Advice for a Translating Tool [en]

[fr] Quelques conseils pour mettre en place un outil de traduction d'interfaces en ligne.

I was asked for some advice for a soon-to-be-released online interface translation tool. *(Hint: maybe my advice would be more useful earlier on in the project…)* Here’s what I said:

1. allow for regional forking of languages. e.g. there was a merciless
war on the French wikipedia between the French and the Belgians over
[“Endive” which is called “Chicon”]( in Belgium. One is not more right than
another, and these differences can be important.

2. remember that words which are the same in English can have two
different translations in other languages. e.g. “Upload” can be
translated as “Téléchargez” (imperative verb form) or “Téléchargement”

3. if you’re doing some sort of string-based thing (which I suppose
you are) like [](, let people see what they’re
translating in context. (See the interface in English, with the place
the string is in highlighted, and then see the interface in French,
with the string highlighted too.)

*Note: yes, this person had already watched [my Google Tech Talk on languages online]( — and yes, I’m going to collect my language stuff somewhere neat on a static page at some point.*

Similar Posts:

Two Panel Submissions for SXSW Interactive (Language Issues) [en]

[fr] Il y a deux propositions portant mon nom pour SXSW -- merci de voter pour elles! Sinon, dates et description de mes prochaines conférences.

Je cherche aussi un "speaking agent" -- faites-moi signe si vous en connaissez un qui travaille avec des personnes basées en Europe. Merci d'avance!

Oh. My. God.

I just realised, [reading Brian’s post](, that I haven’t blogged about the two panel proposals I’m on for [SXSW Interactive next March in Austin, Texas](

* [Opening the Web to Linguistic Realities]( (co-presenting with [Stephanie Troeth](
** A basic assumption on the Internet is that everybody speaks and understands one language at a time. Globalism and immigration has created an even more prominent trend of multilingualism amongst the world’s inhabitants. How can the WWW and its core technologies keep up? How can we shift our biased perspectives?
* [Lost in Translation? Top Website Internationalization Lessons]( (panel I’m moderating)
** How do you publish software or content for a global audience? Our expert panel discusses lessons learned translating and localizing. Leaders from Flickr, Google, iStockphoto and the Worldwide Lexicon will tackle various marketing issues; how to translate the ‘feel’ of a Web site, and; best practices for software and content translation.

As you can see, both proposals revolve around the use of languages on the internet — and as you know, it’s one of the topics [I care about]( nowadays. I’ve spoken on this topic a few times now ([BlogCamp ZH](, [Reboot9](, [Google Tech Talks]( and I’m looking forward to taking things further with these new chances to toss these problems around in public.

80 or so of the [700+ panel submissions to SXSW Interactive]( will be selected by public voting and actually take place. That’s not a lot (roughly 10%). So **please** go and vote for these two panels (“Amazing” will do) so that they make it into the selection. I really want to go to Austin! (Can you hear me begging? OK, over. But please vote.)

Other than that, I have a few more talks planned in the coming months:

– a [talk on corporate blogging]( in Zürich ([MScom alumni Jour Fixe](, private event) [Sept. 24]
– future jobs of the web (evolution of the “webmaster”) at [BlogCamp Lausanne](, and probably a second session either on languages or [teenagers online]( [Sept. 29]
– a talk on being a blogging/social media consultant in Europe for [BlogOpen]( in Novi Sad, Serbia [Oct. Nov. 10]
– [Multilinguisme web et problèmes associés]( in Paris for Paris Web [Nov. 16]

My [proposal for Web 2.0 Expo]( didn’t make it, it seems, but I’ll probably submit something for [Web2Open](

And, as [you might have heard](, **I’m looking for a speaking agent**. If you can recommend any good speaking agents who work with European-based speakers, please drop me a line or a comment.

