Truly international

Did you know that the BBC has 43 different translations of its website? I was interested to see what it was like ploughing through the different versions in languages like Russian, Chinese, Arabic and Turkish.
One of the greatest variations to the visual layout is the Arabic version, which is positioned from right to left. I was impressed that there was an RSS feed – in Arabic.
Apart from visual and linguistic considerations, I noticed that content has also been repurposed to suit the readers from those languages / cultures / territorial domains. The Chinese version (at the time of writing) has more photographs of Asian faces, even if it is a story on computer viruses affecting the entire world. [Yes, despite my poor Mandarin I managed to understand that much :)]
The Arabic version had much more coverage on the Middle East, retaining the main story on George Bush. Likewise the Spanish front page catered to local interests, such as the story of Saint James no longer being portrayed as a Moor killer (article in English).
No surprises: BBCPolish is at present focussing on Poland’s entry into the EU, with two out of nine smaller thumbnails displaying the EU flag, and another possibly linking to a third EU story (there’s mention of Brussels).
Not all BBC sections (such as my favourite, Sport) have been translated, but it’s a good start. The BBC also seems to be promoting its own agenda on some of its sites (such as the Russian one) for learning English. It’s all rather fascinating.


Comments are closed.