Brunei SEO Services | Creating a Multilingual Website

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multi-language websites

English is recognized in Brunei as a working language, and is integrated in the state’s educational system. But while English is used in businesses, majority of the people still speak Malay. Approximately 266,000 in a population of less than half a million use the official language. As such, can Brunei businesses still utilize expert SEO services and web design to reach those who are more inclined to use the local language?

Using Google Translate to Reach Your Mixed Audience

Even if you have an English website, you can still reach your target market and vice versa. Google has a tool called Google Translate, which is a free automated translation service. Currently, it supports 80 languages.

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  • One of its uses is to provide users the option to read text in the language of their choice. When activated as an app extension (or when you choose the setting in your Google Chrome or you download it in Android), the service can detect a website’s language and offer to translate it.

languages

  • Another feature is the Google Translate app that you launch when you need to translate a sentence or phrase. You can type or copy-and-paste the text you want to translate in the box, select the source language if needed, and select the target language.
  • There is also a Google Translate widget that can be added into your website so visitors can copy-and-paste text they want to translate.

Google Translate is Not Perfect

While Google Translate is a very convenient tool, it does have its drawbacks.

  • For one, translations are machine-generated so some of the output text may seem awkward or unnatural. Google is working hard to improve the service – only recently, the company launched Translate Community, which is a group of language enthusiasts who volunteer to improve the current translations and launch new ones. This is to correct any existing mistakes or make translations better. However, the software still cannot be expected (at least, not yet) to perform as well as when a human translator does it.
  • Another disadvantage when you rely on Google Translate to reach your audience is the need for them to activate or download the app. Not everyone is able to do this, and you may miss much of you potential customers due to this difficulty.

Design Your Site to Be Multilingual

A solution that you can do is to design your website to be bilingual (or multi-lingual, if you wish). As Google says, “Usually, it makes sense to have a multilingual website when your target audience consists of speakers of different languages.”

You can design your pages to have two versions, one in English and the other in Malay, and give your audience the option to choose which language they wish to use. Both versions are to be human-designed and written, so it will eliminate the feeling that your customers are communicating with a machine.

Using two languages can also help your site gain more prominence when they use the local version of Google to do a search. However, you need to make sure that your pages are properly crawled and indexed by the Googlebot – and this is a job that your SEO provider should be able to handle.

Abie
Abie
I analyze, design, develop and rank websites, graphics design, web business solutions, and I love food.

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