Similar Posts:

A Blog is Not a Post, Dammit! [en]

[fr] De plus en plus répandue, la confusion entre "blog" et "post/billet/article" est un cancer qui ronge la terminologie blogosphérique. Pour mémoire, un blog est un type de site composé d'une série d'articles (ou posts, ou billets). On ne dirait pas, dans le cas d'un magazine composé d'articles, "j'ai écrit un nouveau magazine" -- et donc on ne dit pas "j'ai écrit un nouveau blog sur le sujet".

Photographiez les coupables à coups de saisie d'écran et envoyez-les-moi -- je les ajouterai à la collection dans ce b... illet!

Lately, [I]( ([and others]( have noticed an increasingly aggravating trend: saying “blog” instead of “post”.

To make it clear: a blog is a type of website, made of a collection of blog posts, or “posts”.

Just like a magazine is a collection of articles. You wouldn’t say “he just wrote a new magazine” instead of “he just wrote a new article”, would you?

So, you don’t say “to write a blog” instead of “to write a post”. It just doesn’t make sense.

I’ve started collecting screenshots of offenders and I’m collecting them here (Flickr tag: [ablogisnotapost]( Post your own screenshots on Flickr and I’ll add them to this blog… post (!) — with credit, linkage, and everything, of course. Just drop me a line or leave a comment with the link.

Let’s fight back and get all those newcomers to get their terminology straight before it’s too late!

#### “Blog” and “post” confusion — offenders

[How to Make a Blog](

Confusing 'blog' and 'blog post'


E-mail with "blog" and "post" confusion


StumbleUpon » My Preferences

StumbleUpon » My Blog

[Plasq](, courtesy of [Stowe Boyd](

plasq bad blog usage

Maria on [Millions of Us](, courtesy of [Stowe Boyd]( (one could argue that this is, in fact, her “first blog”):

Her First Blog Ever

[Foreign correspondent Telegraph Blog](, courtesy of [Adam Tinworth](

Not a Britney Blog - a Britney Post!

[SAP Community Network](

SAP Blog_Post Confusion

[Alan Patrick](,-long-shadow.html) (his excuse: lots of beer and a late night, and an attempt at justification by invoking a semantic shift of the word “blog”):

broadstuff blog_post confusion

[Dwayne Phillips commenting on /Message](

Comment on /Message, blog/post terminology confusion

[Tim Berners-Lee himself :-(](

OMG. TBL himself calling a post a blog :-(

Send me yours!

Similar Posts:

Most People Are Multilingual [en]

[fr] Une clarification de ce que j'entends par "la plupart des gens sont multilingues". Multilingues au sens large.

In [a comment to my last post](, [Marie-Aude]( says I’m being a bit optimistic by stating that “most people are multilingual”. I’d like to clarify what I mean by that.

The “most people are multilingual” thing is not from me. I’ve seen it mentioned in varied settings, though I still need to find systematic studies to back it up (let me know if you have any handy).

It all depends how you define “multilingual”. If you define it in a broad sense (ie, school-level passive understanding of a language counts), then a little thinking shows it’s not that “optimistic”. Here is what would make somebody multilingual:

– immigration, of course
– learning a foreign language at school
– living in a country with different linguistic groups.

Some examples:

– in India, many people are fluent in their mother tongue, and to some extent in one of the countries official languages: Hindi or English
– in the US, think about the huge immigrant population; the whole country was built upon immigration, come to think of it; in the bus in San Francisco, I often heard more foreign languages than English
– again in the US (because the English-speaking world is seen as a big “monolingual” block), think of the increasingly important hispanic/latino population (people who will often have knowledge of both English and Spanish)
– in most European countries, people learn at least one foreign language in school — even if it’s not used, most people retain at least some passive knowledge of it; I’m not sure about Asia, Africa, Southern America, Australia: does anybody know?

So, I don’t think it’s that optimistic to say most people are multilingual. To say that most people are “perfectly multilingual”, of course, is way off the mark. But most people understand more than one language, at least to some extent.

Similar Posts:

Talk: Languages on the Internet at Google [en]

[fr] Demain, je donne une conférence à Google sur le thème du traitement des langues sur internet.

