Saturday, September 25, 2010

Want International Readers? Use Translation Widgets

Article first published as Expand Your International Blog Readership with Translation Widgets on Technorati.
If you want people from all over the world enjoying your blog or getting the most from your website, it makes sense to add a translation widget for those who don’t prefer reading in English. Seems pretty obvious so why did I just recently stumble onto this concept? I’d like to appeal to people who speak Chinese or Spanish as much as possible, not to mention Hindi, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, etc.
It’s true that English is both a common first language and the most popular second language with an estimated 600 million people that know it even though it’s not their native tongue. However, there are several billion people that don’t speak, let alone read, English. Why not enable your website and blog to additionally cater to the preferences of several billion people?
Yeah, I’m a bit slow to most things internet. It’s great to discover the amazing world of technology has nifty widgets one can add to any site to handle this translation gap. Google Translate is one that I’ve just added to my sites, and it currently works for 53 languages. 53, huh? That should cover the needs for most of those several billion people. This HTML code can easily be placed in either the sidebar area or main body of any site (see example). Free bloggers can’t use JavaScript so their implementation needs a “walkaround” which I found here and was happily surprised to see it work at my blog.
There are plenty of other translation tools. Since some of them cost money and others are free, I chose to list those from the later group. A partial list of venues for free translation widgets includes: Microsoft Translator WidgetConvey This, Kwintessential, Free Website Translation and Virtual Language. I still haven’t tried most of these so maybe others can comment on pros and cons.
So get your sites and blogs multilingual and network with several billion new people.

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