Language translations

Guidance for website owners looking to include language translations on their websites.

Do not add extra widgets or functionality to websites for automated language translations.

Web browsers already do this work for you.

UC Santa Cruz WordPress websites are automatically configured with English as the default language. This is an appropriate setting because English is the primary language for users of most of the university’s websites. Users can adjust their individual web browser settings to choose their preferred language. The browser will then assist with automated translations.

Automated translations ≠ equitable translations.

Do not assume translation work is complete through automated tools alone.

Automated translation tools (including Google Translate) often miss out on context, idioms, and sometimes simple language translations. The accuracy can vary depending on a number of factors including the complexity of the content.  

If content requires translations, it should be translated by professional translators to retain context.

Website owners should design content with intended audiences in mind. If your audience includes people that would benefit from access to translated content, and especially in vitally important situations such as safety, we recommend that you use a professional translation service to ensure language accuracy and context.  

Place translations on the same page. 

In the situation where professional translation services are used for website content, place the translations on the same page.  Include a (jump/anchor) link at the top of the page (example) to the translations, rather than create separate pages that include translated content. If the content is updated over time, remember to update the translated content as well. 

Last modified: Mar 14, 2024