Thursday, March 24, 2005
Google is already available in 104 languages, from Afrikaans to Zulu, but we had no Romansh. It's an old tongue that's still spoken in valleys in the Swiss Alps. Only about one percent of Swiss people can speak it, but even so it's one of the country's four official languages. Romansh is in the same family as Spanish or Italian, but looks more daunting because of the long sequences of consonants. For example, "image search" becomes "tschertga da maletgs."
So we threw a party in Zurich and asked people fluent in Romansh to translate text like "I'm feeling lucky." (They found this particularly hard to translate, and settled on "A bun gartetg," which is more or less "on good luck"). And now there is Google in Romansh. Why do we bother? Call us obsessive, but we like it when everyone can use Google in their native language.