I'm building a website where I plan to publish some content in two languages: Arabic and French.
Since this is a one-man job, I wanted to avoid unnecessary complexity and have one single page to list all published articles ― regardless of their language. Most people here are able to read both languages, even though some might be more comfortable with one than the other.
All the guidance Google is offering on the topic supposes that multilingual content is the result of having multiple versions of one website to accommodate different audiences, which is not the case here.
One big difference between the two cases is that, on my site, the content in one language is NOT a translated version of the others'. For example, articles in French might include "How to wash your car?" and "Tips to save on gas", while the Arabic ones would be about "Five tips for a healthier engine" and "How to check your tires".
If I understood correctly, this means that I can't use
hreflang to specify each article's language since the pages are not alternates of other ones. Is this correct? It it is, what can I do to tell Google what language a page is in?
And most importantly, would juxtaposing content in such a manner hurt the SEO of the website?