Sunday, September 16, 2012

Translation

The problem with multilingual blogs is that you cannot always post in a way to be understood by every readership at the same time. Sometimes I will post a comment both in French and English, but most of the time I post in either languages depending on the nature of the subject. For example, if I read a book in French I will most likely comment it in the same language and I will comment in English if I watch a movie in English. And, of course, the blog is not accessible to people speaking any other languages (like my ancient roman fans or my Japanese friends or some accidental Aafrikaner or Hindi readers). I've always found this particularly annoying.

I recently stumbled upon a Facebook page that was offering a link to translate the post into another language (in this case either Japanese or English). I found that such option was quite practical and wondered if it was possible to do something similar with Blogger. I couldn't find a cool and easy way like I saw for Facebook, but I found a couple of ways to reach my goal. (It would be nice though to have Blogger to add a “Translate” option at the bottom of each post).

From now on, you will find in the right side column (between the “links” and the “Search this blog”) a “Translate this blog” section with a “Select Language” pull down menu. It includes over sixty different languages but, since it assumes this blog is in English only, the list doesn't offer an English option, which would be quite useful for my French posts. Instead, for this particular case, I will try to always add at the end of my French posts a “[ Translate ]” link that will bring you to an English translation (by default, but it can be changed to any language you want).

Unfortunately, the translation option often mess up the layout of the post (mostly paragraph jump -- strangely the individual links for the French to English translation fare much better layout-wise) and the resulting translation is generally far from perfect (although sometimes quite funny). But that's the best it can do for now. However, to avoid formatting problems I might simply add a “[ Translate ]” link even for the posts in English...

I hope this solution will help widden the readership of this blog. In any case, let me know what you think. Do you like this new option or not (or it doesn't make any difference for you)?

[ Translate ]

3 comments:

qosmiq said...

Cool initiative! I have the same problem with my blog. Where did you find this tool?

clodjee said...

For the menu link in the right side column, it is part of Blogger (Design> Layout> Add a gadget> Translate). For the link at the end of the posts, I found it here: http://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/12125/how-to-get-a-link-to-a-google-translate-translation .

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