Sunday, April 02, 2006

Speaking Mandarin

An article in the April 2006 Wired Magazine talks about the efforts to get more people in the world to speak Mandarin. Mandarin is the most popular first language on Earth, with 500 million more people speaking Mandarin than English. Now China (and others) are trying to get more people to speak or understand Mandarin. This, the magazine points out, is no different than past efforts to export French or English around the globe.

Here's the question:
As we look to make information available to more people, should be automatically be adding pages in other languages (like Spanish, French or Mandarin) or adding translation services that will automatically translate web page content?
Likely you'll answer the question with a "yes." Of course, saying that it should be done and then actually doing it are two different things! Doing it will require additional planning and perhaps more cost. Yet doing it would allow us to reach a wider audience.

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