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I have a website in English and Arabic (using variations). I want to display news on home page using List. What is the best way to do it?

  • Shall I create a single list with both English and Arabic column as follows?

English News Title
Arabic News Title
English News Desc
Arabic News Desc

And display respective news based on current language.

OR

  • Shall I create two lists, one for English and one for Arabic? I have heard that when you are using variation, if you create a list in main site, then similar list is also created by that service in variation site. Is this true? So that means we do not need to use single list but two separate lists?
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It depends on how the content will be accessed, shared and distributed across different sites and site collections. I think you need to view multilingual support in a broader context before your question can be answered:

When you plan for multilingual sites, consider whether you have to create content that will be shared across sites, but must be changed to meet regional requirements or translated to meet language requirements. If you think there is a possibility that you might have to set up variations sites, you should plan for them beforehand. It is very difficult to integrate variations sites into a site collection after the site structure is implemented. The following factors can affect your ability to easily move to using variations sites later in the life of your site:

  • Custom code Code that contains references to the location of the root variations site.
  • Site customizations Site navigation, Master Pages, and other customizations.
  • Search Search scopes must be created for each variation label, and the site properties of each variations site must be changed.

Reference: Plan for multilingual sites in SharePoint 2013

Edit

But if you're only going to use different news languages, I suuggest you stick to variation sites. It has a benefit that the source (assuming English) of the variation will create the mirrored structure and content on the target variation site (assuming Arabic).

By default, any new pages that are published in the Pages library of the source variation site will automatically be created on all target variation sites. However, if Create Selectively is enabled, for each new page that you create on the source variation site, you must manually specify the target variation site on which the page should be created. The Create Selectively option can be useful if you want certain pages to be included only on some, but not all, target variation sites.

Lists can be created automatically on target variation sites only if they are created on the source variation site before the variation hierarchy is created. If a list is created after the variations hierarchy is set up, a list must be created manually on the target variation sites by using the Settings button on the Variations tab on the ribbon for the list on the source variation site. However, new list items can be created automatically on a target variation site.

By default, the Create Everywhere option is enabled. You should carefully consider the potential increase in administrative tasks if you decide to enable the Create Selectively option. You can configure the settings for site, list, and page creation behavior on the Variations Settings page in Site Collection Administration.

Reference: Plan for variations in SharePoint Server 2013

Conclusion

You will not use the same list, and not even the same site. Best Practice is to implement a variation site, where the variation list and the variation news pages resides. This way it's easier to administer, than to manually update single pages.

  • You mean to say we can also make multi-lingual site in SharePoint using some other way rather than variation? – Frank Martin Jun 24 '13 at 7:39
  • @FrankMartin I updated my answer to furter explain multilingual. – Benny Skogberg Jun 24 '13 at 8:10

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