The Challenge Of Building Multilingual Interfaces: Why Don’t We Have Search Engines In Every Language?

Only 25% of the world population speaks English and linguistics serves as the major hurdle in the global exchange of ideas and development. Building multilingual interfaces allows websites to disrupt linguistic barriers and target global users spanning across multiple regions. So what’s stopping developers from building multilingual interfaces and effectively integrating languages into search engines?

Machine Translators Are Not Good Enough

Tech enthusiasts and developers rely heavily on the endless capabilities of a machine. In other words, the best way to design multilingual search engines is with the aid of technology and machine translators. However, it is important to remember that these exceptional machine translators are not good enough to satisfy the simple needs of linguistics. Despite being cost-effective and quick, a machine translator cannot be relied upon as user practices and searches hardly ever follow a logical pattern. Commonly, these searches are written in laymen’s terms and aren’t constrained by the codes of linguistics. This results in inaccurate content translation and a badly translated content is one of the leading pitfalls in the process of building multilingual interfaces and leads to poor user experience and ineffective search engine optimization.

Managing Content: A Developer’s Nightmare

Developers striving to break linguistic barriers in technology often find themselves tangled up in the web of content management. Actively translating content is one thing and managing content according to the linguistic needs of diverse speakers is another ballgame altogether. There are plenty of ways this gets complicated, the higher the volume of content flowing in, the more intensified these issues get as developers have to manage content from a long list of vendors involved in the search engine hierarchy. In turn, mismanaged content adds to poor user experience.

Satisfying Evolving User Needs

Optimizing and shaping content to satisfy the evolving needs of users is already a major concern even in single language interfaces. There is no single defined principle for optimizing content as the language interpretation changes from one region to another. In terms of multilingual interfaces, content optimization across multiple languages becomes a real nuisance for developers and tech experts. This happens because it becomes extremely difficult to maintain content relevancy in the multilingual world as translation relies on demographics and takes shape with respect to the region. It is essential to remember, search engines heavily rely on user data to set and optimize preferences and there is no way around this except to build a functional search engine having many streams of user data to shape and profile their searches.

How Can Software Developers Help?

Software developers can certainly help design futuristic multilingual interfaces by using distinctive domain extensions to efficiently manage multiple languages at once. A change in a website architecture can open door to multiple possible solutions for designing multilingual interfaces. Even techniques such as crawling and indexing become a nuisance with badly translated content and the software developers hold key to resolving such technical diversities.

Distinguishing URLs and creating and separate entries serve as an ideal solution for augmenting the output accuracy and tacking the linguistic challenges.  As we go forward towards integrating the world with a unified customer experience, approaches like these are the direction we need to look into.