Language support has been an interesting issue with Wish. When the web site started receiving some submissions in Italian, Portuguesse, and some other languages I couldn’t recognize, I thought about having multiple language sections a la Wikipedia. I didn’t go ahead with that because I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to implement and maintain it.
I came up with a ‘temporary workaround’ for approving those languages foreign to me. For Portuguesse / Spanish submissions, I hassled Devin, my Brazilian friend who obviously is fluent in those languages. For Italian, I hassled another friend who has been learning Italian for some time. Not wanting to waste their time after several translations, I decided to replace them with Babel Fish.
Wrong move. Babel Fish is no replacement for my translator friends, its translations to English sometimes ended up as weird sentences. So I gave up translating those submissions to English one by one, and asked the submitters to use Babel Fish and translate their wishes to English before submitting them. I reckoned if they arrive at the web site, then their English must be better than my knowledge of their language plus Babel Fish’s translation. It worked… or it chased away all those non-English speakers.
If anyone else is interested to run the site in another language but do not wish to implement anything, check out Wish project page, we have Java and Rails flavors. Or better yet, extend the current implementation to support multi language sections.