A Django site.
March 9, 2011
» Twitter and cy.umap.eu

One of the problems faced by users and researchers of specific languages in web2.0 environments is the lack of an easy and reliable mechanism for finding content in that language. In many cases we are forced to use searches (but what terms to search for?) or following networks of some type (but the network relationships are rarely purely linguistic). This is where aggregators have a role to play, acting as linguistic portals to a particular web2.0 environment (though there are still issues in terms of their validity as a research tool).

http://umap.eu/ is providing such a portal for Twitter in Basque, Catalan and Welsh. For the researcher, the Welsh service http://cy.umap.eu/ gives a fascinating insight into what is hot (currently plaidcymru), how many Welsh Twitterers there are, who they are, how many of their Tweets are in Welsh and so on. Hopefully for the Welsh speaker it provides a handy way of finding people to follow and tapping in to interesting trends.

Sorry for the “dead” links, seems to be some issue with the blogging platform as this form of URL. Hopefully moving to new platform soon.

March 22, 2010
» BookCrossing and Your Language Depend on YOU!

The latest issue of BookCrossing News includes a call for volunteers to form teams to translate the forthcoming BookCrossing 2.0 interface. The call doesn’t mention any specific languages, and they are only looking for teams of up to three people – so will we see BookCrossing in Welsh, we’ll have to wait and see.

Read on if you are interested in the call…

“BookCrossing and Your Language Depend on YOU!

Launch of the new BookCrossing 2.0 website approaches. It promises many new and exciting features, but perhaps the most eagerly anticipated change will be the ability to view BookCrossing in languages other than English. Call it localization, internationalization or even I18n, it all comes down to you being able to read www.bookcrossing.com in your language of choice. To make this happen, we need your help. Some professional translators will be used, but it often takes a member of the community to understand BookCrossing jargon and how the site operates. That’s where you come in.

If you love BookCrossing, have some time to translate English text into your language, and want to help get wording and meaning just right, please consider lending your language skills to the site. Email laura@bookcrossing.com with the following:

• Name • Screen name • Primary Language • Credentials • Time Commitment • Willingness to work with deadlines (quick turnaround time within 4-5 days of assignment)

Language-based teams of up to 3 people will be formed before the end of March, so send in your volunteer information as soon as possible! Please believe that this is a very worthy project. Once it’s completed, you’ll take well-deserved pride in having been part of its creation, and the international membership will be indebted to all of you. So please sign up — BookCrossing and your language need you!”

August 19, 2009
» Web2.0 and Bilingualism

Implications of web2.0 for bilingualism on websites – towards best practice

Goblygiadau gwe2.0 ar gyfer gwefannau dwyieithog – tuag at arfer gorau

This has just been released by the Welsh Language Board. It explores issues, good practice and suggestions for organisations which are planning to make web2.0 services available bilingually.

It is an independent report commissioned by the Board from me, with the assistance of Courtenay Honeycutt (Indiana University) and the input of a number of stakeholders.

It is very much intended to be a discussion starter, rather than a definitive statement, so please feel free to join the discussion here…

Researching and writing the report really was very interesting and stimulating indeed, especially the meetings with stakeholders (many thanks to all those who took part).

The report raises a number of different issues which we might like to discuss, but here are just a couple to get us going.

How does an organisation meet the need to be agile and responsive in web2.0 if it needs to outsource its translation?

What should be done with User Generated Content – should it be translated, deleted if in the “wrong” language…?

In the light of comments to my previous posts about the Welsh language blog deficit, is it inevitable that the language which is perceived of as having the largest audience will be more attractive to users generating content and what implications would this have for the other language(s)?

What actually are the most significant concerns for organisations who wish to deliver web2.0 services bilingually?

Feel free to discuss these points, the report, or any other points you feel are relevant.

November 14, 2008
» Is Google Reader Truly World-Wide?

There is an interesting snippet on the Google Reader Blog entitled Is Your Web Truly World-Wide?. The title is rather misleading however, it actually refers to a new feature in Google Reader whereby you can have feeds translated into your language. Or at least you can if your language is one of the chosen few and you are happy to put up with the vagaries of machine translation.

I do get the feeling that opening up to multiple languages is rather the flavour of the moment, which is no bad thing and long overdue in my opinion. My concern is that this will only extend as far as the usual suspects, reinforcing their position and weakening the lesser used languages – again.

July 1, 2008
» Facebook Apps in Welsh

According to a post on allfacebook, Facebook applications will soon allow creators the option of tagging them by language.

I have seen several applications with a Welsh theme (e.g. ones to send Welsh things to your friends – leek anyone?), but none in the Welsh language. As I detest almost all Facebook applications, this is perhaps not surprising – are there any/many?

In other strange Facebook news, I just received my first Welsh-language friend request. What makes it strange is not that it is in Welsh, or that I have no idea who the person is (or that anyone would want to be my friend – thanks!) but that it is a request to a dummy account that I use only for research purposes. It contains no “personal” data at all, no picture, and an obviously silly name (a character from a Welsh childrens story). Are people really that desperate for friends – or did some cruel parent really name their child after that character?

Of course it is quite exciting to see the invitation in Welsh, strange or otherwise.

Thanks to Mike for the applications story.

June 9, 2008
» Facebook will be in Welsh

An article on icWales Facebook chooses to speak Welsh reports on progress towards a Welsh language interface for Facebook.

Another nice example of an open approach to software localisation which includes the ability for the community of translators to vote on difficult terms. It also includes a leaderboard of top translators which is quite fun.

For those people who like stats – 623 translators submitted 22,942 translations (either there were a lot of duplicates or there are a lot of words/phrases in Facebook!). For those people disappointed they might have missed out, there are still 857 untranslated phrases – I wonder if they are the really difficult ones?

By coincidence Courtenay and I are just in the middle of some very laborious research looking at Welsh language use on Facebook groups – too early to say if we have found anything interesting (let’s hope so!) as we have only just finished our data collection. Will say more once (if!) we think we have something interesting to say.

Thanks to Geneen for finding the icWales story.

January 21, 2008
» More Web2.0 in Welsh

I know this one has been lurking on the fringes for a while – but I guess it is live now – perthyn.com. I haven’t joined it yet, but it seems to be a Welsh language social networking site – personal profiles, friends, blogs, groups, forums, music, video… is there anything it doesn’t have?!

Interesting – unfortunately the Andanom Ni doesn’t give too much away. Maybe if my Welsh was better I’d be able to figure out more about it – anyone know who’s behind it? Anyone a member? The “bilingual” locations list on the search page puzzled me for a while!