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How do translations work?

This website is available in both Spanish and English and the two sections are both fully integrated and yet completely independent of one another.

While this makes the site both really cool and totally different from most other websites, it also makes knowing what to do a little more complicated.

So, I thought I would write this page to clear a couple things up.

Programming and configuring a complicated website like this one comes with certain trade-offs. One of those trade-offs that we had to make has to do with how to handle the relationship between the Spanish and English sections of the website.

Instead of allowing a user to select the language in which to publish his or her content (Spanish or English) while creating content (which is possible), we have chosen to “lock” the language according the language the user is viewing. That is, if you are in the Spanish language section of the website and you create content, the content you create will be published in the Spanish language section … even if you wrote the content in English. The same holds true for the English section.

The website knows what language you are viewing, and what interface language you are adding content in, but doesn’t have a clue about the actual language of the stuff you upload. It could be Zulu, the website won’t know. So, in order to be sure that the right people read your stuff, here’s a rule of thumb…

If you are publishing content in Spanish, do so only from the Spanish language section. If you are publishing content in English, do so only from the English language section.

It’s as simple as that.

How do you know that you are in the Spanish language section? Well, it’s all written in Spanish. How do you know that you are in the English section? Well, it’s all written in English, plus… all the URLs will have an/en/

Some users and roles have permission to translate the pages that they upload more directly. This ability is pretty much limited to advertisers, editors and others that work closely with the site.

If you have such permission, you’ll see a special tab near the top of page you created that says “Translate”. If you click this tab you will have the ability to create an associated page in another language.

When you do this, most of the content from the “source” page is transferred, but not necessarily all of it because sometimes the English and Spanish sides have different lists of options to choose from, but pretty much all the text, images, video and other content will transfer to the new page automatically. For users with translation permission, there are two important rules of thumb….

You will need to supply the translation, the website cannot translate text automatically.

This means that you’ll have to erase the text in the old language and input the text in the new language manually.

After you have saved the new page, it becomes a completely independent entity.

For example, if you create an English translation of a Spanish page, after the English page is saved the first time, any changes you make to the Spanish page will not affect the English page and vice versa.

So, for example, after having created an English translation, if you upload an image to the Spanish page and want the same image to also display on the English page, you’ll have to navigate to the English page and upload it again. After the translation is “born” we cut the umbilical chord.

A time saving tip… make sure that your original “source” page is as complete as possible with respect to images, video, or other content before creating a translation.

The site is constructed this way to keep the site functioning as one unit while allowing users maximum flexibility and also to allow the Spanish and English sides of the site to have distinct personalities and take on lives of their own.

Feel free to ask questions in the Webmaster section of the forum.

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