Parlez-vous Billy ? Oui !

I’m continuing to make lots of improvements to the blog and my photography website which should be finished in a few weeks. With the introduction of Apple’s iPad, it’s been fascinating to watch web designers scramble to make sure their sites are viewable on the new device, which does not use Flash to display web pages.

Billysheahan.com has always had basic HTML support for devices that don’t allow Flash, but shortly we’ll be unveiling an even better iPad experience for the 400,000 or so people who have rushed out to be the first ones on their block to have an iPad. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, one of the more exciting things happening on the blog is that you can read it in 14 different languages now. I get a lot of international traffic, always interesting to see who is visiting and I thought it would be nice to allow far flung readers to read along in their own language.

So if you look at the right hand sidebar, you’ll see 14 tiny flags which represent the current languages you can read in. Click on a flag, and you’ll see the blog translated into that country’s language.

Most of the translations are already finished, although some will take you to a temporary Google translation page until we catch up on all 14 languages.

Welcome to all the non-English speakers out there. Thanks for following along on the adventure!

The top photograph is one I made of Jillian Ann a few years ago on one of my favorite film cameras, my Nikon F3. It’s good to break out of the film cameras every once in a while. They are good friends.

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4 thoughts

  1. So, being a native German speaker, I thought I’d check out the German version of your blog. Hmmm. Yes, the words are German. How do I say this nicely? (You know I mean well Billy!)

    You know all those photographs of signs written in English in non-English speaking countries? Okay. It’s not quite that bad. (at least not the German version.) I’d definitely give you an A for effort.

  2. Haha. Yes, Christine! Point taken. Let’s call it an attempt to reach out (Yes, maybe a bad attempt, but an attempt none the less!) to be slightly more welcoming to the millions who don’t speak any English at all.

    Having done as much traveling as I have, I’ve learned that non-English speakers shake their heads when I butcher their language and smile at me when I try to speak it, but it does open doors that wouldn’t be open if I didn’t at least try!

    I remember my travels to Berlin a while back and when asked if I spoke any German, I replied, “Ich bin schwarzer Käse,” and almost apologetically, my new Berlin friends responded to my nonsense with, “You just said you were black cheese.” And I laughed and said, “Yes! That’s what I was trying to say!” We all had a good laugh and it was a great ice breaker!

    So, yes the translation isn’t perfect- not even close, but let’s just call it a nod to the fact that I appreciate that there are many other languages out there, and I would be less of a world citizen if I didn’t even acknowledge it.

    As always Christine, thank you for your thoughts and your support. Sie sind ein guter Freund. Danke!

  3. As I said Billy, I definitely give you an A for effort. I agree with you that in general any effort to communicate on a personal level is better than no effort to communicate at all even if the message gets skewed or turns out wrong. Perhaps you think that what you publish on your blog is still on a personal level and not that influential, but I invite you to reconsider and re-examine that.

    I was just listening to NPR’s On the Media and they had a story about this guy Roland Soong who translates Chinese news stories into English on his website http://www.zonaeuropa.com/weblog.htm They were talking to him and he said how wrong many mainstream media sources get the stories occurring in or coming out of China (apparently based in part on faulty translation or sloppy research). These English-version stories then form the basis upon which we, normal Americans like you and me, base and form our opinions, and which in the worst case, as we’ve seen happen too many times lead to the downfall or destruction of a person, entity, or important movement.

    So think for a moment. What for example could be the effect of a bad or erroneous translation of your blog post about how photographers should price their services? Isn’t the underlying proposition that we as a group (photographers, visual artists at large) should properly value and charge for our services so that our profession can survive into the future? Now think of how that message could become skewed or misinterpreted in a translation? How harmful could it be to your message?

    I would like to suggest that you, with your many connections and an international following, have more influence than you may be ready at this point to take credit for. How important is it to you to have your message received as intended?

    All just food for thought and discussion.

  4. All true. I’m still of the belief though that making an effort, even if it is technologically flawed for now, is better than making none at all.

    It’s a global community. I’ve been receiving email from all over the world for about 15 years now based on my website. I’m just continuing to reach out in any way I can.

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