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Cross-Cultural Communication skills is a relatively new term, referring to the ability to recognize cultural differences and similarities when dealing with someone from another culture and ability to recognize features of own behavior which are affected by culture.

 

2005.6.3

Multilingual blogging

Filed under: Blogare necesse...,Lingua — Moshu @ 12:18 (UTC)

First of all: some clarification is due about the terminology. As I mentioned in one of my first posts I chose WP beacuse I loved “the possibility of writing in different languages, with different alphabets without having to think for a moment about charset, encoding and all that stuff that made my life miserable when administering a CMS and every author needed a different charset”. This is true even today, since WP can do this, however my demands and wishes have been grown bigger.

For me multilingual now means having posts in more than one language. (Still doable.) Additionally, to have the user interface [the menu items on the right; the post meta: filed under etc.] changed when somebody selects to read an article in another language. I would also like to switch to another language version of the post – if it exists and, finally, to have a “language switcher/picker” button that would bring up only the posts written in that language, with the translated interface, of course.
What is not multilingual for me is having a button to make a “machine translation” of the whole content of the site (blog). It doesn’t really work for small languages or, better to say, the possibility is inexistent, plus it is very inaccurate. For a professional ex-translator and interpreter like myself, it’s simply inadmissible. I have to admit though it might be helpful to get a vague idea what a site is about.

There have been several attempts to make the multilingual blogging a reality. Probably I am not aware of every multilingual blog out there, but since the time I became involved closely with WordPress I was closely following some of them.
I remember the langauge picker plugin (the site is down for a long time, do not click on the link, I put it here just for documentation purposes). Unfortunately I didn’t download it when it was available.
I also noticed two bloggers, Chris and Stephanie, both of them very interested in multilingual blogging, and having implemented some kind of multilingual functionality on their blogs – though in different manner. They also have several interesting language related articles and good ideas about multilingual blogging.
Later came malyfred with his Polyglot plugin. It was based on the Language Picker but brought a lot of enhancements. Seemingly the plugin is very “picky” because it doesn’t work for everybody. More later about it.
And, finally, there is a very promising project by Morgan Doocy and others, still in a very pre-alpha stage. No public announcement about the progress since February.

A little bit more about the Polyglot plugin. Basically, on the author’s site it does quite everything I’d like to have on my multilingual blog. (Not this one!) I have tried to install it and make work on a WP 1.5.1 nightly, but it worked only partially. Revisiting the site and reading through the newest comments it seems there is an updated version (end of May, 2005) and some suggestions from other users to make it better. I will have to give it a try with the latest WP 1.5.1.2.

Lately there was a post in the WP Forum about a “language selector”. One WP user – nicknamed angsuman in the forum – came up with an automatic machine translation plugin as a possible solution. Driven by my “innate” aversion towards any machine translation I made a comment saying this plugin isn’t for me. I did not explain why, so consider this post as a reply to this question.

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18 Responses to “Multilingual blogging”

  1. > One WP user – nicknamed angsuman in the forum

    I am actually named Angsuman :)

  2. Moshu says:

    Oops, sorry. You just never know in a forum… I’ll remember that!

  3. Bilal says:

    Hey,

    I know this is off-topic, but may I please have your email ID, Moshu?

    Thanks,
    ~bk

  4. Moshu says:

    Check the Contact link above…

  5. [...] make your multilingual website more reader-friendly For the record : a short “history” of Multilingual blogging with WordPress on the weblog de culturis mundi. Bas [...]

  6. anna kiki says:

    This is one of the most interesting sites I have ever seen http://annaki.com

  7. soloturn says:

    http://b2evolution.net/ has the same roots as wordpress, but solved multilinugal in a nice fashion.

  8. Moshu says:

    Hi soloturn,
    Could you please give me some example or a more detailed description about how it was solved?
    I’ve checked out the site and I have seen references to i18n and l10n, but nothing about multilingual blogging.

  9. barry says:

    Which one is the best multilingual blog software, b2evolution or worldpress?

    Which one can support multi-languages at same time?

  10. Moshu says:

    I don’t know as much about the b2e as about the WP. WP has a few plugins that make possible multilingual blogging. The latest is Gengo:
    http://jamietalbot.com/wp-hacks/gengo/

  11. Ruben says:

    Spip is the real multilingual blog/cms.
    http://www.spip.net/

    Very very powerfull.

  12. Moshu says:

    I’d hesitate to say ever about anything that this is “THE” solution. Let’s agree: Spip is one of the possible solutions… The more the better!

  13. Mike Gifford says:

    Drupal.org’s support has gotten considerably better and now allows for more sophisticated multi-lingual support. http://groups.drupal.org/i18n

  14. Moshu says:

    I will take a closer look at it… although I think for a simple blog Drupal is an overkill!

  15. [...] Mae llawer o wefannau’n trafod y pwnc gyda Webxadmin a CrossCultural yn amlinellu rhai o’r problemau. [...]

  16. LingoTip says:

    Would you like a multilingual blog like this one: lingotip.blogspot.com ?

    Just go to http://www.lingotip.com to find out how!

    LingoTip offers a variety of language tools (both for pay and for free) to enhance your Websites, including your Blogs and Social Network pages. You can also create your own widgets with your own translations and even share them with the LingoTip Community.

  17. macejv says:

    Multilingual is a great aspect of the IT Industry. In blogging, like on the rest of the Internet, or in all the computer programs. For example, a computer program that has a multilingual interface will be more popular and will be understood and used in a bigger or greater manor than it in the case of just being built on 1 language. A good example would be jv16 PowerTools 2009 program or software designed for a better faster and smoother Microsoft Windows experience. This was just an example, and are hundreds or thousand of programs that are popular mostly because of this “multilingual” aspect.

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