So how to go about it?
  • the content would need to be multilingual: every node would be marked with its language
  • an automatic translator (Babelfish or similar) would present virtual nodes in every supported output language; like the Webster writeups, these would just appear next to any original writeups for the same title
  • an interface would allow users to propose corrections and additions to the title translation table as generated by the translation software (all translation software is horribly inaccurate and incomplete when used on this scale)
  • the Everything software itself emits some text; this would need to be multilingual, too

I'm not gonna do it, but it seems feasible.

Similar support can be used to deal with alternate spelling of words in the same language. See what Everything misses, now and forever.

PS interesting to notice how my writeup is effectively an answer to lakeonfire's, even though it was written earlier, while lakeonfire's is an answer to klash's.

Multi-lingual Everything would be nice, but functionally impossible. Now, I know nothing about coding or programming, but I do know a thing or two about translating, and it ain't easy. I think we all know that automatic translators like Babelfish generally go for literal meanings, and the semantics of language- any language- are generally left stranded at the roadside. Unless you have a generous number of professional translators, who really know the nuances of the languages they are working in, and who put in uncountable man-hours, truly multi-lingual Everything is a pipe dream.

I'm not saying people should only node in English, not at all. Node in French, node in Spanish, node in British, node in Mandarin, node in Martian, just node. But as anyone who is bilingual will tell you, there are few exact translations. Language is as much culture as it is grammar, and until we can all immerse ourselves in different cultures and languages to the depth of true fluency, no matter how good a translation is, it will fail.

Klash: translation between languages may not be that hard, but it is hard enough that not everybody can do it and tends to cost between 5 and 25 cents US per word depending on the language combination, who's doing it, and the number of intermediaries involved. Machine translation isn't worth a flying Philadelphia fuck at the moon at present; one of its numerous weaknesses is in dealing robustly with errors in the source text, which are not exactly rare in an environment like Everything. A rapid empirical survey of an statistically inadequate sample of professional translators on everything reveals that they mostly feel that they spend enough time translating for money at the moment and are a bit unwilling to dedicate much time to pro bono publico (pro bono omnes?) work, I'm afraid.

Hmmm ... in retrospect: overexposure to badly written source texts can lead an overworked translator to entirely overlook sarcasm and irony in others.

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