The problem with multilanguage sites is that Everything you enter in options, forum titles, forum description etc.. can only be in one language.
But if I run a board in english, french and chinese i have following problem:
Users that dont speak the other 2 languages, just see lots of stuff with strange characters. And they often asked me: Cant you hide all the chinese stuff?
What I suggest is:
when you enter options like: Board Title, Node Title, Node Description etc..
There should be a link : Translate (beside the words Title and Description)
When you click it it opens what I call the phrase editor, giving you the possibility enter a translation for the title or description and saving it as a phrase. (phrase having a predifined name associating it with the node or the option)
- So when user with french language selected sees a forum on main page:
Title: "Décrivez vos voitures" with a french description,
- The user with english settings will see:
Title: "Describe your cars - (french only)" with an english description
English users could get: Dogs & Cats
German users: Hunde & Katzen
French users: Chiens & Chats
Some will say, what about SEO?
well i think, if you add a link to the same page with a different language id, (for forums index as an example) it will link to the page completely in German or completely in English (including forum titles and description), giving you completely different content. but thats tweaking stuff..
But it would also have an other advantage.. when google comes to a forum page, it will probably have default english. and the page will have in metatags , html tag or somewhere else: lang="en",
but the h1 tags or h2 even h3 (on forum home ) could be in chinese. so the search engine will probably not give that page the priority it deserves.
Also, generally speaking:
- On multilanguage boards users dont get p***ed off when they lots of stuff they dont understand.
- vb doesn't have it (at least not for forum titles and descriptions or site and forum title)