Since all we do, here at Versailles, is nag your arse off about the manifold multilingual failings of commercial Web sites, wouldn’t it be nice if someone else got to do the nagging?
A possibly-useful resource: Multilingual Webmaster. “Content” is a bit scanty, but their hearts are in the right place.
Meanwhile, we managed to find a Clay Shirky article that is unadulterated malarkey. (Shock.) It’s an old piece for Feed that more or less sez a network effect will apply to languages online: So many sites will be written in dominant (even hegemonic or imperialist) languages that minority languages will wither on the vine.
Like, we don’t think so. Web sites that must be understandable to speakers of dominant languages (usually English) will be. Sites that need to be written for a minority-language audience also will be. And – this is the killer! – the same site can sit in both categories, however uncomfortably.
Even otherwise-sharp Amerikanski media critics, so long enamored with zeroes and ones, fail to grasp the possibility of two.
Posted on 2001-04-23