if all else fails…go multi-lingual

I don’t know about you, but I love the stats page, and the map in particular.  It really does it for me to see the map fill up as more and more people around the world stumble across if all else fails…use a hammer.  (Most of them run off again as fast as their legs can carry them, but that’s to be expected, what with hammers flying all over the place.  They probably forgot their hard hats.)

After a year and a bit of consistent blogging I’ve had visitors from most of the world.  Just look:

KokkieH Stats World Map

Africa and the Middle-East is under-represented (which is understandable) but on all the other continents this blog seems to have had pretty good exposure.  Someone has even been able to reach this blog from beyond the Great Firewall of China.  (If you know anyone in Mongolia, though, please share the blog with them.  That big white blob in the middle of Asia bugs me.)

You will notice, however, that the map is significantly darker in English speaking territories.  Again, understandable as I only write in English.  So, in order to make the blog more accessible to non-English visitors I’ve decided I need to make it multi-lingual.

There’s no built-in widget for it, and we can’t use the Google Translate widget here, but luckily there’s almost always a workaround if you know where to look.  In this case the answer to creating my own translation page could be found on One Cool Site run by blogging guru, Timethief.

Welcome Multi-lingual
Source: pixabay.com

A bit of copy-pasting and a bit of reverse-engineering to add the languages not included in Timethief’s code, and voilà.  I give you Hammers International, if all else fails…use a hammer‘s very own translation page.  Go on.  Click the link to check it out.  I know you wanna.

Yes, you can now appreciate percussive maintenance in any one of eighty different languages.

I have to be honest, there are languages there I’ve never even heard of before, and I’m pretty sure my periodic English Grammar posts will make no sense at all in most of the languages, but I reckon it’s pretty cool.

I included Latin as well, just for the heck of it.  I know no-one actually speaks it anymore, but I also know some of my readers probably still had it at school, so here’s an opportunity to see how much you still remember 😉  (Also, if I didn’t include it one column would have been shorter than the rest and, you know, perfectionist and all…)

I’m a little sad that only two of South Africa’s eleven official languages (besides English) are supported.  (The Google home page is already available in six of them, so hopefully they’re working on that.)  I have to say the Afrikaans translation, while not perfect, is not as awful as when Google first started their translation service.  I read a couple of my Song Title Challenge stories in Afrikaans and they translate quite well.  I don’t know about the Zulu…

So, if you’ve been aching to share this incredible blog with someone who doesn’t speak English, or if you simply prefer to read it in your own language, now’s your chance.  I just have one request:  Please still comment in English, okay?  I don’t actually understand these eighty languages (except one) 😀

11 thoughts on “if all else fails…go multi-lingual

  1. In Wales, signs in public places have to be in both Welsh and English. According to a newspaper story a few years back (sorry–no link; the odds of finding it approach zero, which is another way of saying I’m too lazy to look), some bureaucrat emailed the text of a sign to a translation service, and when a reply came back sent it to the printer, producing a sign that in English said something along the lines of “Parking here is limited to one hour” (I’m making the text up, you understand, because I’ve forgotten the original) and in Welsh said “We’re out of the office right now but will get back to you as soon as possible.”

    No idea is so good that it can’t be screwed up in practice.

  2. Tino pai! (Excellent). New Zealand has but two official languages. Do official documents in South Africa have to use all the languages? The task of proofing twice (and making sure of equivalent translations) would, I guess, be what in NZ’s other official language refers to as ‘mamae i roto i te kaihe’ (a pain in the proverbial).

    1. Luckily not. While constitutionally everyone has the right to be served in the language of his/her choice when dealing with government departments, in practice this is not possible. English is used for most government business, especially in parliament, and Afrikaans is also still widely used. Most Acts of Parliament and White Papers are published in English and Afrikaans, and sometimes isiZulu.

      On local level certain languages dominate in certain regions. The one post I linked to above explains some more. Where things get complicated is with education. Mother-tongue education is a basic human right according to our Constitution, but it’s completely impractical, partly because the academic vocabulary simply doesn’t exist in most of our languages. Most universities are also slowly shifting to English-medium tuition, which I agree with as it gives us access to the global academic community. However, the Afrikaner is a stubborn beast who sees this as an assault on our language. So yeah, it is a mamae i roto i te kaihe.

      I was rather surprised to see Google Translate now supports Maori as well. I’m memorising that phrase, by the way 😉

  3. What a great idea! I didn’t know that this was possible! I need Mongolia and Greenland too. I’m jealous about all of the African and South American countries you have as well. I guess Africa is understandable since that’s where you live. 🙂

    1. Yeah, you wouldn’t believe it, but SA has kind of a bad reputation with the rest of Africa. Much the way the US is somewhat unpopular with the rest of the developed world. Many of those countries have only three or four views total, though, so don’t be too jealous 🙂

      You can do amazing things with a blog (without upgrades) if you know where to look. I’ve been volunteering in the forums and my knowledge or WordPress in particular, and the internet and web design in general, is growing exponentially as a result.

  4. Bon jour….c’est tres bon. I just wish ek could figure out tout les codes and wot not. Ich bien a bikkie dorf when it comes to computer stuff or reading instructions.

  5. I’m still waiting on China and my trusty Mongolian blogger hasn’t posted in a while. (Yes, I know of a Mongolian blogger. 🙂 )

    But most amazingly, I also have Greenland. Their language would be interesting to learn.

Comments are closed.