Every now and again, we have major changes to announce at freshmeat. scoop dumps the suggestion box on his desk, emerges from a flurry of coding with a stack of new features, and waits for the complaints to roll in. At other times, there's just a small tweak here or there that we don't bother to announce and which only the most observant see right away.
One of these of which we're most proud is a new set of Trove categories named Translations, and we'd like to take this opportunity to bring them to everyone's attention.
The Internet has brought the world together in unprecedented ways, and we all speak daily with people of many nations. When I first started using email, every message I received was in English, but now I regularly have the opportunity to broaden my horizons by contemplating messages like "mi mir paii mirr", "amrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr", "hai noteeeeeeee", and "????????????".
We've long regretted that we must limit ourselves to the use of English at freshmeat. Some of you have even received this message from us, one of the many boilerplates we use for responding to common problems:
- freshmeat is an English-language Web site. Please reply to this message with an English version of the text you submitted.
We've always felt sad and regretted having to do this. Unfortunately, we just can't afford to hire enough staff to handle every language in the world.
We've decided that what we can do is the next best thing. In addition to the new language categories, for the coming year, we'll be partnering with Babelfish, whom you'll know from their famous slogan, "In its property night stories give/gives it two kind hanging belly pigs to Pickeldi and Frederic." Using their automatic translation service, we'll be able to celebrate 52 wonderful languages and the people who speak them at us.
Today, we're having a test run with pages translated into the ancient and noble language of the Rotlanders. Then, starting next Thursday, the entire site will be translated into Afrikaans. This will be followed by a week each of Latvian, Swedish, Croatian, and Latin. At the end of the year, you'll be able to vote on whether we should return to English or your favorite of the 52.
We'll announce the upcoming languages a month in advance so you'll have time to study and prepare. We realize that we've given you no time to prepare for this week's selection, but if you're fluent in Rot or would like to brush up your skills, we encourage you to cbfg nccebcevngryl in your comments under this article. You can also visit our IRC channel, where we hope to see some native speakers join from .rot domains to lead us in conversational Rot classes.