I have a question, or maybe even a challenge for you.
I recently found a trackback on my site in a non-English language and I wanted to read it. This happens more frequently than you may imagine, but most of the time I am familiar enough with the language, like Spanish or French, to get a clue about what they are saying, so a glance at the trackback is enough. This time, it was in Dutch and I wanted to read it.
I went hunting and found that Google does not offer Dutch-to-English translations, though Korean, Chinese, and Japanese are currently in beta testing mode. I thought this was odd since the Dutch are more web savvy than most Chinese, but money does talk, and there is a lot of money to be had by Google in Eastern Asia.
I did some digging and found WorldLingo, a free online language translation site that includes a wider range of languages, Dutch among them, and free translation of text, website links, and email.
A mail of today entitled Do you update mail or posts updates me has put, however, even to thinking. Scope of the betoog: how much energy puts you in current loving your postings? If in the past have posted you concerning for example plugin, watch you thus or there a new version of that concerning plugin appears and ensures you vervolgens also that you adapt posting or of it in any case report makes?
Granted, online translation services are still not perfect. I thought it was interesting how “blogger” and another word don’t translate. However, that’s not the question at issue.
The question is how do you know which language is which when translating?
How Do You Know Which Language is Which When Using Translation Services?
I think that this is a growing concern, and a question more and more users will soon be asking as the web becomes more international and demands breaking down language barriers.
Currently, online translation services make you choose from which language you are translating from and which language you want it translated to. You are given a drop down menu from which to make your choice. If you don’t know, how do you choose?
Like most of you, I long for a day when I can do nothing and read any web page in any language without stress or strain. Until then, how do you know which language is which when trying to translate something?
Yes, familiarity with a language will help you identify it. I’ve spent years living overseas away from the United States and I’m familiar with most European languages. This doesn’t mean I can speak or read them? I just know when I see Turk, Dutch, or Russian. But can I tell the difference between the various Chinese, Arabic, or African languages? No. I can’t even tell the difference between the Scandinavian languages, nor many former Eastern Block countries. I haven’t seen enough of them to know.
How do you know which language is which if you want to translate a web page? If you don’t know, what do you do? Do you guess? To you just go through them, one by one, until something pops up in English or your native language?
Have you found an online translation service which doesn’t ask you to choose the languages? Is there one that automatically detects the language and translates it? Is that even possible yet?
On my main site where I have control over the content and code, I have put in a meta tag that identifies the language the content is written in to help search engines categorize my work in English.
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us" />
If this was a standard requirement, could online translation software use such language tags to identify the language so we don’t have to? This would put more pressure on web page designers to include such codes if they want to be identified with a specific language. I believe that blogging tools like WordPress.com include a default language, but I can only find a language reference on this blog in the character set and in the doctype. There isn’t a similar meta tag to identify the language. Maybe the doctype and character set is enough to help online translation software identify the language of the blog or website.
So without such easy-to-use online translation services, how do you know which language to choose when choosing a language to translate from to yours?