Chinese translation of extends ‘international reach’

Katherine Sproles

WKU has taken a new step in extending their “International Reach” with the addition of a Chinese translation of the homepage and an Arabic translation on the way.

When students go to the WKU homepage, they can expect to see Chinese symbols above the search option in the upper right hand corner of the webpage.

When clicked on, students are directed to a Chinese version of the WKU homepage.

Corie Martin, manager of the translation project and manager of creative web services for the division of public affairs, said the Arabic page is expected to be up in the next few months.

“The Arabic site is under construction as we speak,” Martin said. “We test the sites for clarity many times before they go live. We want to make sure they make sense and look appropriate for their intended audiences.”

Chinese and Arabic were chosen as the first two language translations because they are spoken by the majority of international students at WKU, Martin said.

“Much of our international recruitment takes place in China and in the Middle East respectively, so these two languages made sense as a starting point for translated pages within our site,” Martin said.

The Chinese page was translated with help from the modern languages department and with additional support from the Confucius Institute.

Wu Yanjun, a professor at the Confucius Institute, said he was asked to help with the translation because “the core mission of WKU CI is to promote Chinese language and culture, which aligns directly with WKU’s mission of becoming ‘A leading American university with international reach.’”

The Chinese page features photographs highlighting WKU’s partnership with China instead of the normal photographs on the main website. Yanjun said the Chinese webpage is promoting the Chinese language and culture to fit local communities’ needs.

The pages were created in partnership with international admissions to provide prospective students and families with basic information about WKU in their native languages and help with the recruiting process.

Raza Tiwana, chief international officer for international enrollment management, said there are plans to provide this type of information in multiple languages in the coming months.

Martin said the response to the Chinese landing page has been positive so far and future translations are certainly possible.

“We are excited that we have been able to extend our ‘international reach’ using the resources we have here on campus to assist future Hilltoppers worldwide,” Martin said.