Tomorrow 2pm I’ll be giving a talk at Google (thanks for the invitation, [Kevin]( about languages on the internet. It will be an updated version of the [“While We Wait For The Babel Fish” talk I gave at reboot]( a month or so ago. For details, click on the poster Kevin made:

Talking at Google: Languages on the Internet

**Update 11.07.2007:** here is the slideshow!

**Update 12.07.2007:** and here’s the video!

**Update 13.07.2007:** and here are my notes for the talk… click on the photo to decypher!

Waiting for the Babel Fish Notes (Google Talk)

Similar Posts:

Notes From San Francisco [en]

So, roughly half-way through my five-week trip to San Francisco, what’s going on? I haven’t been blogging much lately, that’s for sure.

For once, I took some photographs from the plane. Unfortunately my camera batteries ran out just as we were coming down on San Francisco, and my spare ones were in the luggage compartment above my head. Oh, well.

Flying to San Francisco 31

I got some first-level questioning at immigration coming in. No, not the sort where they take you to a separate room, become much less friendly, and have boxes of rubber gloves on the counter. This is how it went:

– …And what is the duration of your stay?
– Five weeks.
– …And what do you do in… over in Switzerland?
– I’m a freelance… internet consultant. *OMG that sounds bad.* …I’m actually here to work on a book project. *Yeah I know I should never volunteer information.*
– What’s the book about?
– Er… teenagers and the internet.
– And…?
– Er… Well, the situation with teenagers and the internet, and what we’re doing about it in Switzerland.
– And what are you doing about it?
– Well, not enough!
– And? Come on, tell me more about it.
– Er… OK. *OMGOMG* Well, see, teenagers are really comfortable with computers and the internet, and so they’re chatting, blogging, etc. — they’re digital natives, see? — and parents, well, they’re clueless or terrified about the internet, and they don’t always understand what’s going on in their kids lives online, so basically, we have teenagers who are spending a lot of time online and sometimes getting into trouble and parents don’t know or don’t care about what they’re doing there, so we have this… chasm between generations and…
– Thank you. You can go.

The pick-up from the airport was wonderfully orchestrated and much appreciated. Being driven into town by somebody friendly rather than having to use unfamiliar public transportation really makes a difference. Thanks to all those involved (yes, it took that many people!)

Waiting on the Sidewalk

Then, through some freak breakdown of all modern forms of communication (partially documented on Twitter), I ended up waiting outside on the sidewalk for almost an hour while my kind host Tara waited for me inside her appartment. We worked it out finally, and I was introduced to my (nice and spacious) room before going to hang out at [Citizen Space]( A nice dinner out with Chris, Tara and Jimmy to end the day, and I happily collapsed in my bed at a respectable local hour. You will have taken note that I did not collapse at 4pm feeling like a zombie, thanks to having taken [melatonin]( on the plane. (It [doesn’t seem to work that well for Suw](, but it works perfectly on me, and I’m never traveling between continents without it again.)

The four next days went by in [a blur of Supernova madness]( too many people, too many sessions, food with ups and downs, parties with [cupcakes]( and others at the top of [skyscapers]( I took [lots of photographs]( and even [a video sequence that got some attention](

Supernova First Day 33

During the next week, I started settling down. Met and hung out with old friends, made new ones, unpacked my suitcases, went walking around in town, saw [Dykes on Bikes](, the [Gay Pride Parade](, and the [iPhone launch](, photographed [skyscrapers in the night](, ordered a new camera, got my MacBook (partly) repaired, and even [dropped in at Google to take notes of Suw’s talk there](

All this, actually, is documented in [my Twitter stream]( — maybe I should add a whole lot of links? — be sure to keep an eye on it if you’re interested in a more day-by-day account of what I’m doing here.

Overall, things have been good. A small bout of homesickness a few days ago, but I’m feeling better now. I need to start focusing on the things I want to get done (blogging, writing, book, writing, fixing things for clients…) — holiday over now!

