‘Now that millions of individuals around the world are being empowered, if that’s the right expression, by blog software to file reports from sites that the news media cannot always reach, or expose and share their personal lives in interesting new ways, or engage in intense discussion about issues of moment, far from the exclusive institutions of the nation state, the language barrier suddenly looms up like a wall of ice from the sea of words. How can we free the meanings encoded in those alien tongues?’
This is another of those ‘gap areas’ where I see opportunity for some enterprising person or group to provide some tools that would be snapped up by thousands of bloggers around the world who want to expand the reach of their sites (whether they be purely hobby blogs or professional ones).
I’ve previously experimented with free translation software like Babel Fish or Google’s Translation Tools – but I’ve never been completely satisfied with them. I’ve recently seen a number of bloggers who have people translate their articles by word on a voluntary or paid basis – but this is a slow and arduous task.
The other end of the spectrum is how to monetize your translated pages. Many advertising programs will not allow you to put your ads on non english sites. Adsense now has a number of languages available for its ads, but it can get quite tricky to set them all up if you have multiple versions of the one page.
I’m keen to hear how others have tackled the issue of translating their blogs? Have you seen good models of it? What tools work for you? What don’t? Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below – share the knowledge so we can all improve our work.