Going Native

As Ryan wrote in his blog, we’re starting to enable more and more languages that are finishing the community translation process. Personally I’m very excited about this because it really represents the core of what WordPress is about: providing the tools to allow people to communicate and connect with folks they care about.

As a next step, we’ve been creating WP.com home pages for each of these languages, so if you wanted to cruise WordPress.com in Hebrew, Farsi, or Bulgarian you could. To help you navigate these, we’ve thrown a big list at the bottom of the pages on WP.com that take you to the different portals.

There are still some bugs to work out for these international versions of your WP.com homepage, for example tags and forums could use some tweaking, but all in all I’m hoping this is the first step toward really enabling WordPress to reach the international community in a meaningful way.

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  1. blayde

    Wow, you guys rock, all this work for us li’l ppl. Thanks much!


  2. Brent

    Great work team! WordPress.com is ever-expanding.


  3. foolswisdom

    Wow, wonderful progress on localizing WordPress.com !

    big list: I wonder how many people do not know the international code for their language. The list is also overwhelming and two characters is a small click area. I wonder if a click through link to an explicit list of languages is of greater value? And any implicit technical solution that is possible — such as detecting that the browser is set to a particular language, and notifying/directing a person to that.


  4. Kevin

    With localization in WordPress.com, there is a great opportunity for WordPress.com to benefit Chinese netizens and increase the number of potential readers of WordPress.com blogs by 123 million people.

    In order to get the Chinese government to stop censoring WordPress.com and make it available in China again, WordPress.com could make a localized simplified Chinese edition that filters information sensitive to the Chinese government in the same way that Google.cn, Yahoo.com.cn and Windows Live Spaces (MSN Spaces) in China do. The localized simplified Chinese version would be censored, while all other versions would not. Chinese outside of mainland China, such as in Hong Kong and Taiwan, would not be affected by this, as they use traditional Chinese characters. To be clear, the filtering would work on the posting and commenting level of blogs registered to Chinese users, so WordPress.com blogs in other languages would not be filtered in China in any way. Furthermore, expats in China would benefit as their WordPress.com blogs would no longer be blocked.

    This might be difficult for WordPress.com to accept, and I suspect the WP.com community might react strongly against such a suggestion, but consider the alternative, which put very simply, is that WordPress.com will, for at least the next few years, be unavailable to China’s population of 1.3 billion people, except for the very small number of users savvy enough to install TOR or use another kind of anonymizing proxy. One day the Chinese government may stop censoring the internet, but that day is many years away.

    If WordPress.com approached the Chinese government with this suggestion there is evidence that shows the government may agree to such a compromise. That evidence is that Windows Live Spaces offers a censored mainland Chinese version and uncensored international versions, both of which are available in China. Furthermore, the uncensored Google.com and the censored Google.cn are both available for use in China.

    In short, a censored WordPress.com for mainland Chinese users would benefit both Chinese and expats living in China and indeed all WordPress.com users would benefit as the potential readership of their blogs would be increased by an estimated 123 million and growing number of Chinese netizens.


  5. Yaser

    Whoah, Thanks a bunch for your never ending contributions! Who knew my farsi would come in handy on WordPress.


  6. .i dream in red.

    cool stuff


  7. suburbanbanshee

    Kevin —

    There are many ways to get around siteblocking, and Chinese people are already using them. So there’s no need for WP to suck up to totalitarian governments just to provide service.


  8. dresramblings

    Another great tool for the blogosphere courtesy of WordPress. Wondering if it would be helpful to translate to another language as well, or if we should leave it to the browsers? Just wondering… another great job.


  9. talkislam

    awesome, i can’t wait for this.


  10. Solo

    You guys will be the death of me *teasing*
    As if I don’t spend enough tme online!


    Stay safe and thank you, as always.

    – Solo xxXxx


  11. mani

    Dear Matt,

    fa.wordpress.com was my dream from the first day! As you may hear from Ryan, We’ve fully customized wordpress with a plugin “wp-jalali” for Persian(Farsi) users.

    fa.wordpress.com is another big step for Persian WordPress project.