Downtown San Francisco By Night 9

I’ve been thinking about my “work career” a little, too. I’m very happy doing what I’m doing, but I’m not going to be doing “Blog 101” for ever — I can feel my interests shifting somewhat already. I’ve been interested in the “social tools at large” department for a long time, but unfortunately it seems to translated to “blogging” in most of the work I do, so I’d like to expand my horizons in that direction a little. I’ve had a couple of talks with people in startups recently, and I realize it’s a kind of environment I wouldn’t mind working in — at least part-time. We’ll see what happens.

I’m also realizing that there is more potential than I first thought around [the two main things I care about these days]( teenagers online and internet language issues. Hence, the book, and also a talk on the subject of languages on the internet which I’ll be giving at Google this coming Tuesday.

Also in the “work” department, two other things have been on my mind. First, the idea of opening up a coworking space in or around Lausanne ([Ollie is having the same kind of thought]( — we’re talking). Second, trying to find a solution so that I don’t have to do maintenance on my clients’ WordPress installations once all is rolling, or spend hours swimming in HTML, CSS and WordPress theme PHP template tags. Not that I don’t know how to do it or don’t enjoy it once in a while, but it’s really not the kind of work I want to spend my time doing. So, I’ve been starting to ask around for names of people who might do this kind of thing (for a reasonable fee), and even thinking of recruiting some students in Lausanne that I could coach/train so that they can do most of the work, and call me up only for major problems. So, see, I’ve been thinking.

Some people have been asking me if I was planning to move here. Indeed, 5 weeks in the city looks suspiciously like a scouting operation. Actually, traveling has an interesting side-effect for me: I tend to come back home thinking “gee, Lausanne is *such* a great place to live! I’m never moving!” Sure, I have some underlying personal issues which contribute to making me overly attached to my hometown, and I know that someday I might end up living elsewhere. But really, for the moment, I don’t think I’d want that.

And even though I’m told San Francisco is very “European” compared to the rest of the US (which I have yet to see) I can’t help seeing how “horribly American” it is. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this city and am enjoying my time here. I know that what I say can give wrong impressions (for example, people — especially Indians — read [the story of my year living in India]( and think that I hated the country; it’s not true, I really loved it, and can’t wait to go back). But I walk around San Francisco and see all the signs with rules and regulations and “stupid” warnings (like, God, the pineapple chunks I buy at Whole Foods haven’t been pasteurized and may contain harmful germs! or, don’t use the hairdryer in the bath tub!), the AT&T Park and other manifestations of what to me is “consumerism gone mad”, I hear about health care and [“you’re expected to sue” horror stories](, visa lotteries for non-renewal, the education system…

So, yes, I’m focusing on the negative. And Switzerland, even though it’s a wonderful country ;-), has its negatives too. Like many natives all over the world, I’ve developed a selective blindness to what is “wrong” in the land I come from, considering much of it “normal” as I have been brought up with it. I know that. But too much of what I see here makes my skin crawl. I’m really enjoying spending some weeks here, I love my friends, the food and the sunshine, but I don’t think I’d be happy living here.

Misty Skyscrapers in Downtown San Francisco 10

Well, this was one of these longer-than-expected posts, and it’s occupied most of my morning. My tasks for this afternoon are (in this order):

– one WordPress install for a client
– spending a little more time trying to see if there is hope for the aggravating Google Groups problem I bumped into, and if not, setting up a Yahoo! Group instead
– writing a post for []( or working on my book — whichever I most feel like.

Similar Posts:

Multilingual Interviews [en]

[fr] Deux interviews que j'ai donnés récemment au sujet de la conférence que je donne à Copenhague sur le multilinguisme sur internet la semaine prochaine.

I was interviewed twice during the last week about the [multilingual stuff]( I’m going to be [talking about this week at reboot9](

– by [Suw Charman]( for [Conversation Hub]( [The Multilingual Web]( (video)
– by [Nicole Simon]( as part of her [reboot9 pre-conference series]( [Reboot 9: Stephanie Booth]( (audio)

Enjoy, and hope to see you at reboot!

