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Old 06-11-2007, 07:26 PM   #1
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Western Australia
Distribution: Debian 7
Posts: 1,030

Rep: Reputation: 45
to translate or not to translate HTML

I cannot make a decision on this topic.

The point is that the forms on this site are translated by "machine translation" which give a good result in a dozen languages. There is more "machine translations" available which give access to more languages but they are mostly a "word for word" translation.

A poor translation will reflect badly on this "not for profit" organization which prides itself for the quality of its work but a poor translation may also help foreign visitors who do not yet know of a machine translation that they can use.

Of course we can explain the situation to the visitor which would be ok if this explanation was clear and concise, which is hard to obtain in a "word for word" translation.

My question is: which would be the less undesirable approach?

I am sure I will learn from the experience of others in this regard.

Thank you for your help.

Last edited by rblampain; 06-11-2007 at 07:29 PM.
Old 07-01-2007, 07:49 PM   #2
Caballero del norte
Registered: Apr 2007
Location: Sonoran Desert, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 30

Rep: Reputation: 16
machine translation

First of all, this is wonderful that a good ol' semi-Mexican such as I and an Aussie can communicate across the Pacific with perfect ease. God bless lingua francas!

Now that I have that out of my system, here's what I suggest. It shows both sensitivity to your audience and the requisite humility. (Something that machine translators probably will not have anytime soon.)

Make a version of each page that you want foreign-language-available with a tag at the top such as lang="xx" (in place of the present "lang="en"" that you have now), then have a nicely translated phrase in the target language stating: "We regret that this page is only available in English or with a poor quality automatic translation." Then give a link choice. "English: http...... Xx: http....." Don't make your disclaimer any more complicated than this - it might not translate at all well.

This way, your organi(z/s)ation will not look ignorant nor insensitive, just strapped for cash or help.

Good luck!
Old 07-05-2007, 09:04 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Western Australia
Distribution: Debian 7
Posts: 1,030

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 45
Excellent suggestion. Thank you very much.
I also share your enthusiasm about world-wide communication.


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