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Bilingual events

Running Events in Multiple Languages

Events occur in the real world, so they do not support the same language-switching features that are used on your website. If you are hosting a seminar that will be presented in English only, for example, you do not want to suggest to your website visitors that it will also be available in French. If the event automatically translated when you switched languages on the website, it could give a very misleading impression to your potential registrants.

For these reasons, we recommend that all event write-ups are explicit about the actual language that the event will be hosted in, to avoid misunderstandings. The simplest way to do this is to make sure the event write-up is in the same language that the event itself will be conducted in.

But sometimes you do have events that are hosted in multiple languages, so in some special cases you do want to support multiple languages and translations. Below we will cover some of the methods you can use to do this.

Bilingual Event Write-ups

The simplest method is to enter your event information in both languages. The event name should include both English and French, for example:

Workshop // Séminaire

Similarly, the event details could have an English section followed by the name information in French.

Follow a similar technique for your fee names, for example:

Visitor // Visiteur

If the user views this from an English page, the auxiliary messages (such as "Register Now" buttons) will be presented in English, whereas if it is viewed from a French page, these auxiliary messages will be presented in French. This allows the user to choose their preferred language and proceed accordingly.

Monolingual Event Write-ups

Sometimes it makes more sense to have one write-up for the English event and a separate write-up for the French event. Perhaps the titles and details are just too long to mash together into a single bilingual write-up, or perhaps you maintain separate English and French calendars. In these cases, you will create a separate event for each language.

Only one of these events will accept registrations, however, because you need a single roster for all attendees. Set up your registration under the English event.

The French event will not have any registration fees under it. Instead, you will create a link from the French event description to the registration process, for example:

Inscrivez-vous

This link should point to your French registration service page, with the main registration (English) event id in the URL parameters. Here is how to get that link URL:

  1. on your public site, find the English event
  2. click on one of the registration buttons
  3. switch to French using your language-switching tool
  4. copy that URL from the address bar

That copied URL includes a fee parameter, eg. fee=123. (This is the particular fee you selected in step 2.) To turn this into a general-purpose registration link, remove that fee parameter. For example, if the URL you copied is

http://website.com/cgi/page.cgi/_register_Fr.html?regcmd=register&evt=373&fee=2022

remove the fee parameter (the part in bold) and use the remaining URL 

http://website.com/cgi/page.cgi/_register_Fr.html?regcmd=register&evt=373

Technically, only the evt parameter is needed, so you could also shorten the URL further to

http://website.com/cgi/page.cgi/_register_Fr.html?evt=373

but either of the previous 2 URLs should work.

This link will take the user to a list of registration fees, but on a French page so that all auxiliary messages will be translated to French.

With this setup, English visitors will experience a purely-English registration flow starting from the English event calendar, whereas French visitors can get a purely-French registration flow by starting from the French event calendar instead.

Translations of auxiliary messages

The registration system puts out many auxiliary messages in the course of a registration session, including:

  • fee names
  • fee security messages (access restrictions, passwords)
  • warnings and error messages
  • success and thank-you messages
  • headings
  • shopping cart and payment messages

Auxiliary messages that come from the system are all put through the System Messages tool for translation. If you notice any messages that are not being translated, go to System Messages to find them and enter an appropriate translation there.

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