The Inquirer goes multilanguage. Well, partly.

So it seems that the Inquirer will now provide content in several languages, including German. My first impressions were mixed however.

While I consider offering several languages to visitors a good thing, the way it is implemented here obviously just serves the purpose of diverting traffic to an inferior site with mediocre translations and spelling.

At least the following things leave room for improvement:
  • Upon visiting http://www.theinquirer.net/ you may get redirected to one of six weblogs, based on your IP Adress. This is not optimal. The redirector should rather use the browser's language settings if present. Google does this better.
  • The weblog you are being redirected to contains only articles the respective publisher has considered important enough for translation. No references to untranslated content are given. The publisher even suggests that you bookmark both the localized and original sites. This is a serious shortcoming. There should not be six incomplete versions of the Inquirer, but (at most!) one English and one international version. The international version should contain all articles. The articles should be displayed depending on available translations and the order of language preference as specified in the visitor's browser. The international version should aim to eventually replace the English one.
  • If you follow a direct link to a story from elsewhere, you get redirected to your local language's main page. This is awful. You should be redirected to the translated article instead, and if no translation exists, no redirect should be made at all.
Having had my say, providing content in other languages besides English is a great idea which the Inquirer deserves to be commended for. I'm all for the localization efforts to continue. It's just that this great idea deserves a better implementation.