"Language" vs. "Translation"

I am planning to create some form of personal blog where I write about things. So far so good (German saying). My idea is to post in different languages, but NOT to have every article available in every language that I will post in. More like today I write a German article, tomorrow an English one. So there would probably (definitely) be no translations of articles, just articles in several languages.

Does it make sense to create an i18n-scheme for that blog? I would think it might make sense so people only able to read english could get all the english content? But how can I display “all languages” posts on a dedicated list page?

On the other side I am thinking of SEO and Theming. I would just want to know robots what language “article x” is in and keep everything else in the same “structure” (content/posts/year/month/postname) without thinking about the language. That could maybe be done via frontmatter.

Does anyone ever try something like this? Do I overthink this?

Perhaps you could leverage taxonomies to serve non-identical content to different languages, instead of using Hugo’s multilingual feature.

A taxonomy per language.


A taxonomy per language sounds the safer way if you don’t plan to create translations. I have a similar case in my personal site, but opted the built-in i18n andr select posts with the .Params.crosspost frontmatter bit are displayed in both languages. Then listings are handled by this thing, along with some tag / type filters:

{{- $articles := where (where .Site.AllPages ".IsPage" true) ".Lang" "eq" .Site.Language.Lang -}}
{{- $articles := $articles | union (where .Site.AllPages ".Params.crosspost" true) -}}
{{- range first $items $articles.ByDate.Reverse -}}
			{{ partial "article" . }}
{{- end -}}
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In my (Hugo) blog, I post mostly in French, but occasionaly in English. I didn’t think that it was worth do make a disctinction between those posts.

If I’d do it, I’ll go the “taxonomy way” rather than the “multinlingual way” for such a use case, as mentioned by @alexandros and @Heracles.

I write most of my articles in German. From time to time I also write some of these articles in English if I think it is interesting enough for people who cannot read German.

Because my site (my username with .de) is quite puristic, I have translated the “interface” of the site itself accordingly for the English articles. I also use translated terms for the tags and categories. I have neglected this a bit lately, so I will make one or two changes soon.

I currently am doing something akin to what you’re thinking about. My blog has basically three kinds of posts: 1) posts in Russian that I’m too lazy to translate into English, 2) posts in English that I’m too lazy to translate into Russian, and 3) posts that exist in both languages because I did translate those.

I do have four versions of the home page as a result, and the approach generally seems to be working quite well. There is one bug that makes my life harder than I’d like it to be, but I’ve learned to cope.

@ nekr0z

Nice minimal theme. Seriously, because I like themes where the content has priority.

Sorry for being off-topic.