Fancy use cases for multilingual

|Florian Keitgen, Florian Keitgen

Use TYPO3’s language features for atypical setups

Many global businesses have language needs, multilingual or otherwise, that extend beyond the limits of most content management systems. When these needs can’t be accommodated, it can be harder to adequately connect with the audience you’re seeking. TYPO3’s sophisticated set of translation and localization features pushes back these limitations, allowing you to specify dialect choices and language fallbacks out-of-the-box — you can even have URLs in different character sets. Once you get deeper into TYPO3’s multilingual capabilities, you can do even more, like regionally specifying currencies and units of measurement.

This rich feature set is usually ample for most use cases, but TYPO3 is powerful and flexible enough to handle setups beyond the typical. TYPO3’s language features work even for complex or atypical use cases that don’t necessarily require different languages, but still need targeted language to communicate to a specific audience. You can use TYPO3 for targeting an audience that’s not just regional, but of a different age group, or in some other way culture-specific. We have leveraged TYPO3’s powerful capabilities in this way to foster clearer connections between our client and their intended audience.

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Typical use case: targeting multiple languages in the same country

TYPO3’s multilingual functionality was designed for organizations with a global audience. In a typical use case, say, targeting a country where multiple languages are spoken, the organization needs translated pages for people of each language. TYPO3’s multilingual capabilities can handle cases like this with ease — you can even compare language pages side-by-side.

As an example, we worked with a German company that wanted to cater to not only German-speakers, but also English, Austrian German, and Swiss German-speaking populations; Austrian German and Swiss German have enough of a regional difference from Standard German to need separate pages. We used TYPO3 to provide English, Austrian German, and Swiss German-translated pages with corresponding URLs, delivering a seamless, tailored experience for viewers from a range of regions.

Atypical use cases: formal and informal address

Connecting people of all ages to higher education

This same secondary-language approach in TYPO3 can be applied unconventionally to other use cases, such as with formal and informal address. Formal and informal address is common throughout the world, and it’s present in languages like German, French, and Spanish. It can be used in a variety of situations and relationships; such as with younger and older people, from a student to a professor, or from a business professional to a client.

As part of a team, I worked with a university who needed formal and informal address on their website. The university wanted to target another population besides young adult students; older, German-speaking people, who may be attending university for the first time, or returning after time away. To connect with this particular population, the university needed a formal version of their pages that was clearly differentiated from their informal version.

TYPO3’s secondary-language approach was perfect to apply to this use case. We used TYPO3 to create a formal version of the university’s pages, where 9 campuses were managed on one TYPO3 installation; 1 used the formal Sie and 8 used the informal Du. We created this master setup with a page template for every course. Each page template displayed key information about the course, such as: 

  • Subject matter
  • The cost of the course
  • Names of different teachers

In the TYPO3 backend, key information like this is represented by labels. The informal version of each course’s page template was handed off to the university client so they could tweak the translation labels to formal address. Then our developers put these labels into their code, with the end result being that the single formal page and the 8 informal versions all have separate URLs for the intended audience to land on.

A more kid-friendly hospital experience

We worked with another client who needed to differentiate between formal and informal address on their website; in this case, a hospital. In a healthcare environment, formal address is the norm. But some hospitals wished to speak informally to a different audience; children. We worked with this hospital to create content elements that communicated necessary information in a more informal and easily digestible way that kids could comfortably read on an iPad.

Use TYPO3 to reach your audience

TYPO3’s multilingual capabilities are already powerful, but it’s also capable of handling complex, specific, and atypical use cases that are beyond the scope of most content management systems. Using TYPO3, we have the experience necessary to make your site’s language and approach more engaging and targeted to your audience, so you can connect with them clearly and directly.

Contact us to benefit from our expertise in multilingual and localization use cases

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