Make Your Webcomics Site Multilingual Using ComicPress
Submitted by Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz on September 27, 2011 - 17:04
I finally fulfilled a long-term dream of mine. I am proud to announce that SOUP Wars is the first 100% fully bilingual title in the Catnose Comics universe, both online and offline. You can now read any SOUP Wars page in English, or the language it was meant to be read in, Spanish. The whole process required a ton of work and the technical hiccups were spectacular. Thankfully, this project has finally been conquered.
To change the language of any comic, follow the instructions above each one -- it works like magic! Try it now, even if you don’t read Spanish. It’s pretty freaking neat. If you do speak Spanish, find out why I like the version in my native language 10 million times better. I am sure that many of you webcomic artists out there would love to know how to do this. I am very happy to share what I learned with you all.
I realized that with ComicPress 3.0 webcomic publishing theme for WordPress, you can actually display two separate comics on the single post separately. The nice thing about this is that you don’t have to scroll like crazy to see the different comic pages. Out of curiosity, I decided to upload the Spanish version of SOUP Wars to see if I could make the pages instantly translatable using this feature. Once I got it going, it was a total dream, but it took a lot of trial and error.
Here’s some of the stuff I learned during the process in case someone is insane enough to attempt this feat:
- Before I uploaded the comics, I made a draft post with the desired title and placed it in the chapter category I wanted my comics to end up in. One must make sure that the post is on the same date as the translated and untranslated comics that are being uploaded. Once the comics are uploaded, set the post to published.
- Upload via FTP unless you want your readers to hate you when you create a bunch of extra posts you don’t need. Before uploading, go to ComicPress Options>General and check “Enable Multi-Comic Jquery navigation?” Don’t forget to save.
- Make sure all of your characters are US English. If you are silly enough to use accented or tilde characters, you will regret it. I had to delete my “Comics” folder and create a new “Comics” folder to replace it as a result of my mistake.
- Unless you want the pages to show up out of order, preface the comic’s name with the language or, the numbers showing the order of how the languages you choose will need to show up. Since my pages only come in two languages, I used the following naming convention: “2011-06-26-English-Comic-Name-Here” Alternatively this would work too if you have more than two languages: “2011-06-26-001-Comic-Name-Here.”
- If you have a post auto-tweeter, make sure the thing is off! It’s obvious, but bears repeating.
- Enable the Google Translate widget in ComicPress so your blog entries can be translated as well.
- I added instructions using the text widget using the “above the comic” slot to make this instant feature more obvious to my readers. Here’s what I used: “Aprenda ingles. Learn Spanish. Click ’1′ underneath the comic for English. Para español pulse el ’2′ debajo del dibujo.”
Anyway, GO ME!!! If you have a multilingual project, and you actually try this out, let me know. I’d love to read how this works out for webcomic creators out there.
(SOUP Wars is not blatantly NSFW, but has a catgirl pin-up on the background and the subject matter is hella disturbing.)
(Cross-posted on and adapted from a posting I made in The Webcomics List and later turned into a blog entry at Catnose Comics)
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