I’ve created a page about translating my blog. Currently it has the following text:

If you would like to translate any posts from my blog to a language other than English then please feel free to do so. I demand that any translations correctly cite me as the author of the original English version and give a permanent link to the original post, but I don’t expect that this will cause any inconvenience.
I also request that anyone who translates one of my posts gives me permission to do whatever I wish with the translated text (I want to mirror all translations of my work on my own site). I am unsure of what legal rights I have to demand this and have not yet considered whether I have a moral right to demand it. But I believe that it is the nice thing for a translator to do and hope that everyone who translates one of my posts will do so.
Also I may grant permission for translations of my posts to appear on sites with Google advertising or other commercial use. I won’t rule out the possibility of assigning monopoly rights on commercial use of the translations of my posts to specific individuals or organisations.

Does anyone have suggestions for improvements?

One of my multi-lingual friends suggested that I should be concerned about the risk of bad translations. But I desire to have people read my posts and I believe that this is a risk I just have to accept – I’m sure that there are enough multi-lingual people in the blog space to find such errors and help the translator correct them.

Also I have to consider the best way to mirror the translations. I could add them to the same permalink page (producing long pages with multiple translations of my best posts), I could create a new post (resulting in English-language Planet installations getting posts that most people can’t read), or I could use a separate blog installation for the translations.

Please comment if you have any suggestions. I’ll write another post in future with the solutions that I select and some analysis of the issues.

Update: Thanks for the nice post Victor. It was seeing my blog in the list of “Enlaces Interesantes” on Victor’s blog that inspired my post about translation.

7 comments to Translation

  • Hi Russell, perhaps using a CC license would help you there as you could require attribution and share alike conditions on that which would seems to satisfy both your needs (IANAL!).

    Also, maybe you could use the word “require” instead of “demand”, I think it has the same effect (you have to do this to be permitted).

  • Shannon

    Watch out for malicious translations. You post a number of controversial opinions, and it wouldn’t be entirely improbable that somebody could post a translation that did not represent what you said but, unknown to you, made you look foolish instead.

  • lucychili
    Doctorow has a nice approach to this kind of mashup.

  • etbe

    Shannon: Good point. I was anticipating that there would only be interest in translating my technical posts. But people who want to attack me in non-English languages can freely write what they want and my ability to track them down is minimal.

    Lucychili: Interesting to note what Cory is doing. Although he has slightly different issues related to a single large work instead of multiple small works.

  • Well It could be great to translate your posts.
    Do not know why malicious translation ????
    since you help people with your shares,experiences.

    As you may see my native language it is in spanish, so any translation i will do
    I will let you know


  • Jay

    Yes – I’d be very wary of malicious translations, especially because you’re the “self-important type” who tends to attract the trolls. (I mean frickin’ blog translations? You think yours is that important?)

    And don’t take this the wrong way, but of all the people in the ‘Planet Debian’ RSS feed, which I read daily, Mr. Russell Coker is consistently the “chattiest bitch”, and this tends to annoy people (myself included).

    “Excessive Blogging Playah Hatah”

  • etbe

    Victor: I think that Jay’s comment indicates the risk of malicious translation. I look forward to seeing reports of you translating any of my posts that you find particularly interesting.

    Jay: Victor inspired me to write this post. Being capable of writing in Spanish and reading my blog in English indicates that he is capable of translating my blog posts. When a blogger likes reading a blog then that usually means that they want to refer friends to it – but often their friends won’t know as many languages as they do. Translating the original post is good for everyone.

    Jay, if you ever have any positive suggestions for how I can improve my blog then I will be interested to read them. I’m also interested to know your real identity so that I can compare our contributions to Debian…