Over half of Apple’s sales come from countries other than the United States, and we at TidBITS try to accommodate the international arms of the Macintosh community through a variety of translations. Thanks to the efforts of our volunteer translation teams, you can read TidBITS each week in Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Russian. But these translation teams – especially the German team, which serves over 1,500 readers each week, and the fledgling Russian team – need your help! TidBITS issues don’t translate themselves, and the more people helping out with a translation, the easier it is for everyone. So, if you can read English and write in German, Russian, French, Japanese, or Dutch, check out the appropriate Web page below to volunteer.
If you wonder why we don’t just use an automatic translation tool, consider the page linked below, which contains English translations (one using Systran’s software, the other using Transparent Language’s software) of a paragraph about EIMS 3.0 that I took from the German edition of TidBITS-532. Although parts of the translated paragraphs are understandable, the translations overall range from the laughable (Systran translates "Qualcomm" as "agony COMM") to the almost inexplicable (Transparent Language translated a clause that said "perfect for running EIMS and a mailing list server on the same machine" to "is so it problem-free possible, a Mailinglistenserver and EIMS on the same computer run to leave."). I don’t think machine translation will be replacing our loyal volunteer translators any time soon.
If you enjoy reading one of our translations each week, let the translators know, regardless of whether you’re up for becoming a translator. The translation teams appreciate the kind letters many of you have sent over the years, and your encouragement makes the task of translating each issue all the more worthwhile.