Hreflang vs. rel=canonical with duplicate posts on a multilingual website


we have a multilingual website of which we recently launched a new version.
We have a blog on which we post regularly, but although the site itself exists in several languages, the blog posts are 99.9 % in English. However, due to the way that the site is built, all the blog posts have to be duplicated for each language version for them to show up on all of them.

These duplicate posts are created by cloning the original post. Although we do have a translation plugin (Polylang for WordPress), we don’t use that for creating the duplicate posts. Instead the post is just cloned and
assigned to a language version.This was something suggested by the marketing agency that created our website.

This means though that there are no hreflang tags pointing from one language version to the other.
When we had a similar setup on our older site but with the copies linked to each other via WPML translation plugin, someone told me that it was fine this way.

Now however I wonder if we should put a rel canonical link to all the copies pointing to the original post, in order to avoid the same post competing against itself on search engines.

Or would it be better, instead of cloning the posts, to create "translations" with Polylang so that the posts on the different language versions are connected to each other and with hreflang tags pointing to each other? I’ve read that one shouldn’t anyway combine both hreflang and rel=canonical.

What’s the best practice in this kind of situation?

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