SharePoint communication sites are great for publishing content out to the organization. But how do organizations with offices in several countries maintain content consistency across multiple languages without duplicating a lot of effort?
The example below shows a Crisis Management site that provides the company with news and information around the current COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. precautionary measures, best practices for working remotely). The site also displays resource links and contact information for the crisis response team.
Enabling Multilingual Features
Start by clicking on the gear at the top right of the page and selecting Site Information from the menu. This will bring up the following pane.
On this pane, click “View all site settings.”
This will take you to the Site Settings page.
Click “Language settings” under the Site Administration section.
Once in the Site languages page, turn on “Enable pages and news to be translated into multiple languages.”
Selecting Languages and Assigning Translators
Next, you’ll be able to select languages from a dropdown which will add a row to the table. In each row, you’ll select all the translators for a given language. These translators will be notified via email when the page has been published, prompting them to translate the page to their designated language.
Editing Language-Specific Pages
Once you hit save on the previous step, you’ll notice above the page edit button a subtle dropdown for languages which displays the language you’re currently viewing the site in. Under the site title, you’ll also see a new link for Translation.
The language dropdown will let you toggle between the different languages that have been translated. The Translation link will open another pane where you can create a page for the other languages.
If a translator visits the page in their designated language, they can edit the page accordingly, without affecting the original.
Once the page has been published, the rest of the organization can see the changes made to the site. In the example below, we simply changed the title for the latest updates section.
If we go back to the original site in English, you can see the changes had no effect on the content.
Translations to communication sites work by creating copies of the original site in language-specific folders. You audience will be taken to the appropriate pages based on their language and editing can be easily managed and maintained safely without worrying about affecting the source material. Lastly, if your organization has any questions around maintaining support for multiple languages, or any questions around localization best practices, or any SharePoint questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you get started.
SharePoint/Office 365 Architect
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