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PHPBB2: A Tapestry of World Languages

Several of my related articles about PHPBB2, the open source program that helps webmasters create and maintain internet forums, touched on many of the technical aspects of the program. What you may not know is that PHPBB2 has a worldwide audience with the potential to reach more than half of the world’s population in their native language. Chalk it up to a combination of expert programmers and wonderful translators who have made this feat a reality. Without their hard work, the software’s reach would be quite limited. Let’s take a look at how translators have expanded PHPBB2 to the far corners of our world. As with any software program, expanding it beyond one’s native language presents its own special challenges.

Not only must you write the code correctly, but you must translate it into various world languages, many of which are distinctly different from others. I am impressed by PHPBB2 as it has expanded the reach of forums well beyond English and Western speaking countries to Asia, Africa, and South America. Indeed, not a continent is not represented save for Antarctica. Then again, if penguins knew how to communicate on our level I am sure a program would be made up especially for them! So, exactly who is represented? I am glad that you asked! The following is a complete list of 60…count ‘em 60 languages: Afrikaans; Albanian; Arabic; Asturina; Azerbaijani; Basque; Bosnian; Breton; Bulgarian; Catalan; Chinese [simplified and traditional]; Croatian; Czech; Danish; Dutch; Esperanto; Estonian; Farsi; Finnish; French; Galician; German [simplified and formal]; Greek, Hebrew; Hungarian; Icelandic; Indonesian; Italian; Japanese; Korean; Kurdish; Lithuanian; Macedonian; Mongolian; Norwegian [2 dialects]; Polish; Portuguese [2 dialects]; Romanian; Russian [2 dialects]; Sakha; Serbian [2 dialects]; Slovakian; Slovenian; Spanish [2 dialects]; Swedish; Tatarish; Thai; Uighur; Ukrainian; Vietnamese; and Welsh. Yes, English is also one of the programs! If you are one who favors international goodwill than you can appreciate as much as I do the many and varied languages as well as cultures represented because of PHPBB2.

To further the software’s reach, PHPBB encourages the creation of additional translations. A knowledge base to help translators out in their quest is listed right online. As I mentioned elsewhere, PHPBB2 is a free program one that virtually anyone around our wonderful planet can access and translate into their own language provided they have a computer and internet access. One has to think that this bit of goodwill can go very far. Let’s hope so…our world needs every bit of it!.


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