October 4, 2007
Bloggers have been able to manage their blogs in ten languages since the site’s “Alpha” launch in mid-October 2007.
Languages in the ‘Beta’ Version
In practice, however, we still have some way to go before we are fully multilingual. During Blogactiv’s current ‘beta’ phase (see Welcome to the Beta Version), for example:
- the ‘create your blog’ form is still being translated. Once you get through it (and it only takes around three minutes) you’ll find that most of the blog management system is already available in your language.
- we are still translating the site’s Technical Support section
- we are still ironing out some of the templates in some of the languages
How Blogactiv Handles Multilingualism
While the site hosts content in ten languages, only the Blogactiv home page is multilingual, featuring posts from across the site in all languages. When you select one of the languages in the top navigation you enter a language domain, featuring only posts in that language.
Similarly, the sections are also mono-lingual, bringing together posts relevant to the section in one specific language. Where similar sections exist in different language domains, however, we will provide cross-links, so that users can easily see what people are saying on the same subject in different languages.
While the launch version of Blogactiv allows bloggers to characterise their blogs by language, finally, a planned upgrade will allow individual posts to be characterised by language. A blogger who generally post in French could then occasionally post in German (say), with the German posts appearing on the German home page and any relevant German section.
Possible Future Developments
We are also exploring introducing a technology where each post can exist in multiple language versions, if the blogger wants. This would means that users could:
- select a language from the Home Page and see the most recent posts from across the site available in that language
- similarly for sections: select a language to see the most recent posts from across the site which are both relevant to that section and available in that language. To see posts in other languages, just change the language.
- select other language versions of an individual post, where available.
Have Your Say
Online multilingualism is a perennial topic of conversation amongst everyone working in this field, so if you’d like to join the debate, use the Comments feature, below.blogarchitect