Consulente Web Marketing e Consulenza Motori di Ricerca

Web Marketing & Search Engine Consultant

How to set up and manage a multi-lingual blog

This morning I found a very interesting question raised in a post at problogger on how to blog in different languages.

In my view, there are 2 fundamental issues that require careful consideration:

  • The blogging platform
  • The multi-lingual approach

Blogging platform

The most popular blogging platforms are not multi lingual. Today, there are no viabile solutions for those like myself who blog in (at least) 2 languages. I couldn’t wait for someone to come up with a multilingual module for WordPress or develop one myself, so I simply just started blogging with one simple caveat, setting up independent feeds for each category.

Based on my SEO experience I had anticipated that mixing the languages wouldn’t be an issue and in fact there is no problem from this point of view.

Multi-lingual approach

How do you go about blogging in different languages ? It’s not a matter of translating or finding an automatic translator that works decently. The real issue is cultural. Without sufficient knowledge of language, culture and audience expectations, multilingual can result in a waste of time. Take me as an example, born in the US, living in Italy, lived in Denmark and the Netherlands, married to an Australian – a broadband cultural exposure that allows me to “speak the language of the locals” with reasonable approximation (judging by the size, growth, and geography of my audience).

Blogging in Italiano differs in both content and approach when compared to blogging in English. They are 2 different audiences and it would be a mistake to use the “1 size fits all” approach.

IMO multi lingual should be multi cultural as well. Issues require specific attention in the different languages. I find the idea to team up in a partnership probably the most effective and worth pursing.

Darren at problogger is absolutely right about multi lingual blogging being intense – I leave it up to you, to give me an opinion on the quality of my multilingual blogging efforts (please take it easy on me … )

UPDATE: I am told that Serendipity is supporting multi lingual blogging, although there are a few issues regarding URL friendliness that must be addressed.