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Multilingual Community of Practice

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.

Join

Fill out this form to subscribe to our listserv or send an e-mail to group Chair, Laura Godfrey.

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.

Who we are

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.

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 digital content managers have a successful cross-platform presence. The group also develops guidelines to answer questions such as how to:

  • Develop a strategy — where to start
  • Create a website and a digital presence in another language
  • Build the business case
  • Get buy-in from upper management and other stakeholders
  • Offer mobile services
  • Have a successful presence in social media channels
  • 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 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:

  • Strategy: What are others doing to market their multilingual websites and other channels?
  • What Works: Are there lessons learned to be shared?
  • Metrics: How can we measure success associated with successful online marketing?
  • Communication: How do we communicate success?

The group also researches outreach opportunities such as participating in training sessions, workshops and community events.

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