  12. Richard

    i agree to Kevin’s suggestion. it will benefit to WP.com and mainland Chinese Netizens. good idea.


  13. khabarnegar

    Thank you


  14. Thomas

    Keep rocking! I like the idea because then my blog feels more German ;-).


  15. Steph

    This is great news! Maybe a list of languages in those languages (English, Français, Deutsch) would be easier to use.


  16. Jalal Rohani

    Dear Matt, as Mani said it is very great to have WordPress in Farsi too. i think there is just a need to have RTL possibility for themes !


  17. 0nkulis

    when will there be latvian language page?? I would like to participate and transtate to latvian lv???? and I know some more guys who would like to help me…


  18. vuee

    Please also check templates for cross-cultural symbols etc. I really hate that stupid smiley face that is used as a tracker in many templates theme. But strange symbols or other lurky bits do not translate.


  19. Kevin


    You are quite right. There are many ways to get around site blocking. I live in China and use many of them. I know a lot of Chinese who do so as well. However, you may find it interesting to do a Google search for WordPress.com blogs in simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. At the time of writing, searching for 我, Chinese for the first person “I”, Google returns 25,200 simplified Chinese pages from WordPress.com and 56,500 traditional Chinese pages.

    Mainland China, which uses the simplified character system, boasts 123 million internet users, second only to the US. Why is it then that the number of traditional Chinese WordPress.com users is apparently twice as large as the number of simplified Chinese users? The most likely culprit is the block on WordPress.com by the Chinese government. A censored version of WordPress.com in simplified Chinese would in no way affect users of any other language, and furthermore, would only work to increase the number of mainland Chinese users and also allow non-tech savvy mainland Chinese citizens the ability to read WordPress.com blogs in other languages which in turn would increase the potential readership of all WordPress.com blogs, including http://suburbanbanshee.wordpress.com/. Assuming they could get the Chinese government to compromise, WordPress.com has a very real choice when it comes to China, and that choice is to choose almost total censorship of 123 million people, which is the current situation, or very minimal censorship of only blogs in simplified Chinese.


  20. mitonios

    Anyone in team VietNam?


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  22. Rui Martins

    thank you very much, for the “portuguese native”!

    I have some suggestions that I´ve sent you guys in the “Contact Support” form to enrich the thing.

    thanks for keeping the good work!


  23. drhaisook

    Thank you WP guys!! 🙂


  24. SippinWhisky

    The China and censorship issue is a sticky one. As one who taught business (marketing) in business schools for many years, I fully understand seeking out and “exploiting” new markets. However, bowing to China’s ruling elite simply rubs me the wrong way.

    If there is big money in it for WordPress, then *maybe* I might see it differently. But if there is only “presence” in it for WordPress, I strongly encourage we *fully* support the Chinese people by saying “No!” to their oppressive regime.


  25. ryan

    I just added lv and bs-ba locales. We’re working on RTL support.


  26. dreamnepal

    I would love to see Nepali language as I am trying to provide some information related to Nepal to the people who want to cruise this awesome land of Mount Everest and Buddha.


  27. chaoticmind

    Tagalog pls 🙂 thanks!


  28. talknerd

    I love you WP people. Keep up the great work.


  29. D. Keith Henning

    Could I see only blogs that I can read? Can I set a default of only show me blogs in a certain language. I looked at the recent posting list on my dashboard, and 1/2 were in languages other than English. Same thing when using the arrow at the top to hit some random blogs. Makes both features worthless.


  30. mikzael

    is there a list of the languajes that will be supported?


  31. ryan

    D. Keith Henning, all of that is in the works.

    I’ll add Tagalog and Nepali as soon as I get some sleep. Look for them to show up soon.


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  33. emmbie

    I wonder if Hmong is on here….


  34. D. Keith Henning

    Thanks for the reply.


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  36. Lindstrom

    This is a great step forward for WordPress. I hope the international community can get more involved now.


  37. twofish

    I’ve posted this elsewhere, but one thing that wordpress can do to get around the Chinese firewall block is to change the page generation so that it uses relative links rather than absolute links. Once you have relative links, it is trivial to set up a reverse proxy to bypass the firewall, but it is painful to do that right now because of the absolute links.


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