Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Blog Is International - Or, Google Translate Is Great

I had to write a short biography for myself (details on that to come within the next week or two), and mentioned that I have an internationally read photography blog. Yes, this blog is read by folks across the world.

By a large margin, most of the readers are from the U.S.A. No surprise there. The United Kingdom is next, which is also not a surprise. Germany and Russia are the next two, and what I find interesting about that is, while there are certainly many in those countries that speak English, neither are predominately English speaking. France, Singapore, India and the Philippines are also in the top 10.

How is it that non-English speakers regularly read a blog written in the English language?

Not very long ago I had a camera for sale on eBay. A potential buyer wanted some further information about it and asked me a question. The problem? He was from South America and his language was Spanish, and he didn't speak English. I don't speak Spanish. So how did we communicate? Google Translate.

Google Translate will decode or encode one language to another. I cut-and-pasted his message into the translator and it told me in English exactly what he said in Spanish. I then typed a response and it translated it into Spanish for me.

Google Translate does something else useful: it will translate webpages from one language to another. That is how people across the world can read this blog. It doesn't matter what language they speak, Google Translate will put my words into their tongue.

And I think that is great.

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