Multilingual Digital Group
We are a group of federal, state, and local government content managers, formerly known as the Federal Multilingual Websites Committee, who are working to expand and improve digital content in languages other than English. The Federal Web Managers Council has sponsored the group since April 2005.
We work to support Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency” (PDF, 255 KB, 6 pages, August 2000). Our primary purpose is to meet the growing demand for government information and services in other languages and to share ideas, challenges, and best practices for managing multilingual content and websites.
What We Do
We collect research, and develop and curate tools and best practices. We also meet several times a year and maintain an active listserv.
We work on three main areas:
Multilingual Websites and Digital Channels–Standards, Guidelines, Research and Mandates
The goal is to develop templates and compile research data, mandates, and other materials to help content managers have a successful online presence. The group also develops guidelines to answer questions such as:
- How to develop a strategy
- Where to start?
- How to build a website and a digital presence in another language
- How to build the business case
- How to get buy-in from upper management and other stakeholders
- How to offer mobile services
- How to have a successful presence in social media channels
- How to offer content in other languages via APIs
Translation/Adaptation/Localization of Content
The group comes together to work on:
- Solving common translation problems
- Overcoming language barriers
- Developing a government-wide style guides to help standardize the use of languages other than English throughout the government
- Developing plain language guidelines
- Creating general guidelines for the acquisition and management of translation work and contracts
Marketing, Outreach, Education, Training
The group compiles and documents best practice examples across government to answer questions such as:
- What are others doing to market their multilingual websites and other channels—strategies
- Are there lessons learned—what works
- How can we measure success: Metrics associated with successful online marketing
- How do we communicate success
The group also researches outreach opportunities such as participating in training sessions, workshops, and community events.
Who Can Join
Join us if you are a government employee working for a federal, state or local U.S. government agency or a contractor with a government email address working on government digital content.