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Juan Fernández
Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 4, 2011 8:52 AM
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Juan Fernández

LIFERAY STAFF

Rank: Liferay Legend

Posts: 1262

Join Date: October 2, 2008

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Hi guys!

last week I was asked to create multilingual blogs for Liferay by several community members.

I think it's a nice idea, or at least it's something we should think about due to the big ammount of multilungual portals that are built with Liferay.

The idea behind this new funtionallity would be just the ability of creating, managing and showing blog posts in several languages.

I'm thinking in aplying the same infrastructure that the web content has, and I think this is a nice idea, but it brings a set of problems that we should solve before implementing it. That's why I need your feedback!

Should we have blog entries in several languages? Should we be able to set the default language of a blogs portlet, so that all its entries will be created and shown in that language always? Should we be able to configure the blogs portlet to show entries in a concrete language - kind of a filter?

Should we filter by the current site language or the user's language? Should we translate on the fly using external auto translation tools? What will happen with tags and categories? How can we handle multilingual tags? And the tag cloud? Does this make sense at all?

What would happen with comments? If we set a blog in English and Russian, what will we do with comments? Will we have to store the russian comments separately so that we can filter the comments on render time?...

Here's the feedback I've had so far (via Twitter):

Koivimik: "i18n for blogs doesn't really make that much sense"
Artizg: "What about "auto-translation" on render time depending on users locale?"
Janpiano: "what about just assigning a language to a blog entry and then automatically filtering based on current language?"
LeoPratlong: "We worked on this problem for our site. Finally, we built 2 blogs: one in english and one in french"
JedJds: "Yes, but it's a little bit tricky if you have 9 langs, isn't it? emoticon"

Neither Wordpress nor Blogger support this feature out of the box, so maybe it's something we can think a workaround for, but on the other hand, hearing your needs and feedback we could create something really innovative and be pioneers in this kind of features.

What are you thoughts about this? I hope I hear some feedback from you, expert bloggers/liferayers!
Thanks!
Juan Fernández
Aaron Paxson
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 4, 2011 9:48 AM
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Aaron Paxson

Rank: Regular Member

Posts: 103

Join Date: July 27, 2010

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Coming from a "blogger" as well as an employee of a "Global Company":

1). Definition of a blog = "A chronological order of written events". So, someone in english will only be writing in english, and only english people will want to read it. If you want to write to a global community, "English" is the default. In that respect, I feel that internationalizing the actual entry, is not worth the effort, and does not make much sense. Which is probably why no one else has done it.

An example.... the link I was given went to http://www.liferay.com/es/community....... I manually changed the ES to EN, so I can see the portal in english. But because this entry is in English, you reach a broader set than any one specific language. I'm trying not to be arrogant, but just experienced.

BUT...... if you do.......

2). For personal blogs, I suppose "auto-translate" would be OK. The problem with auto-translate is that it's not good grammer. However, I've used it enough in my company to realize "it's good enough to figure out what they are trying to say".

3). For professional/company blogs, auto-translate is not good enough. If you have bad grammer in a certain language, that country will question whether you really know what you are doing as a company. For that, I suggest an easy-to-implement workflow system, where you define which languages you want to translate, and identify the people who will do the translation. Then, have an option whether to wait for all sub-flows to finish before publishing, or publish each sub-flow individually and auto-redirect based on the language of the browser.

If you don't have a blog defined for a certain language, choose the default one to use (which will probably be EN)

 1
 2[Begin] --> [parallel split]
 3                      /     |       \
 4                     /      |         \
 5                  /         |           \
 6          [EN]        [ES]       [DE]
 7            |               |             |
 8      [trans-A]  [trans-B]   [trans-C]
 9            |               |             |
10            \               |            /
11              \             |           /
12                     [Publish]
13                           |
14                       [End]


4). For comments, Auto-translate should be OK. However, you should put in an info box [Auto-Translated from: xxxxxxx]
Leo Pratlong
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 4, 2011 11:25 AM
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Leo Pratlong

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Join Date: July 6, 2010

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We had this problem for our company portal.
So we just used 2 blogs (with scope to page). One of them is hidden (page "enblog" for English blog). We defined two url-rewriting rules to redirect url /en/blog to /en/enblog and /fr/enblog to /fr/blog.
The problem was we need an english blog isolated from our french blog to feed some aggregator with it. With url-rewriting, the 2 blogs are independants and we have two RSS feeds.
We also re-coded tag-cloud to display only keywords linked to the displayed blog (according to the scope, we can find AssetTags related to the concerned entries).

This way is not a panacea, but it allows us to show two different blog entries. But this requires to write two blog entries (one in french, the other one in english).

This problem may also be extended to the translation of the RSS feeds.
Our solution responds to the Blog translation and the RSS translation. But it's more a bad fix than a good solution : it does not allow to link easily a blog entry with its translation.
Jader Francia
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 4, 2011 2:50 PM
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Jader Francia

Rank: Junior Member

Posts: 54

Join Date: January 30, 2010

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In my company we had the problem too.
I try to give you an answer directly in your questions:

Should we have blog entries in several languages? Should we be able to set the default language of a blogs portlet, so that all its entries will be created and shown in that language always?

