Bridging Across Language Online

More and more I find myself working across languages. Most recently between Spanish and English. Yet I am not a fluent Spanish speaker. I can manage day to day transactions. My Portuguese is better. But at my age remembering vocabulary is my biggest struggle, especially when reading. I seem to be able to get more in a listening context and the speaker can see my puzzlement easier when I’m lost.

Because of this, and knowing how important it is to try and bridge across languages, I have been following the emergence of new sites to aid in translation on websites. Tonight two came to my attention via Britt Bravo at NetSquared.

The first is lingro: multilingual dictionary and language learning site. You put in a URL, designate what dictionary you want to use. Then lingro loads the site in a frame. You click on any word and lingro offers a dictionary definition. WOW! Very cool. I’m looking forward to using it.

The second is WordWideLexicon, a site that enables collaborative, community driven, person based voluntary translation of websites.

The Worldwide Lexicon translation system enables people around the world to view, create and edit translations.

All of the translations are created by people, not computers. We have users in over 130 countries representing over 60 languages.

You can read translations here at, subscribe to RSS feeds for your favorite sites, and soon, create and join translation communities about your favorite topics and websites.

The latter is not only a language bridge, but a community indicator. Translation and interpretation is a lot of work. It is an amazing contribution to a community. Next week I’ll be at a global gathering, GK3. It will be interesting to see how the community takes care of its language needs.

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