Chapter 13: Multilingualism on the Internet I

The last two chapters of this book are about bilingual and multilingual websites. There is some overlap with the previous chapter because websites are software too and localizing them is subject to the same challenges. But websites need special consideration because they are not just software: they are media of mass communication.

Multilingualism on the Internet is a large topic which could fill an entire book. In this book the topic will be covered in two chapters. The chapter you are reading now deals with relatively simple mechanical things that are needed in order to make a website serve users in multiple languages. This chapter will be relevant to you if, for example, you work in an organization which is planning to have a bilingual website built by an external supplier or by an in-house engineer: you will know what to ask for after you have read this chapter.

The next chapter after this will concentrate on more general questions of language strategy in online public communication: in other words, management topics rather than engineering topics. But first, let’s dive into the engineering questions.

You can read the chapter in Irish in the printed book »

Chapter contents

  • The accept-language setting
  • Guessing language from geographical location
  • Language choice on splash screens
  • Swapping betwen languages
  • Language symbols
  • Language and the URL
  • Extended characters in URLs


Book cover
An Ríomhaire Ilteangach
Michal Boleslav Měchura
145 pages
Cois Life 2017
ISBN 978-1-907494-70-3
Note. Although this website is bilingual in Irish and English, the book itself is in Irish only.