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Switch site language when selecting translated pages

ricks99 United States
Here's a suggestion:

When selecting a translated page in a different language, Tiki should switch the entire site-wide language to that language. Doesn't it make sense that if a user wants to read a page in ES, that they would also want the entire site interface to be in ES, too.

I've hacked together a modification of the Translation module to add the &switchLang parameter when clicking a BETTER or EQUIVALENT translation. You can see it here:

http://twbasics.keycontent.org/tiki-index.php

  1. From the English page, click the Spanish (ES) equivalent translation.
  2. Tiki returns the following URL: http://twbasics.keycontent.org/tiki-index.php?page=HomePage%2C%20es&switchLang=es
Not only are you on the Spanish page, but the entire site interface is now in Spanish.

Some problems I've encountered:
  • Notice that although the English translation is show as "equivalent", the language code (EN) is missing.
  • If you use the Language selector to choose a different language (for example GERMAN), the site interface remains in SPANISH, regardless of the selection.
    I think this is because the switchLang stores a session parameter that overrides other language selections.

-R

BTW, I added this as a tracker item, too.


> When selecting a translated page in a different language, Tiki should switch the entire site-wide language to that language. Doesn't it make sense that if a user wants to read a page in ES, that they would also want the entire site interface to be in ES, too.

Actually, the current behavior is completely desired. Accessing content in a language does not mean you want the interface to be in that language. Changing the menus and all words the visitor is used to navigate with is simply too confusing.

>
> > When selecting a translated page in a different language, Tiki should switch the entire site-wide language to that language. Doesn't it make sense that if a user wants to read a page in ES, that they would also want the entire site interface to be in ES, too.
>
> Actually, the current behavior is completely desired. Accessing content in a language does not mean you want the interface to be in that language. Changing the menus and all words the visitor is used to navigate with is simply too confusing.


Very interesting... I would have thought it was completely opposite. Is there definitive research or anlaytics that support the use case of a user wanting only a portion of the webpage (that is, the wiki content) in language "A" but the rest of the webpage (that is, the rest of the Tiki site) in language "B"?


Was that based on any sort of research or analysis? I guess, to me, it makes sense that if a user switches a page from EN to ES, it implies that they would rather read all pages (if available), in including the site navigation, in ES.

Do most users truly understand the difference between a trasnslated wiki page

marclaporte
When using Tiki as a CMS, on a public site, where users do not contribute, I usually hide the page switch language to non-editors. Having two language switchers is too confusing. For editors, it is useful though.

I would prefer doing this with the admin interface instead of fiddling with the .tpl files.

Thanks!

M ;-)


nkoth
I am not aware of any research, but I suspect that the results will depend largely on where you do the research. e.g. bilingual/trilingual countries are more likely to want to maintain site language when the page language changes.

Also, it is important to note that in the presence of external caching, you will be constrained by the need to provide distinctive language information as part of the URL, otherwise a particular language page may be served from the cache for someone expecting it in another language. Therefore, it will make for a rather ugly URL, and less efficiency in caching, if you need to take into account multiple site/page language pairs.


>
> Also, it is important to note that in the presence of external caching, you will be constrained by the need to provide distinctive language information as part of the URL, otherwise a particular language page may be served from the cache for someone expecting it in another language. Therefore, it will make for a rather ugly URL, and less efficiency in caching, if you need to take into account multiple site/page language pairs.

Good points...

-R


alain_desilets
> Doesn't it make sense that if a user wants to read a page in ES, that they
> would also want the entire site interface to be in ES, too.

Imagine the following scenario.

I am a FR speaker. I go to a French page and the system displays the menus in French. I find that the Spanish page is more up to date, so I go to the Spanish page, eventhough I am not that comfortable in that language. All of a sudden, all the menus appear in Spanish, and I am barely able to use the UI anymore.

I think it's safer to always display the menus etc... in the user's preferred langauge (deduced from browser preferences, or site prefs) than to try and deduc the preferred language from the language of the current page.


> Imagine the following scenario.
>
> I am a FR speaker. I go to a French page and the system displays the menus in French. I find that the Spanish page is more up to date, so I go to the Spanish page, eventhough I am not that comfortable in that language. All of a sudden, all the menus appear in Spanish, and I am barely able to use the UI anymore.
>

I don't know.. maybe its just me (a mono-lingual speaker), but if a Spanish UI is barely usable, why would you select a Spanish page? I'm having trouble envisioning a situation where a user can comprehend the wiki page, but not the overall UI. Maybe the issue really is that the user needs some sort of notification that switching from an EN to ES page will also switch the site UI? Maybe the link should say "View this page and site in Spanish"...

FWIW, Wikipedia (not necessarily the best, but certainly the most widely used) follows this approach. Selecting the Spanish version of this article changes the entire site UI to Spanish.

Regardless, I do agree that switching UI language on a page-by-page basis (for example, in a wiki structure where only a portion of the pages are in multiple languages) would definitely be an issue.

Seb


> I don't know.. maybe its just me (a mono-lingual speaker), but if a Spanish UI is barely usable, why would you select a Spanish page?

Maybe the Spanish page is the only one available, and it is full of useful links I want to check out. Actually, if it is just a list of links I can probably create the translation myself even if I don't understand Spanish.

Maybe there are two different kinds of users here. One would be the accidental visitor, whom the site knows nothing about other than what page he's looking at, and the other would be the regular user.

If I'm an accidental visitor, I think right now TikiWiki will use the language that I've set in my browser to give me the interface. If I haven't set one (is it possible?), then it would be reasonable to assume that I want my Tiki interface in the language of the page I'm looking at.

If I'm a regular user, I probably have a favorite interface language that I want to use regardless of what page I'm looking at. In this case, I believe the system's current behavior when I'm logged in is appropriate.

>
>
> > I don't know.. maybe its just me (a mono-lingual speaker), but if a Spanish UI is barely usable, why would you select a Spanish page?
>
> Maybe the Spanish page is the only one available, and it is full of useful links I want to check out. Actually, if it is just a list of links I can probably create the translation myself even if I don't understand Spanish.
>
> Maybe there are two different kinds of users here. One would be the accidental visitor, whom the site knows nothing about other than what page he's looking at, and the other would be the regular user.
>
> If I'm an accidental visitor, I think right now TikiWiki will use the language that I've set in my browser to give me the interface. If I haven't set one (is it possible?), then it would be reasonable to assume that I want my Tiki interface in the language of the page I'm looking at.
>
> If I'm a regular user, I probably have a favorite interface language that I want to use regardless of what page I'm looking at. In this case, I believe the system's current behavior when I'm logged in is appropriate.
+1


> I think it's safer to always display the menus etc... in the user's preferred langauge (deduced from browser preferences, or site prefs) than to try and deduc the preferred language from the language of the current page.

My language is French, I also understand English and Spanish, but I am not very familiar with technical vocabulary in Spanish. It makes perfect sense for me to navigate in French while reading content in Spanish.


sylvieg
In tiki3.0, you have a new option
Page language forces to display strings in the same language:
Enjoy

alain_desilets
> In tiki3.0, you have a new option
> Page language forces to display strings in the same language:
> Enjoy

Thx Sylvie. Let each site choose what makes sense for them.


Alain


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