Similar Posts:

Google Questions [en]

[fr] Comment Google détermine-t-il (1) le pays d'où provient un site et (2) la langue d'une page? Pourquoi les résultats d'une recherche en français sont-ils différents, selon qu'on utilise ou

So, I’m writing up a document for a client about search engine placement. Not really an SEO thing, more a “good search engine placement results from popularity and success, not the opposite” thing. Like, (gosh, am I being eloquent right now,) setting objectives like “be in the first three results for this or that keyword combination is not very realistic.”

Anyway, I’m stuck in the part about limiting seach to one country or a language (which is a “big thing” if you live outside Anglophonia and ambition to reach the local population). I realise that the way Google manages these different searches is not quite clear to me.


If you go to []( you can choose to do a search for [“pages from Switzerland”]( (I’m using my name as a search term example). Or with [](, “[pages from France](” (language set to English both times so you can compare). My assumption (thanks [shastry]( is that they use server location for that. But is that all? (My server is in the US, so that explains why CTTS does not show up as a “Swiss” site.)


If I select French as the search language, I get different results whether I use []( or []( I assume Google uses language detection — but why are the results different?

Thanks for any explanation which can help me see a bit more clearly.

Similar Posts:

Teenagers and Spelling [en]

[fr] Pour moi, la dégradation constatée de l'orthographe des jeunes a principalement à voir avec le fait que leur pratique d'écriture a maintenant le plus souvent lieu dans des espaces "non normés" (c'est-à-dire en-dehors du milieu scolaire et "des adultes", où "écrire juste" est important). Les SMS font bien entendu partie de ces pratiques d'écriture, mais son caractère "court" a plutôt comme conséquence l'apparition d'abbréviations très tôt dans l'écriture des jeunes, plus que la "perte" (!) de notions grammaticales ou orthographiques.

Here’s a case of “comment or post?” where I first commented, but now am thinking that I would rather have posted. So I’m reproducing [my comment]( to danah’s post titled [dystruktshun of inglesh as we no]( (I know it’s in my [comments page]( and embedded in the sidebar of the blog, but I need to remember that many of you read this blog through RSS):

> As a French teacher, [I was asked this question]( (are blogs destroying our children’s spelling?) a couple of years back. My take on it is that compared to 15-20 years ago, most of the kids’ “writing activity” goes on in uncontrolled environments. When I was at school, if I wrote, it was usually at school. With pressure to have correct spelling, or I’d have to correct it / get a bad mark. Or I’d be writing a letter to my Grandma (better check the spelling there too).

> Today’s teen spends most of his/her writing time on IM, in e-mails or text messages, or in blogs/SN. Peer pressure to “write correctly” can’t really be said to exist.

> Text messaging has brought to them abbreviations. I remember discovering (stupefied!) that one could abbreviate words when I was in 9th grade (tjs=toujours, bcp=beaucoup). Now, kids know all these — and many more “bastard abbreviations” (jta=je t’adore) that might make our older skin crawl.

> I’d say that there are two ways in which teens’ writing today is “modified” by their writing habits:

> – peer spaces (“uncontrolled” regarding “proper writing”) => funky spelling and disregard for “grammatical rules”
> – length limitation (SMS) => abbreviations

One thing I wanted to add, which is “somewhat related”, is that historically, spelling stabilised when the printing press came into use. That explains why in French (and English too, for that matter) written spelling can be so widely different from pronunciation: the oral language has continued to shift, but our spelling has remained frozen. (If I’m saying stupid things here and you know better, let me know — but as far as I remember my linguistic courses from university this is how things happened.)

Similar Posts:

BlogCamp: Multilingual Blogging Session [en]

[fr] Mise par écrit des notes de préparation pour ma présentation hier au sujet des blogs multilingues, lors du BlogCamp à Zürich. En deux mots: il faut des gens pour faire le pont entre les îles linguistiques sur internet, et la façon dont sont conçus nos outils n'encourage pas les gens à être multingues sur leurs blogs. C'est pourtant à mon avis la formule la plus viable pour avoir de bons ponts.

