Friday, September 26, 2008

Translation Widget

Callan Bentley at NOVA Geoblog has just recently given a paper on the Rise of the GeoBlogoSphere (GBS), a paper based in large part on a recent survey he asked Geobloggers to take.

Much of the GBS is composed of English-speaking bloggers, or bloggers from other countries who are, nevertheless, blogging in English, like The Lost Geologist. I have noticed, however, that there are several Spanish geo-blogs, a number of German geo-blogs, and a few other geo-blogs in other languages. I have wanted on several occasions to read some of these blogs, and although I am somewhat familiar with Spanish, my Spanish is very rusty, and I especially have a hard time following anything written with scientific and geologic terminology.

Consequently, I have added a translation widget to my site, in order to help facilitate the reading of this blog in other languages. It seems to work alright; I don't know how good the translations are. I especially have no idea how good the translation into 'Russian beta' is. With this widget, after clicking on a flag of your choice, the translated page opens in another web-browser page (in IE7, anyway). It translates linked-to pages (sometimes slowly), translates comments, and translates most of what's in the sidebar of this blog.

For example, in Spanish, Christie at the Cape becomes Christie en el Cabo, Geology Happens becomes Geologia Pasa, Hindered Settling becomes Obstaculizado ResoluciĆ³n de Conflictos, and Looking for Detachment becomes Buscan Descatamento. Comments in the sidebar are not translated, and neither are the words in my label cloud or the titles and articles in the Allgeo feed. A couple sidebar widgets don't work in the translated web page, and the World Visitors Map and popular posts widgets show a very low number of hits for some reason.

I got the widget from this Blogger Accessories post, using the Java/html code in the upper part of the post, which I pasted into the widget part of my sidebar without any alteration of code. I had earlier tried some code from another help site first, but that code either didn't work or needed a lot of modification, which I didn't want to bother with, especially since the comments were indicating that it might not work. If anyone notices any problems, please let me know.

Now, if some Spanish, German, and other geoblog sites would add translation options to their sites, I'll have even more to read!


Lost Geologist said...

good idea. i just used it to translate your blog into german. the result is somewhat mediocre and the grammatics is a desaster but nevertheless it is, with some patience, understandable.

Callan Bentley said...

If you translate "NOVA Geoblog" into English (from Spanish), you get "The Geoblog doesn't go."

Silver Fox said...

I suspected that the result would be not the best, judging by pages I've translated from Spanish to English and German to English. I can follow what's being said, for the most part, though (better than just wondering?).

And Callan, you only get "The geoblog doesn't go" if you break NOVA into no va. Otherwise, I get 'the geoblog, it novates' or 'it novates geoblog' whatever that means!

Silver Fox said...

Callan, in a Danish translation of this blog, your name comes out as "Christiansfeld Bentley" - if I translate Christiansfeld back to English, I get "Dunedin" - so I guess you're from the Lord of the Rings.