[Theforum] multiple languages on WEO

Erika Meyer emeyer at lclark.edu
Mon Nov 12 16:20:24 CST 2001

Madhu wrote:

>Well, you can't handle any of the 20+ Indian languages (each state 
>here has a different one - I speak 3 languages fluently and can 
>speak two haltingly).

Yeah, nor could it handle Yurok.  But realistically, how many 
articles you think are going to come up in those languages?

But I could see Japanese, Chinese, Russian ... I could see articles 
coming in those languages.

>And the script used is totally different.
>Does our CMS handle Unicode?

I don't know enough about Unicode, but it looks like there are many 
many alphabets it deals with... including some Native American 
languages (not Yurok :-() --- and various hieroglyphics.

But I don't know the technical details of hooking that all up...

>I'm all for encouraging people to write articles, but English being 
>the lingua franca of the Web, the value of the article would be 
>diminished somewhat.

The value would because it would be accessible to fewer people?  OTOH 
maybe some people would be able to write so much  better in their 
native language that the value of the article would actually be 
greater for those who could access the info.

Of course, I've always had personal issues with English being a 
universal language.  Couldn't we have a language that's easy to spell?

>We need someone fluent in German (preferably native) to translate to English.

with a big community, and/or doing ad hoc translations via comment 
lines, German should be no big thing.  We got native speakers, and a 
whole bunch of us who pretend we can speak German.

And I beg to differ: ideally, a native English speaker should have 
last pass at an article being translated to English.

But I don't think we need to be obligated to translate for users, as 
long as we get a good idea of what is going on in the article before 
we approve.

>Once that's done, I'm willing to provide technical editing and 
>review services for the English version.

Oh, I see.

na, ja.



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