How to Best Utilise HTML5 for Multi-lingual Websites
(PRWEB UK) 19 December 2012
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If your organisation has multi-lingual websites and a large number of mobile device users, adopting the HTML5 markup language could be an important move for your business. Many companies are already deploying it to better manage their websites. In fact, HTML5 is “coming on strong as a standard,” noted Daryl Taft of eWeek.1
Why? According to Ian Jacobs, recommendations editor for the World Wide Web (W3C) Consortium, “There are two driving forces behind this evolution. First is the proliferation of diverse devices that, coupled with the variety of browsers, greatly complicate life for developers, who want to ‘write once and deploy everywhere.’” Second, he says, “the Web has now embraced the social networking model, and when you can tap into that, you can reach many more customers.”2
So how does HTML5 fit into this movement? It makes development across multiple platforms more efficient. “Developers of software for the World Wide Web say the new HTML5 standard is revolutionising the way the Web evolves, works and is used,” noted technology writer Gary Anthes, “It is simplifying the work of programmers, harmonising access to diverse devices and applications, and giving users amazing new capabilities, they say.”
Easier Content Maintenance for Multiple Devices
One clear advantage of HTML5 is that it is supported by all tablets and smartphones, and a growing number of browsers, (although Internet Explorer® pre-8 versions are not compatible). Given this compatibility, businesses whose customers rely on mobile devices are leading the way in adopting HTML5. Forbes, for example, uses HTML5 to support its growing mobile audience. “Using a technology known as HTML5, our trusted Web content is magically reformatted for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets,” noted Lewis D’Vorkin, Chief Product Office at Forbes Media.3
Enhanced Multi-lingual Support
HTML5 also includes new markup features that directly help the website translation process, improving formatting and making multi-lingual web content easier to understand. For example:
- HTML5 supports a more semantic style of markup that allows for meaningful tags, and simpler, more understandable coding when dealing with multi-lingual content. For example, HTML5 users can apply a new attribute - a simple “no” or “yes” code - to direct their translation partner as to which content to work on. This eliminates the previously drawn-out process of annotation or list making.
- HTML5 makes it easier to handle both left-to-right languages like English, and right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. Using other tools, developers often come across formatting problems, particularly when both kinds of languages are featured side by side. HTML5 includes a new ‘bdi’ element to help authors of bi-directional content override the Unicode algorithm that sometimes results in mistakes in punctuation, numbers and bullet points.
- HTML5 offers an enhanced version of ‘ruby’ annotations commonly used when marking up East Asian languages that use characters. The markup is usually used to help explain pronunciation to readers. The new HTML5 tags are helpful when authoring content and in translation from, or into, non-alphabetical languages.
One best practice is to partner with a translation provider that specialises in website, software and multimedia localisation and internationalisation. Choose a provider who is adept at working with HTML code and has experience in translating a wide range of online material, multimedia content and software. This will help you to derive the very greatest benefit from this exciting new markup language.
1 Taft, Darryl. “Five Key Enterprise Development Trends,” eWeek, December 4, 2012. http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application-Development/Five-Key-Enterprise-Development-Trends-819318/
2 Anthes, Gary. “HTML5 Leads a Web Revolution,” Communications of the ACM, July 2012.
3 D’Vorkin, Lewis. “The Forbes Branded Experience,” Forbes, August 20, 2012.
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