5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 5, 2008 7:43 PM by Newsgroup_User

    International Usage Question

    leatherjeep Level 1
      I have a friend that wants to use Cold Fusion in an international setting... specifically they want to have an application built that can be used overseas, using a keyboard layout other than English, but when the data is entered into the SQL database by Cold Fusion, it is automatically translated into English. Is this possible? What software is needed?

      Many thanks.


        • 1. Re: International Usage Question
          Level 7

          As for the keyboard, ColdFusion has no knowledge of keyboards or their
          layouts. That is a client OS issue. Once the ColdFusion gets data, it
          is just string data, who cares how that data is generated.

          This bit about automatically translated into English sounds like a big
          deal and I can not imagine any simple and inexpensive solution that is
          going to be able handle this in a robust manner.

          But I wonder, if you really mean just being able to store international
          characters in a database which is quite doable. It just takes care to
          make sure that all levels of the system; database, ColdFusion, Browser,
          etc. are working together with the same character encoding.
          • 2. Re: International Usage Question
            leatherjeep Level 1
            Ummm.... no, I really, really, really do mean that they want to have the data put into the database in English.

            Thanks for your comments Ian.


            • 3. Re: International Usage Question
              Level 7
              leatherjeep wrote:
              > Ummm.... no, I really, really, really do mean that they want to have the data put into the database in English.

              Then that is truly a scary and intimidating requirement. If the best
              solution to this problem that the United Nations, with their robust
              budgets and high motivation, can come up with is highly trained people
              to do translations; I would not want to take on a projected that
              expected little old me, Joe Blow developer, to magically do it better.

              The best software I know of is Google's(?) babble fish product. And
              nobody I know mistakes that as a robust and complete solution. It takes
              very little effort to have common language be translated by a computer
              to produce absolutely ridiculous and potentially devastating results.
              • 4. Re: International Usage Question
                Level 7
                >> Ummm.... no, I really, really, really do mean that they want to have the data put into the database in English.
                >
                > Then that is truly a scary and intimidating requirement. If the best
                > solution to this problem that the United Nations, with their robust
                > budgets and high motivation, can come up with is highly trained people
                > to do translations; I would not want to take on a projected that
                > expected little old me, Joe Blow developer, to magically do it better.

                Agreed. It's a ludicrous expectation of an automated system. I choose
                those words carefully: not "ambitious" or "far-fetched", but "ludicrous".

                Computers really struggle to interpret the idiom of a single langugage, let
                alone translate from one to another.

                Try using translate.google.com to translate a string of text from [your
                native language] to [some other language] and back again. Read the
                results. And that Google translation service is pretty good, for a
                machine-based translation.

                Human-language translation needs to be done by humans, at the current level
                of technology available.

                --
                Adam
                • 5. Re: International Usage Question
                  Level 7
                  leatherjeep wrote:
                  > using a keyboard layout other than English, but when the data is entered into
                  > the SQL database by Cold Fusion, it is automatically translated into English.
                  > Is this possible? What software is needed?

                  nope. while there are some decent machine translators starting to appear most
                  are tied to a single locale (arabic to/from english seems to be the most popular
                  these days) and cost way more than most anybody i know will be able to pay
                  (except for the US gov of course).

                  there are plenty of free machine translators--as ian has said, these days google
                  is probably best of breed (btw it's not babelfish, that's translators s/w from
                  that *other* search engine) but even it doesn't cover all the written languages
                  in use today nor does it even come close to being 100% accurate. keep in mind
                  that a bad translation at worst could kill somebody ("this side towards enemy")
                  or simply embarrass you ("pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave",
                  http://moronland.net/moronia/moron/1064/). pretty much nobody wants that kind of
                  responsibility especially from a black box machine translator.

                  your best bet for accurate translations are still domain expert humans (you
                  don't want hard rock geologists translating brain surgery text books). if you
                  want to read some more on this subject, search my blog for "translations":
                  http://www.sustainablegis.com/blog/cfg11n/

                  as for the technical details of an i18n app, "just use unicode" pretty much sums
                  it up (in this case).