$.02 from a technical writer:

If you're going to translate your content from English directly to a foreign
language using machine translation (which is what gettext would amount to)
be very careful. There is a difference between translation and localization.
The free Babelfish service is a good example of translation. You'll get a
word-for-word translation of whatever you want to type in the English box.
However, what shows up in the translation box is not always what you meant
in English. Have you ever bought a Japanese product whose instructions read:
"Use caution when opening my box. I wormhole swimming pool orange piranha
yesterday, sir."

Your best bet may be to write all of the English text, have it translated
and put into XML files as Ignatius suggested, then use PHP to set/retrieve
cookie settings to display the proper language.

I can personally vouch for the difference between text that has been
machine-translated only and text that has been machine translated and
reviewed/corrected by a human. Machine translation cannot match a human's
ability to compensate and account for context and usage. There are quite a
few localzation companies (SH3, VistaTec, SDL International) who specialize
in translating content for web sites even in XML format. Send them an
English XML document, they'll send you a Spanish one back without messing
with your tags - only the content gets translated.

Of course, it DOES all come down to dollars and cents and how important the
translation really is; only you can decide that.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ignatius Reilly [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 1:03 PM
> To: Dan Hewins; [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Subject: Re: [PHP-DB] multi-language site
> I would not consider a DB-based design.
> I use two approaches (sometimes mixed):
> 1. Write content in XML files (one per language) and 
> transform them with
> XSLT. This is nice for mostly content-based sites.
> 2. Write the complete application in English and translate it with the
> excellent PHP gettext() extension. Makes it fast, efficient 
> and very cheap
> to maintain. A better option for web applications.
> In any case the user's language must be stored in a session variable.
> Ignatius
> _________________________
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dan Hewins" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 18:50
> Subject: [PHP-DB] multi-language site
> > Forgive me if this is pedestrian or has been covered 
> before.  I'm new
> > to the list and I haven't used PHP too much (yet).
> >
> > Here's my question:
> >
> > I'm looking to use PHP for an upcoming site project where the site
> > needs to be in either English or Spanish. Would PHP be a 
> good approach?
> > I was envisioning having a database with every text bit and 
> image with
> > text in it in two columns, one for English, and one for 
> Spanish. Then
> > each web page would reference some kind of global variable 
> (a cookie?)
> > to determine whether to pull the images and text from the English
> > column or the Spanish column. Does this sound like a good 
> approach? Is
> > PHP capable of something like this?
> >
> > Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give.
> >
> > Dan Hewins
> >
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