Hey there Romeos, my name is Darryl and I work in the Communications Dept. at PlanetRomeo. I’m primarily responsible for sending you inbox messages from PlanetRomeo (formerly Mother), start page announcements, and coordinating translation of the PlanetRomeo site with 24 different translators around the world.
For ease of usability, we provide the site in 25 languages. English being the third-most-common native language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish we therefore chose English as the source language. We of course could have chosen Mandarin Chinese or Spanish as a source language, but try finding a Hungarian translator who understands Mandarin or Spanish. 😉
The site is currently available in English, Czech, German, Greek, Spanish, French, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Swedish, Thai, Tagalog, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
Translating a site into multiple languages may sound pretty simple but it can sometimes be a time consuming process in both the preparation and the translation.
In addition to the timekeeping and administration involved, preparing texts to be translated often consists of:
• suggesting the tone and style we want to portray
• explaining to the translators the meaning of certain English expressions
• sending mockups or screenshots of where the text will appear on the site
• managing deadlines which in many cases are (very) short
• taking into consideration the different time zones where our translators are located
We also often get asked to add languages to the site but adding new languages is costly and labor intensive. It requires having a translator begin with translating all the existing text into that language, keeping with the existing style and tone of the site. A daunting task to say the least!
The PlanetRomeo site currently contains over 15,000 strings of text containing over 1,000,000 characters. A string can be one word to several paragraphs. By comparison, the book “Gone with the Wind” contains 423,575 words in 27,472 sentences and 2,336,367 characters.
To quote Nataly Kelly: “Not everyone who knows how to write can be a writer. Not everyone who knows two languages can be a translator.” Later on in this blog, I’ll introduce you to the members of the translating machine that sit behind PlanetRomeo.
Darryl – Communications Officer – Editorial, Content & Translations