Multilingual intranet with SharePoint Online: our brief guide
A multilingual intranet is an inclusive space that breaks down language barriers to build international collaboration and an organic corporate culture.
Let's see how to make these goals a reality with SharePoint in just 2 moves.
In our article "SharePoint Multilingual and Multi-Geo", we introduced the topic of how to setup the corporate site to show content and functionality in different languages and targeted for dispersed locations.
In this short guide, we will look in detail at how to change the language of SharePoint sites in just two steps.
As a result, you will be able to give users the ability not only to navigate the intranet with translated commands, but also to read its content directly in their language of preference.
So let's see what these steps are.
Step 1: Enable multiple languages to navigate the intranet
When creating your corporate portal, you will remember setting up a base language to display elements such as the navigation menu and action buttons.
In order to display these elements in a language other than the base language, you need to open the Settings menu (cog icon next to the profile picture) and click on "Site Information".
From here, click on "View All Site Settings" and then "Language Settings".
In this section, you will be able to enable one or more foreign languages. To do so, simply click on "Advanced Settings" and choose the languages you are interested in from those listed.
In this way, users will be able to view navigation controls in their preferred language.
As far as content is concerned, the matter gets a little more complicated (but not too much).
In fact, to be able to see translated intranet content, there needs to be an additional step.
Let's see it together.
Step 2: View and create language content for the intranet
First, click on the one flag in "Language Settings", the section reached in the previous step.
You will then activate the possibility of translating intranet content pages.
After activating the flag, you will find text boxes where you must enter the languages you are interested in.
Next to each language, you will also be able to indicate the name of your translators.
This way, SharePoint will be able to send them a notification whenever new content is available for translation.
Having reached this point, we can return to the intranet home page to see how to create its language versions.
To do this, you must click on "Translation" (top left) and select your languages of interest.
If you want to translate into all the languages you have enabled, simply click on "Create for all languages".
The platform will show you drafts of the content page being worked on (in our example, the home page).
Because SharePoint cannot translate content on its own.
For this reason, it creates drafts for language versions of the current page and gives time to do manual translations of the actual content.
By clicking on "Edit" (top left), you can then work on the draft content.
Once finished, click on "Publish".
On the home page, you will now find a drop-down menu through which you can switch between the original page and the translated versions.
Remember that the home page is only an example. In fact, you will have to repeat this process for all content pages.
Eventually (and with a little patience), you will have tailor made an intranet for your international audience.
Want a multilingual, multi-geo intranet for your company?
"Intranet-in-a-box" is our comprehensive service for building customized enterprise portals.
- We bring your dislocated locations together in one virtual space.
- We target your internal communication by offices, locations, and countries.
- We configure content and commands in your users' preferred languages.
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