I presented a session about multilingual blogging at [BlogCamp]( yesterday in Zürich. Thanks to all of you who attended (particularly as I was [competing]( with [Xing’s Nicolas Berg](!) and wrote about the session ([Bruno]( of course, [Sarah](, [Sandra](, [Maira](, [Jens-Rainer](, [Waltraut](, [Jokerine](, [Antoine](*…let me know if I need to add you here*), and to [Greg]( in particular for [filming the session](

Although I’m rather used to [giving talks](, this was the first time my audience was a bloggy-geek crowd, so it was particularly exciting for me. I prepared my talk on the train between Lausanne and Bern, and unfortunately prepared way too many notes (I’m used to talking with next to no notes), so I got a bit confused at times during my presentation — and, of course, left stuff out. Here’s a rough transcript of [what I prepared]( Oh, and don’t forget to look at this [photo of my cat Bagha]( from time to time to get the whole “experience”.

Steph giving her talk.
Photo by Henning

**Talk notes**

In the beginning there was the Big Bang. Space, time and matter came to exist. (Physicists in the audience, please forgive me for this.) We know it might end with a Big Crunch. Internet looks a bit like this Big Crunch, because it gets rid of space. With the right link to click on, the right URI, anybody can be anywhere at any time.

However, we often perceive the internet as a kind of “space”, or at least as having some sort of organisation or structure that we tend to translate into spatial terms or sensations. One way in which the internet is organised (and if you’re a good 2.0 person you’re acutely aware of this) is **communities**.

Communities are like gravity wells: people tend to stay “in” them. It very easy to be completely oblivious to what is going on in other communities. Barrier to entry: culture. Language is part of a culture, and even worse, it’s the vehicle for communication.

What is going on in the other languageospheres? I know almost nothing of what’s going on in the German-speaking blogosphere. The borders on the internet are linguistic. How do we travel? There is no digital equivalent of walking around town in a foreign country without understanding a word people say. **Note: cultural divides are a general problem — I’m trying to focus here on one of the components of the cultural divide: language.**

Who speaks more than one language? In the audience, (almost) everyone. This is doubly not surprising:

– Switzerland is a multilingual country
– this is the “online” crowd (cosmopolitan, highly educated, English-speaking — though English is not a national language here)

Two episodes that made me aware of how strong language barriers can be online, and how important it is to encourage people to bridge the language barriers:

– [launching]( []( because at the time of the [browser upgrade initiative]( I [realised]( “Look at all those English language links I pointed my poor French readers to.”) that many French-speaking people didn’t have access to all the material that was available in Anglophonia, because they just didn’t understand English well enough;
– the very different feelings bloggers had about [Loïc Le Meur]( when he first started being active in the blogosphere, depending on if they were French- or English-speaking, particularly around the time of the [Ublog story](

A few questions I asked the audience (mini-survey):

– who reads blogs in more than one language? (nearly everyone)
– who blogs in more than one language?
– who has different blogs for different languages?
– who has one blog with translated content in both languages? (two courageous people)
– who has one blog with posts in various languages, mixed? (half a dozen people if my memory serves me right)
– who feels they act as a bridge between languages?

So, let’s have a look at a few multilingual blogging issues (from the perspective of a biased bilingual person). Despite the large number of people out there who are comfortable writing in more than one language (and the even larger number who are more or less comfortable reading in more than one language), and the importance of bridging cultural/linguistic gaps, blogging tools still assume you are going to be blogging in **one language** (even though it is now accepted that this language may not be English).

What strategies are there for using more than one language on a blog, or being a good bridge? Concentrate first on strategy and then worry about technical issues. Usage is our best hope to make tool development evolve, here.