Yes, I'd like to write the main post in Italian and then translate it into English (at least).
So, a feature like the web content's I think it will be great.
This is true only for the main blog post, not for replies.

Should we be able to configure the blogs portlet to show entries in a concrete language - kind of a filter?

IMHO no: just showing the default language -the same as default locale of portal instance- and, when the user select his specific language, showing the content for his language -if it's contributed- or, obviously, using default. Like web content's strategy.

Should we filter by the current site language or the user's language?

Yes.

Should we translate on the fly using external auto translation tools?

Nope: like web contents I think they must be user contributed.
A blog post "mispelled" from a automated translator tool I think is unacceptable for any kind of blog.
It's my personal opinion, obviously.
An automated tool to fill up the form when you start to translate the content could be a cool feature. Just for using as a starting point.

What will happen with tags and categories? How can we handle multilingual tags? And the tag cloud? Does this make sense at all?

This is the issue now the portal has with other contents. And, for example, with the friendly url too. Now I can't using different tags -or a translation of them- in my localized contents. And this could be an issue if, for example, you want to share a knowledge base portal to different countries.
So, my answer is yes: I think that tags and categories could by handled in localized forms. Starting from the main entity -in the default language- from the specific label in translated language. And the tag cloud can be localized, too.

What would happen with comments? If we set a blog in English and Russian, what will we do with comments? Will we have to store the russian comments separately so that we can filter the comments on render time?...

No: at my advice the comments must remain in the user contributed language.

I hope my contribute will be useful, sorry for my bad english, bye, J.
Hitoshi Ozawa
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 4, 2011 2:31 PM
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Hitoshi Ozawa

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Join Date: March 23, 2010

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Multilingual blogs is a great idea,but if I think the time would be better spend revising the current content - most of the technical content is outdated and I'm ending up creating a new technical papers to answer customers questions.

As an aside, autotranslation is just a waste of disk space unless the original pages adhere to a strict autotranslation grammertical guidelines. There's also enough free autotranslations services which users can use themselves.
Juan Fernández
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 4, 2011 11:47 PM
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Juan Fernández

LIFERAY STAFF

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Posts: 1262

Join Date: October 2, 2008

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Hi Hitoshi,
thanks for your participation.
I'm not talking about translating liferay.com's blogs here, but the blogs system for Liferay Portal, so that users around the world can set up multilingual blogs for their enterprises.
Thanks for the feedback!
Hitoshi Ozawa
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 5, 2011 3:31 PM
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Hitoshi Ozawa

Rank: Liferay Legend

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Join Date: March 23, 2010

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Hi Juan,

Sorry for my misunderstanding. Auto-translation still isn't an option because of the poor quality.
Having someone translate the blogs would make it more like a web content rather than a blog.

I'll rather see more efforts put into making features that are currently available more usable rather then seeing a new additional feature.
Mika Koivisto
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 6, 2011 6:41 PM
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Mika Koivisto

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If you introduce some sort of translation process into blogs then it's not a blog anymore. I've encountered this requirement also from Enterprise customers. The problem is that not everything gets translated and sometimes the post ends up being irrelevant to some language and then the customer demands that those posts should not be shown if language X is chosen by the user. The best way to handle this is to really have separate blogs for different languages or you can take advantage of categorization. You create a Category for each Language and filter the posts based on the category.
Milan Palian
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
September 2, 2011 12:22 AM
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Milan Palian

Rank: Junior Member

Posts: 43

Join Date: December 10, 2009

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There are many European organizations who could use such features because they are now managing separate portals for each country. For a multilingual blog to work, it could be organized in such a way:

- The content is written in one or more languages.
- The user profile would include information on languages the user understands.
- When reading, the system would choose a translation understood by the user.
- If there is no understood version, it could present (optional) a machine translation.
- The same would be done for comments.

In short, the user can read the original, if he understands it, or the translation or the machine translation.

Such a system would put Liferay in the forefront for European organizations wishing to create multilingual or multicultural sites. The European Commission seems very appreciative regarding such efforts to the extent that the EU is financing research in such areas. I think this should be encouraged, but it will not be popular until it is developed and people start using it. The reason is that it is bleeding edge functionality, not available elsewhere, so it is difficult to imagine whether it would work well from a people point of view.
Mathieu Dupont
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 20, 2012 11:56 AM
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Mathieu Dupont

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Hello Juan,

Could you update this thread to let us know if this feature was created or not.

Cheers,

Mathieu
Juan Fernández
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
July 20, 2012 4:18 PM
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Juan Fernández

LIFERAY STAFF

Rank: Liferay Legend

Posts: 1262

Join Date: October 2, 2008

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Hi Mathieu: I'm sorry, but no, this wasn't implemented.
Are you interested in implement it? Do you have some ideas or a concrete use case you may want to share with the community?
Thanks!
Dante Ragazzo
RE: Multilingual blogs for Liferay?
October 9, 2014 10:13 AM
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Dante Ragazzo

Rank: New Member

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Join Date: May 21, 2014

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Hi Juan,
I know this post is quite old but we're dealing with this exact question right now. I wonder, have there been any further updates to this since? We're upgrading to 6.2 now so if there was, I assume we'll get it with 6.2. If not, can you give me any feedback as to the reasoning against it? Seems this is a common issue with global companies and the same logic used on Web Content could be applied.