Articles
Web Hosting Magazine : August 2001 Issue (page 31)
NO ENGLISH? NO LONGER A PROBLEM

Hoop, man: get a groep on yourself! You'd betteer be pakken your bags for our Web Hosting Spektakel in D.C. or we'll be piste.

Not that we're expecting a heap of hosting execs from Holland, but you never know. That's why we spidered our Expo website using Metamend's multilingual thesaurus tool, a new system for generating search engine-optimized keywords in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.

Whether the results would get us top billing in the Netherlands, we have no idea. But the Dutch results are worth it for the giggle factor alone: hoop, groep, pakken, spektakel, piste ... not to mention koopmanschap, zaak, tentoonspreition, besloten and vennootschap.

After a sneak preview for media types, the Victoria, British Columbia-based Metamend planned to roll out a full-service version of its multilingual thesaurus tool in June. It also recently began offering its search engine optimization services in the States through a deal with At Your e-Service, which distributes web-based apps through brick-and-mortar channels like Micro Center and Fry's Electronics.

Metamend CEO Richard Zwicky says the thesaurus tool generates keywords that better match how people really search online using natural language queries. "People building web sites don't take that into account," he says.

Natural language tagging will become increasingly important as the web grows more sophisticated, Zwicky says. The same's true with multilingual tags, because who isn't a global enterprise these days?

And while Metamend's early multilingual capabilities are still a bit thin, it plans to fatten them up and eventually add other languages like Chinese. With so many nuances and similar characters, Asian languages can be a bear to translate, so those of you eyeing Beijing markets might have to wait a bit. Remember the original Chinese translation for Coca-Cola? It was, "Bite the wax tadpole."

Which according to our online dictionary, translates in Dutch to "bijten de was kikkervisje."

Hoop.