A blog where you can learn, discover, and explore everything you need to know about localization
Though machine translation has been around for decades, the most you’ll read about it is the perceived proximity to the mythical “Babel Fish” --an instantaneous personal translation device-- itself ready to replace each and every human translator. The part that gets left out is machine translation's relationship with human translators. For a long time, this relationship was no more complex than post-editing badly translated text, a process most translators find to be a tiresome chore. With the advent of neural machine translation, however, machine translation is not just something that creates more tedious work for translators. It is now a partner to them, making them faster and their output more accurate.
Much of the Internet is in English, and many American web developers rarely think beyond languages like French or Spanish when it comes to internationalization. From a development perspective, such languages function more or less like English, and so the general structure of the webpages tends to assume a layout based on your average book or magazine, with its left-to-right procession of text down the page. Here's the problem: languages with different writing systems exist, and the Internet isn’t just for English speakers. If you're serious about making your content accessible to a global audience, right-to-left functionality is imperative. Here's how you can go about making your website amenable to global compositional structure.