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Off topic: Google and language politics
Thread poster: vorloff

Bosnian to English
+ ...
Nov 15, 2006

While doing a search on Google 2 months ago (US version), I decided to click on the "languages tools" link on the right side, and scrolled down to see Google services offered in many languages. So I clicked on the Serbian language site, and did the same thing to get to the other language options from it. The only language option corresponding to Bosnia, was "Bosnjacki". Then I looked at the Bosnian version of the site, did the same thing to find the other language versions, and the only thing corresponding to Serbian was listed as "tzvSrpski". On the Croatian version, everything was kosher (svaka cast, which is why I decided to post in this language option of the 4 given on ProZ. How to choose, which is another topic all together, but since we're all signed up for the same ones, I guess it doesn't matter much).

Interestingly enough, in the Bosnian and Serbian versions, there was no 'tzv' or similar placed in front of the Croatian language option, which was listed respectfully and properly on both as "Hrvatski".

I spoke to a Google staff person, who works on localization, and he explained to me that this probably happens because they have volunteer translators do a lot of their translation for languages that are not income generators. (BTW, they still spend a lot of revenue making this possible, so Kudoz to them).

Anyway, this was like 6 weeks ago, and now when I do the same thing (click on lang options in all the different ex-Yugo lang sites), the 'tzvSrpski' and 'Bosnjacki' are gone, replaced by what should have been there to begin with.

Haven't done much more exploration beyond that as far as Google and other search engines or multi-lingual web sites are concerned, but I found it interesting, and I'm sure that there is much more of this hidden in other levels if one explores enough.

But, I was also surprised that, with a little time, and maybe a few e-mails and heads up by others besides me, this faux pas was corrected. By the Giant, google.

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Google and language politics

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