versatile features. Being a content management system, Drupal satisfies all extensibility needs in a very fast way which helps Drupal developers to be ahead of other developers using other content management systems.
A database is a definite requirement for its function as the application has to be built on a platform acting as a foundation and it is very useful in developing dynamic web apps. Drupal has become irreplaceable as it provides unique tools for web development. Certain functions which are so indispensable are provided only in Drupal which are vital for efficient web development.

The core file system of Drupal can be extended according the drupal developer’s requirements using UI, modules and themes. User information, logging information, site settings, module settings, content, and content related data can be tracked using Drupal database.

Primary language being used to develop web applications by Drupal developers is English but with the new updates from Drupal it has become possible for developers to use the language they are proficient in and then translate it to Drupal friendly language. The two major translation tools provided to Drupal developers are:
  • Location Component: This tool can be used for changing the in-built components of the program such as products, choice brands such as ‘Login’, ‘Logout’, ‘View’, ‘Edit’ etc. 
  •  Content Translation: If the Drupal developer of the web page has developed the site in a native language then this option can be utilized to translate it into English which is a Drupal friendly language.
Content, configuration, and user interface are the important information which has to be converted. To be able to develop in the way the Drupal developer has to be proficient in two important aspects:

Internationalization: This is a process of developing web/software applications which adjusts to various diverse locations and its languages without every Drupal developer making complicated technical changes. This is a framework which enables a developer to develop a unique web page in 17 different languages and then direct them to other pages of the website according to the user’s choice of location.

Localization: Using this process Drupal developers convert an international Drupal product into a Local product which is comprehended by a selected group of users in a location using locale-specific components or translating text. To change the content of the website Localization can be used. Factors to be taken into consideration are: 

  • According to each language to which the content has been translated the design and overall appearance of the website may vary. For example when content is translated from English to Japanese, the way the content is presented may change from the number of words to the way the sentence is arranged.
  • Dialects of languages have to be chosen wisely. The chosen dialect should be the most commonly used one.
  • Numbers and figures like date, time, and currencies should be specifically translated to match each region.
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