*A. Two (or more) separate blogs*

– not truly “multilingual blogging”, it’s “monolingual blogging” twice
– caters well to monolingual audiences
– not so hot for multilingual audiences: must follow multiple blogs, with unpredictable duplication of content

*B. Total translation*

– a lot of work! goes against the “low activation energy for publiction” thing that makes blogging work (=> less blogging)
– good for multilingual and monolingual audiences
– technical issues with non-monolingual page (a web page is assumed to be in a single language…)

*C. Machine translation!*

– getting rid of the “effort” that makes B. fail as a large-scale solution, but retaining the benefiits!
– problem: machine translation sucks
– too imprecise, we don’t want *more* misunderstanding

*D. A single blog, more than one language (my solution)*

– easy for the blogger, who just chooses the language to blog in depending on mood, bridge requirements, etc.
– good for the right multilingual audience
– technical issues with non-monolingual pages
– how do you take care of monolingual audiences? provide a summary in the non-post language

“Monolingual” audiences are often not 100% monolingual. If the number of people who are perfectly comfortable writing in more than one language is indeed rather small, many people have some “understanding” skills in languages other than their mother tongue. Important to reach out to these skills.

For example, I’ve studied German at school, but I’m not comfortable enough with it to read German-language blogs. However, if I know that a particular post is going to be really interesting to me, I might go through the trouble of reading it, maybe with the help of some machine translation, or by asking a German-speaking friend.

A summary of the post in the language it is not written in can help the reader decide if it’s worth the trouble. Writing in a simple language will help non-native speakers understand. Making sure the number of typos and grammar mistakes are minimal will help machine translation be helpful. And machine translation, though it is often comical, can help one get the gist of what the post is about.

Even if the reader is totally helpless with the language at hand, the summary will help him know what he’s missing. Less frustrating. And if it’s too frustrating, then might give motivation to hunt down a native speaker or do what’s required to understand what the post is about.

Other bridging ideas:

– translation networks (translate a post or two a month from other bloggers in the network, into your native language)
– translation portal (“news of the world” with editorial and translation work done) — check out [Blogamundo](

Problem I see: bloggers aren’t translators. Bloggers like writing about their own ideas, they’re creative people. Translating is boring — and a difficult task.

Some more techy thoughts:

– use the lang= attribute, particularly when mixing languages on a web page (and maybe someday tools will start parsing that)
– CSS selectors to make different languages look different (FR=pink, EN=blue for example)
– language needs to be a post (or even post element) attribute in blogging tools
– WordPress plugins: language picker [Polyglot]( and [Basic Bilingual](
– excerpt in another language: what status in RSS/atom? Part of the post content or not? Can RSS/atom deal with more than one language in a feed, or do they assume “monolingualism”?
– [indicating the language of the destination page a link points to](

**Extra reading**

The nice thing about having a blog is that you can dive back into time and watch your thinking evolve or take place. Here is a collection of posts which gravitate around language issues (in a “multilingual” sense). The [Languages/Linguistics category]( is a bit wider than that, however.

Blogging in more than one language:

– [Writing]( — translation is just too much work; bilingual desires, but daunted by the workload
– [Bilingual?]( — the day (four months after its birth) this weblog became officially bilingual
– [Multilingue!]( — how to indicate the language of a link target using CSS
– [Life and Trials of a Multilingual Weblog]( — written after some discussions on the topic at [BlogTalk 2.0](
– [Basic Bilingual Plugin]( for WordPress
– [Thinking About Tags]( (and languages)
– [Requirements for a Multilingual WordPress Plugin](
– [Multilingual Proposals (Reboot, BlogCamp)](

About the importance of language, etc.:

– [Multilingual Dragon](
– [SwissBlogs Needs Your Help]( — [SwissBlogs](, oldest Swiss blog directory (and multilingual already), call for help. *(I mentioned during my session that I would not comment on any ideas about Switzerland needing a “national blog directory” of any type… part of the story here if you want to dig.)*
– [SpiroLattic Resurrection]( — some background on a short-lived multilingual wiki experiment
– [Vous parlez de blogosphère suisse?]( — a tag proposal to try and give the fragmented “Swiss blogosphere” some cohesion
– [About the Swiss Blog Awards (SBAW)](
– [English Only: Barrier to Adoption](
– [Not All Switzerland Speaks German, Dammit!](

Similar Posts: