Google's language translation tools to provide automatic word for word translations of my blog posts into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese - all the languages for which "From English" translations are provided by Google. [Edit 8 March 2005:]If you'd like the code to add to your blog template so that your visitors can translate your blog posts with one click to one of the languages listed above, see this post which gives the code and explains how to use it.
I did this after noticing that people were coming to my blog from all over the world, there were even links to my blog from people writing in Chinese, Italian etc. (The increase in visitors was mainly thanks to the mention in his own blog of my introduction to Technorati tags by David Sifry, the CEO of the blogosphere search engine Technorati). If people whose native language is not English are taking the trouble to visit my blog, it's only fair that I should take the trouble to provide some means of making it easier for them to read my blog. And hey, it's a big world out there; why should English speakers be parochial about English?
The Blogger help pages mentioned an existing translation tool specific to Blogger, but the code is no longer online so I had a stab at creating my own, and it seems to work OK. (If anyone would like me to post my code here, please let me know by leaving a comment. [Edit 8 March 2005 - code now posted, see this post.]) The Google tool works for any Web page and so it could be adapted to work for any blog posts, not just Blogger ones.
There are of course limitations and errors (sometimes quite funny ones!), as there always will be with automated word by word translations. Also, Google's tool has a character limit and stops translating after a certain number of words. But it's fine for all but the longest posts, and it's not too hard for a reader to copy and paste the remaining untranslated words into Google's tool in order to get the rest translated.
[Edit 8 March 2005:]If you'd like the code to add to your blog template so that your visitors can translate your blog posts with one click to one of the languages listed above, see this post which gives the code and explains how to use it.
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