Zemanta semantic plugin for non-English bloggers!

Blog better using Zemanta

Image by chucks via Flickr

Summary: This blog-post explains to people blogging in languages other than English, how to use «Zemanta« (a Semantic plugin).

-What is «Zemanta»?

Zemanta is a tiny Firefox plugin that works for almost any type of blog, automatically generating tags, links and images with a certain Semantic relevance to your blog-posts (every time you save them).

Zemanta works for WordPress, blogspot, and other types of blogs.

Consult Zemanta’s main site: http://www.zemanta.com

Unfortunately, Zemanta only works for English posts, at the moment. However, as a registered tester of Zemanta’s API, I wrote a message in the Zemanta developer’s forum, with some ideas about using Zemanta in other languages. Here is how:

Zemanta’s results will be in English, but a part of them is useful (in other languages) anyway: E.g. Images. Also tags and categories are BEST done in English, since today there is fusion of information all over the planet and ever-improving quality in automatic translation. So a blogger writing about issues that concern the whole world, should use international (English) tags and categories, to be searchable by international audiences. The only negative thing (but not totally) is that links to other blog-posts (generated by Zemanta) will also be in English, but these are not totally rejectable: Maybe some of them are also relevant and desirable (I certainly use a lot of them, even in Greek posts).

There is a simple way for any non-English blogger to use Zemanta already, even without foreign language extensions, while writing NON-English posts. Here is the procedure:

  1. Write your non-English post as a «private post», keeping Zemanta switched OFF. Do NOT put a title to it yet. Save it.
  2. Copy this (entire) text to Google’s automatic translation service, e.g. using my own site http://omadeon.com/tran, which also includees babelfish / Yahoo automatic translation:
  3. Translate automatically your (non-Engllish) text into English. Then, copy-and-paste the translation to a NEW BLOG POST, intended as a final (public) post in your blog.
  4. Switch ON Zemanta, to get semantic information attached to your post.
  5. Switch OFF Zemanta, delete your text (taking care not to delete LINKS if you do need them). Go back now to your original (non-English) private blog-post, copy-and-paste it into the new post (the one you are about to publish). Adjust the title of this post and press «Publish».
  6. VOILA: -You have used Zemanta successfully, in a Non-English post! 🙂

In (5) one further possibility is to hand-edit the English automatic translation, to publish your post a second time, this time also in English. The drawback here is that -usually- the translations are of bad quality, a kind of «pigeon-English»; quite often so bad that you have to re-translate your text from scratch! However, the quality is already improving and some types of text get better translated than others (automatically).

  • NOTE: If you are a software developer, it is possible to use clever and simple programming calls to Google’s new «translation API» to translate (almost any) blog-post into English temporarily generating semantic results from Zemanta. Clever use of Google’s Translation API by the Zemanta developer(s) can certainly make it work automatically in other languages, making my… wise advice (here) obsolete! 🙂

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