Illinois Legal Aid Online and Legal Assistance Foundation have done something very interesting.
Not only have they launched a new Spanish language website, which mirrors their main site, IllinoisLegalAid.org, but to do so, they have created a tool which links their content management site into the Google Translate API, making the process much simpler to manage. (Obviously the accuracy of the translation is still dependent on that of Google Translate, and checking by an expert is very much in order.)
Ter Ross at Illinois Legalaid Online explains:
The first goal was to integrate the Google Translate API into the statewide website content management system (CMS) in order to develop comprehensive online Spanish legal resources, information, and referrals. Integrating the free (at the time we started; now paid) Google Translate with the CMS allows content managers to automatically translate existing English legal content into Spanish and other foreign languages, while simultaneously copying all existing metadata, such as jurisdictions and problem codes. It also provides automatic translation of legal services program information in the online legal services directory. Illinois Legal Aid Online utilized a REST-based implementation of Google Translate’s API, to allow for easy expansion of the existing ColdFusion-based CMS with minimal programming. A simple form was added to the CMS that, when clicked by a content manager, sends English content text and all its metadata to Google Translate via the API for immediate machine translation. The translated text and metadata are returned instantaneously to the CMS, which then converts it to a new piece of content. (It appears simple and easy to the content managers, but really there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to parse the data and send it to Google, put it all back together and then feed it into the CMS as a new piece of content.)
They will be working on and issuing documentation for this tool, so that it can be integrated into other document management environments.
To inspire folks, here is their flier: flier