Posted by Scott - Wed, July 05, 2017
We've recently been working on an EE3 build with a requirement to be translated in to nine European languages. We were aware of numerous methods to achieve this, such as Low Variables, Publisher and EE Harbor's Transcribe.
After much deliberation, we decided to roll out with Transcribe as we have used this module before on quite a few website builds but not really to it's full potential. You could say that it was solely down to familiarity and the great support from EE Harbor that pushed us toward using it for this build.
As mentioned, we have used it on a handful of sites in the past, mainly smaller ones with maybe smaller regional changes or an additional supporting language, but never more than that.
The first hurdle we had to overcome was trying to explain to the client that there isn't a magic button that you click and it magically translates your site for you. Once we explained that this wasn't the case and the client understood that the content needed to be curated and entered, off we went and installed Transcribe.
Firstly, setting up the languages and creating all the variables really is a straight forward process and the interface is really nice too and really easy to manage. So, we have our main language set-up, in this case, English and begin to start thinking about translating.
Ok, I'll be honest here. This isnt for the faint hearted and is a fairly laborious task. One, however, that just isnt avoidable as no matter how you look at it or how you try and think of a smarter solution, there isn't one as the content for each language will need to be added at somepoint through the process. However, the Transcribe module quite neatly allows you to relate or associate languages to each entry and clearly indicates within the channel entry form which are and arent asscociated.
The tags for the front-end are also rather neat too, which is where the variables and language selection tags come in to play; handling the translations of content outside of channel entries, or switching images and icons dependent on language. Which, again, although laborious, is unavoidable and once completed is fairly simple and easy to manage.
All in all, we were very pleased with this module with our only gripe being that we found it rather difficult sifting through the channel entries to find, for example, a french version of an old news article. Upon presenting this issue, the guys over at EE Harbor kindly pointed out that their additional product 'Structure' handles multi-lingual content rather well. However, we decided to write our own extension for this which works a charm too.
All in all, a superb module which handles this build perfectly.