I really hope someone can help me with this.
I really don't know much (read: I hardly know an atom) about development with language-support.
I'm trying to develop a site with 2 very different languages but I'm stumped as to how to go about it. This is not one of those "Choose your language" sites, rather it's got to have different languages on the same page- Arabic and English. To simplify the site's function let's just say it's going to be like an Arabic-to-English dictionary. So there will have to be tables that display English in one column and Arabic in the other.
I'm ramming my head against these main problems:
1. How can I code Arabic text (text, not graphical typing as I've noticed so many places) in HTML in the first place? I've searched like anything but there's hardly a clear solution. After lots of research (meddling with all sorts of confusing stuff about unicode and fonts and ascii stuff) what I think is the most practical solution is to force users to download a certain arabic font before being able to view the site. Would this really be the best approach?
2. How can I keep the page displaying both languages correctly? (English is a left-to-right language but Arabic is right-to-left).
3. I'm using a mysql db with php for the data (eg. Arabic word, and corresponding English meanings). How can you store different languages in mysql? Will the characters go as binary or something?
These problems aren't giving way, but my empty head is.