With English as the starting point, we added Spanish, and soon thereafter Chinese, with the generous contributions of translations provided by native speakers in the Samvera community. Then we got a tip about i18n-tasks. This Ruby gem identifies any missing terms from languages specified in an application’s locale configuration file and then fills in the gaps with values obtained from Google Translate. This simple process makes it amazingly easy to add support for multiple languages. With this enhancement to Hyku, it is now possible to also read the UI in German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
The results have been pretty accurate, though on occasion the Google Translate results are a little off, not perfectly reflecting the nuance of meaning in certain UI terms (e.g., “home” page is a starting point, not where the “house” is located :), so a pass for quality control is necessary. We are grateful to those members of our community who have pitched in with corrections as they came across instances of mistranslation. (Keep them coming!)
Expanded language support is fundamental for any repository service today that aims to serve a global audience of users. With the power of web services like Google Translate, language barriers can dissolve!