Improvements, Email-RSS Service and More

April 13, 2007

We made some minor improvements to the translation system this morning. This fixed several minor problems. However, some websites’ translations are not being saved. If you are a Smart Mobs reader, you’ll see two sites in our index. You can make and edit translations for the Smart Mobs site at the top of this list. (We think the problem is with Feed Burner. We’re working on it).

We also found an email to RSS service, Mail Bucket, which is an easy way to convert an email newsletter to RSS, and then to import the RSS feed into the Worldwide Lexicon. If you have an email newsletter, you can forward your mail to Then register WWL. It’s that easy.


We’ve Been BOINC’d

April 11, 2007

BOINC, the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, which traces its origins to the SETI@Home project, has joined the Worldwide Lexicon. We’ll be translating technical news for the BOINC project, and will soon add other projects in their network.


April 11, 2007

I would like to take a moment to thank the people who have contributed to this project over the years. It’s been a long time, but our translation service is up and running and free for the world to use.

  • David Anderson – Berkeley, CA, USA : advised us when we were working on the Lexicon@Home project (David is the director of the SETI@Home project)
  • Jonathan Augenstine – Pasadena, CA, USA : worked on the multilingual instant messaging system
  • Phil Bekker – San Francisco, CA, USA : our second translator, he’s helping with French
  • Chris Cunningham – Madrid, Spain : worked on GNUtrans and MIMS
  • Melinda Green – San Francisco, CA, USA : built an early version of our multilingual instant messaging system
  • Martin Korben – Buenos Aires, Argentina : our first translator
  • Mike Mangino – Chicago, IL, USA : he and Elevated Rails developed our translation wiki prototype
  • Thor Muller – San Francisco, CA, USA : he and Ruby Red Labs helped us in early stages of the translation wiki project
  • Pixelstud (aka Jayson McAuliffe) – San Francisco, CA, USA : created our logo
  • Jonathan Vaught – South Carolina, USA : he and Elevated Rails developed our translation wiki prototype

Say Hello To SmartMobs and ILoveTab

April 10, 2007

Say hello to our first beta testers, Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs, Plugs and Cars, and ILoveTab. SmartMobs is serious. ILoveTab is silly. Both deserve a global audience. Help us share them with the world at

UPDATE: We are having some problems with edits to Smart Mobs and Plugs and Cars translations not being saved. We’re working on it. Let us know if you encounter problems with other sites. We’ll post an update when this issue is fixed. Meanwhile, please help translate Worldwide Lexicon, I Love Tab and O’Reilly Radar. Thanks!

A History of the WWL Project

April 9, 2007

The Worldwide Lexicon project has a long history, about ten years. I have been studying language translation technology for many years. It is a difficult problem because computers excel at something things, but are quite dumb at others. I tried many approaches to solving this problem, and have learned much in the process. It has been a long journey, but the lessons from our previous experiments taught us how to build a system that millions of people may use someday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Volunteer Translators Wanted For A Few Sites

April 8, 2007

Hello. We’re starting to test WWL on several widely read sites. We’re looking for bilingual volunteers to kickstart the system for a few weeks. The test websites publish one or two short articles per day. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me (brian [[]] for instructions.

How To Use WWL With Your Site

April 7, 2007

Using WWL to translate your website or blog is easy. Here are some suggestions to get the best results for your site.

  • Go to, add your site’s RSS feed to the list (Atom feeds do not seem to work yet)
  • Add a Translations link that appears at the footer of every article or blog post on your site. Use our logo with the caption “View And Edit Translations”
  • Promote WWL to your readers on your site and in email. Encourage them to participate in this experiment. Encourage them to invite bilingual friends to help out.
  • If you know how to import RSS feeds, you can read our feeds back into your site. This is a good way to create mirror sites in the most popular languages.

The key to success is to encourage your readers and their friends to contribute to this process. It’s easy and unless you are publishing a novel, it will only take a few minutes.

Thanks for your support. Enjoy the new service.