Monday, January 05, 2009

What's Up With the Translation Widget?

I would imagine that more than one of you have seen the Google translation widget on the very top of my sidebar and wondered what in the world it's doing up there. Does she have delusions of grandeur? Some wild plan of going global?

Nope. My ego is still well under control. I have that widget up there for much simpler reasons.

I participate in a couple of photography memes on one of my other blogs. The participation in both memes is worldwide. When I've gone to other blogs and seen some fantastic photography, I've had a lot of problems doing something very simple: leaving a comment. You see, I don't speak or read Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, Chinese or Portuguese. If the person has a Blogger blog, I'm familiar enough with the format to be able to know in which box to type and which buttons to click. But if it's not a Blogger blog, Katie, hand me some aspirin! More than once I've given up in exasperation because I didn't have enough smarts to figure it out. That's a shame because I had some nice things to say about some wonderful photography.

As it often will, that got me thinking. (Katie, stand by with that aspirin, would ya, dear?) Those same people were visiting my blogs. Were they having the same problems? I have traffic feeds on all my blogs, and I get hits from non-English speaking countries. Do they leave in a heartbeat because they can't read my posts?

So that's why there's a Google translation widget on my blog where everyone can see it. I realize that I have potential readers and friends from all over the globe who don't speak or read English. I've made it easy to subscribe and to comment, so why not widen the reading field by offering translation as well? The twisted thing about it is that I get a kick out of clicking on the drop-down menu and seeing my blog in Arabic or Japanese or Italian. As my husband always says, "Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional!"

Now it's time for a pop quiz: Does anyone know the name of the building in the illustration I used?


  1. I think it's the Babel tower, the biblical one, since it has to do with languages.

  2. You're 100% kee-rect, Lilly--it's the Tower of Babel!

  3. Tower of Babel for 300, Cathy - dang! Didn't buzz in quick enough...

    Your translation thing is very, very cool. You know I'm totally going to you by copying your widget.

    And that's a great painting ('Evenings at Home'.) And I love your background books design.

  4. Oh, I was going to say tower of Babel as well...and then I'd say that I write English better than Google translates to Danish. LOL!!! But when I translate using the widget, it is still readable and relatively understandable ;o)

  5. Julia--compliment away! Sharing things only makes us all stronger as an online community. I love Marchant's art, so I was thrilled when she gave me permission to showcase her art on my blog!

    Lou--I know that all translation widgets are "buggy" at best. There's no way for them to deal with slang and the like, but as long as the Google translator keeps my blog readable and "relatively" understandable, I'll use it. It does a better job than I can! :o)

  6. Interesting! I do see some different flags appear in my Feedjit thing so maybe I should put one up there.


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