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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday October 12, 2020

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Andy Neale

Andy Neale

Former Chief Digital Officer , Europeana

Europeana DSI-4 Multilingual Strategy

This document presents a medium-term strategy for the improvement of multilingual experiences on the Europeana website. Read the executive summary and download the full strategy.

main image
Eli from BL Royal 2 B VII, f. 48v
1310 - 1320
The British Library
United Kingdom

Multilingual access to extend the reach and impact of the Europeana collections website has been a long term goal for Europeana, stretching back to 2009. Users also have growing needs and expectations for accessing material in alternative languages, based on their other experiences online. The vision of a full multilingual experience, for all 24 official languages of the European Union, is now within the realms of possibility because of technological advances. However capability, resourcing, and technical complexity are all current issues that limit the speed at which progress can be made.

Delivering on this strategy requires Europeana to break new ground for the cultural sector, and for this reason R&D and implementation will need to iterate together. Expert solutions are proposed in this strategy, but will likely still evolve as experiments prove or disprove the proposals. Multilingual use cases addressed in this strategy cover the ability to navigate the Europeana website, read editorial content and website copy, search, and read item text.

The core solutions for searching and reading item text across languages rely upon the:

  • Use of trusted vocabularies that come with existing multilingual coverage of metadata;

  • Translation of all metadata and text to English, so it can act as a pivot language for the areas not covered by the trusted vocabularies. 

Multilingual coverage of the user interface, editorial and website copy, metadata, and full text content will be additionally supported by:

  • Paid and community translators;

  • Use of real-time translation services from English to fill translation gaps.

Download the full strategy below.