Blog, WEM / WCM

Managing Multiple Translations with Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)

Remember that Super Bowl 2014 ad by Coca-Cola that received tremendous feedback, both positive and negative? The one where parts of ‘America the beautiful’ was sung in several different languages? The controversy may have died down, but the fact of the matter remains – language is personal and has the power to polarize.

When you’re a global brand (or that’s what you hope to become), language and cultural personalization is key. Content that is culturally relevant and translated to the language of the target demographic can make the difference between the people loving your brand versus not.

There are two key aspects here – language and culture.

Try greeting your Indian co-worker (everybody has one of those) with “Namaste Sirji” (Hello Sir) every morning. Chances are that he will share his Paneer Tikka Masala with you when you bump into him eating it out of his Tupperware in the break room. (Maybe that guy will be me!) Why? The answer is simple. Everyone likes to be spoken to in their native tongue. When you don’t really speak a language but you try to speak it (as broken as it may be) to people who identify it as their native language, the effort is well received.

Secondly, if you are not careful, you could very easily find yourself offending people of different cultures because something you did or said could be extremely rude to them. If this were to happen in person, you might get a chance to explain yourself. The digital world is less forgiving, however. Regardless of whether you meant it or not, the damage is done and it’s often irreparable.

Clearly, building a brand and the digital presence for it that is truly global can be a challenge and requires thought. Thankfully, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is built to address some of them. AEM has support to organize and manage various languages for your site out of the box.

The Translator

CQ has a unique feature known as the translator console which enables authors to manage phrases and their translations. Translations are grouped into dictionaries for better organization and flexibility. A dictionary is simply a group of phrases and respective translations. Throughout your site you’ll use the various phrases that have been defined. When your site is pulled up in a particular language (different from the default) and a translation exists, then the translation is used.

The Multisite Manager (MSM)

It isn’t hard to manage a small number of sites in a single instance of AEM. However, if that number were to grow or if different languages were involved, the task becomes increasingly more difficult. AEM’s MSM can help with that by managing the relationships between the different sites and controlling the reusability as well. Once the MSM is configured, a lot of this is taken care of automatically.

Two terms commonly used with MSM are Live Copy and Blueprint. A blueprint as the name suggests, is a site that stores the schema and content that all the live copies (sites created from the blueprint) will inherit. Multiple live copies can be made from a single blueprint, but each live copy is always associated with a single blueprint. When an update is made to the blueprint, changes can be rolled out to all the live copies based on the defined rollout configuration ensuring that all the content is up to date.

Targeting your global audience can go a long way in internationalizing your brand and the process is greatly simplified using the MSM capabilities of AEM. Ask us how we can we help you build digital presence both locally and internationally.

Lifford Pinto
Lifford is a Software Consultant specializing in web development using Adobe CQ5, HTML, JavaScript and CSS in addition to being proficient with back-end development using core Java, Spring and SpringMVC. He also has experience developing mobile apps using the Titanium framework. He brings along a strong grasp of fundamentals in Computer Science, an aptitude for team work, a zest for challenges and an enthusiastic desire to learn all he can.
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