We’ve been hearing a common theme lately that Decision Makers, Analysts, and Project Managers struggle to see the value of OpenMRS if they are in a non-English-predominant country, because “even your website is only in English”. This is a shame given how much is i18n-able in our product.
With the help of the Wordpress GTranslate plugin, our website can now be auto translated through Google Translate.
What do you think?
Please have a look and let us know what you think - how good or bad is the auto-translation?
Examples: (French, Arabic, Khmer, Spanish)
Immediate known issues:
- In French and Spanish, in some places it changes our name to “OuvrirMRS/AbiertoMRS”; we’ll find a way to address that.
- Languages that make headers longer are causing odd formatting shifts in the header, e.g. in french the logo is pushed down. But that’s not the end of the world and probably something we could figure out with text wrapping.
- RTL languages are still formatted left-aligned.
Want to see a different language?
I’m amazed how fast this was to set up. Here are the possible languages to choose from in the free plan - let us know here if you would like some of these checked-off; for now I picked based on known areas where OpenMRS is either being actively used or analyzed:
CC: @michaelbontyes @jesplana @ball @mksrom @mksd @wamz @suruchi @jayasanka
This is great! As far as I know, Google Translate provides high accuracy in major languages, so it’s better to leverage it.
This might be unrelated, but I wanted to share that I noticed an issue with the hero image of the page. It was fine a couple of days ago.
Yes @jayasanka this was an unfortunate, unrelated side-effect of my decision to upgrade one of our website theme libraries. Despite the update promising “no UI impact” it broke our theme layout; thanks go to @jennifer for restoring the layout. We haven’t managed to get the header bar to go back to white yet so in the meantime we’ve changed the header text to white so it’s still visible
I’ve also fixed the “OuvrirMRS/AbiertoOMRS” situation: I’ve protected the “OpenMRS” main header text from being translated on the front page by following this guidance:
How about adding a small localized footer on translated pages (e.g., “This page was automatically translated by . See English version for clarification if needed.”)?
Update: Making our website, docs, and overall product friendly in other languages continues to be a strategic priority for our Global Support Team. Huge kudos for the major milestone @ibacher achieved recently with streamlining our Transifex flows!!
In the meantime there have been 3 other, simpler milestones I’ve been looking into:
- More Diverse SEO: Making our English site results show up in Search Engine queries in other languages via automated plugin → Now done: last week I finished setting up a membership that helps improve our website’s SEO by automatically translating our content so the search results show up even if you search in other languages. (I was hearing that Francophone countries were not seeing OpenMRS even in very relevant searches.) But now, with this new tool, if someone searches for relevant terms like “open source medical records” in their native language, OpenMRS is more likely to show up in their Google results - as shown in this one case with Russian:
This has only been live for about 4 days but the initial results are very interesting:
The other two goals are in progress:
Of course I’m aware the gold standard would be to have professional translation for all of this, but given our limited resources, all these automated tools seem like no-brainer, low-hanging fruit that very much support our mission of a globally friendly product and community.
Here’s another example of the translated SEO:
If I set my location to Congo-Kinshasa, and my language to French, here’s what I get from this simple query: