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Multilingual blogs

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 3 months ago

Multilingual blogs and websites


All that good stuff that everyone else is talking about, but in two or more languages simultaneously! Who is doing multilingual blogs or sites? What's easy and what's hard? This is a proposed topic for MooseCamp2008, part of NorthernVoice2008.



Possible topics:

  • Examples: who's doing it in multiple languages, and how well?
  • Value: who needs multiple languages and what for?
  • Structure: how to link content in one language to another?
  • Content: is content in various languages the same or different? How/why different?
  • Tools: how to make your blogging system or service or CMS handle the text and connect to your translators?
  • Translation: how to get the content from one language to the other?
  • Process: how to make all the parts move together and on time?



Not sure yet. Check back here, or ask me on Friday at 10:00.



People who expressed interest, or should be there:

  1. Jim DeLaHunt
  2. Richard Eriksson - once considered blogging in French & Chinese (in order to re-learn both)
  3. (you)


Unedited notes:

Multi-lingual websites

Alan Levine - Spanish speaking Drupal sites

Lauren Wood - speak another language, maybe I should do something about that on my blog

Michele Glave - Canadian tourism center - trying to convince us to disseminate our information on a blog (French and


Christine - web design co - RFP for a big project in Cantonese

Jennifer - UBC learning technologist, explore if courses can be delivered to other countries - pilot in Beijing -

Richard Erickson - Rain City Studios, work with Drupal, new translation engine server, speak and read French, speak a

little Chinese

Sarah Fenn - Riptown media, major client in entertainment expanding around the world. going to need content in many


Scott McCullen, web dev at UBC, worked on multilingual sites for Fed government, use Drupal and their translation


Allison Wong - also web dev at UBC, personally blog in two languages, do my own hack

Angus Pratt- freelance pixel mechanic, come at it w/o developer background, but MBA background. Org behavior and social

culture, number of project run into Drupal translation engine. Curious about interface between multilingual


Ducky Sherwood - that's my favorite husband

Rob Cottingham, Social Signal, help orgs build online communities, especially interested in things like workflow, how mch

content has to be translated, how much community can do and how you decide

Monique, social media consultant with work industries - clients with customers around world, different translation needs,

my job is about structure and contant to han

Natasha Scott - Social Signal, have done a few sites in Drupal, sturgg

Horst Mann - one of my first blogs in 2 languages, went by the comments and all of a sudden didn't get much response in

one language, so assumed I should not do that and went to one language. What language  I dropped I got "are you dropping


Nancy White - Work

Afsona Sharif - instr course deve, UBS, accessibility, useing blogs for course content, see what others are doing

Possible Agenda

Topics - examples and values



Tools - Drupal and multilingual CMS

Translation - hired translators, community translation

PRocess - process from a project management


Good examples/sites

climbtothestars - English and French blog - has summary of article in the other language

bankofcanada - publish in 2 languages - exactly same content at same instant

delicious tag - multilingual blogger

Beverly Trayner



wikitravel (what to do when entries don't match across languages)

pop montreal

global voices

Joi Ito

Do you blend your langauges or keep them on separate blogs

Suw Charman

Diego Leal

So much of what is not written in your language is hidden from you and you can't search for it

Tags as language bridges

What structure works best? Are there best practices for how you structure language one and language two and how they

cross between.

Does your url tell you the language of your content -

can put language information in the top level domain (google.jp) - gives an idea of what the UI is going to present

put language code in URL wikitravel.org/fr

Joomla add on to have a URL with no language indicator, guess a language then redirect you to a url with a languag


Look for a cookie, offer a menu or guess from IP address

How do we sort out which Spanish we do

On process side - have people do translation, monitor our RSS feed and ask them to automatically translate certain feeds.

The magic Drupal box will enable us to do that

Paid translators


machine translation - google translate

hummingbirdtranslations.com in Vancouver - she has a collective of translators she works with - great rates

Localization services - usually have a network of translators

using a network of people who can IM to help with specific bits of translation, especially when local context is


If you have money, you hire translation from the start, if none, you get the community to translate or not and set up

islands of language

Language also has a national context - what are the unstated assumptions about where you are likely to be given based on

language (setting browser interface to German, don't necc want to be pointed to stores that are only in German)

Tourism sites will offer content in many languages with specific geography

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