On this Friday afternoon, I want to share some exciting news and an interesting story. Let's start with the news.
CloudFlare has users all around the world and so we are thrilled to announce that our service is now available in 27 languages. Use the language selector at the bottom right of CloudFlare.com to switch to Norwegian or Indonesian or Portuguese (either in Brazil or Portugal) or many, many others. We're off to a great start in providing our global services in many of the world's native tongues thanks to our global community and the Smartling translation platform.
It gets even better: every CloudFlare user can now use the same Smartling translation platform as a CloudFlare App to translate their own website. Smartling's service is easy and powerful; I encourage everyone to try it now. There is both a full-featured free plan and a paid plan that starts at $99/month.
There is no better way to go multilingual than via the Smartling App*.
*(NOTE: This app is no longer available, but you can learn about their services on the Smartling website.)
Try translating "supercharge"
And now the story.
On our home page, we promise "Give us five minutes and we'll supercharge your website." In English, "supercharge" emphasizes speed and power. We feel it describes the combined benefits of performance, security and apps in one powerful word. The literal meaning, coming from the automotive world, is to
"supply with extra energy or power." That is what we do for websites on our network.
But not every language packs the same multiple meanings into the same terms. One of our Norwegian community members shared the following earlier this week:
The word "supercharge" simply does not exist in Norwegian, and have
trouble translating it to something similar without knowing a bit more about your intentions with this word. I have assumed that you use this word both to describe the speed, the added control, security and your apps. Is this the case, or am I overanalyzing, and it's really just about the speed? A supercharger makes a car go faster, as far as I know. It would help me a lot if you could provide me with some synonyms or rewrites of this phrase that you're OK with, so that I can be sure that I'm not altering your message in any way. The word I've chosen so far, "overraske", translates back to English as "surprise", but the literal meaning in Norwegian is "over-fast", i.e. superfast.
It's the only single Norwegian word I can think of that remotely covers all bases (i.e. you get speed and some nice "surprises" in the added security and features), but I'm not really happy with it, since
it's not given that all Norwegians will understand that there is a double-meaning.
Wow. That kind of attention to detail thrills. After an exchange, we agreed he would translate the more direct "Give us five minutes and we'll make your website faster and more secure." The result? "Gi oss fem minutter, og vi øker hastigheten og sikkerheten på ditt nettsted" (See for yourself).
It Takes a (Global) Village
In one week, our home website has been translated to 27 languages. Wow! Our multilingual websites will continue to improve each day with every new word and phrase translated with our community's help.
The best part? If you see a problem, you can help by flagging it or fixing it by suggesting an alternative. Visit translate.cloudflare.com and register as a volunteer translator, detailing which languages you speak. Once approved, you're free to update and edit anything you see on the CloudFlare language sites. Your contribution will be seen by every other community member.
More About Smartling's Platform
Smartling is making their platform available as a CloudFlare App for free to sites with limited language-specific traffic for three languages. If you've never had a language site, then you probably fit this category -- and it's a fantastic on-ramp for you to reach a new part of your audience in their native tongue.
Try the Smartling App and see for yourself. We enjoy the on-page tools for translators, the admin tools for review and approval, and the SEO-friendly nature of the translations.
And we love talking to our global audience in their native tongue.