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I have a project in which the client needs the site to support 5 different languages. After some research on Google and here, it's clear the two ways to do it would be either using Multilingual plugins or Multi-site.

My question is, if I were to use the wordpress plugins such as qTranslate, how would the other plugins work, i.e slideshows, testimonials etc. For example, most of the slideshow plugins comes with only a single title fields. In that sense, is using plugins for the translation still efficient keeping in mind that I am going to be using sidebars and other plugins which don't support multingual? Or using the Multi-site is the only option?

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Use both: a specialized plugin and multisite. There are plugins doing that (I’m the developer for one, Multilingual Press, but there are others).

The main advantage is indeed interoperability: you can activate language and theme specific other plugins per sub-site, you don’t get any data hidden in custom post types or post meta fields, and you can use regular URLs, even different URL structures on each site.

Be aware, some poorly written themes and plugins will not work with any multi-language plugin. Custom post types and taxonomies registered in themes are really hard to translate, because they aren’t accessible across the network. Also make sure to activate plugins doing that as network plugins, not per site, if you need those translated.

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