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What the Hell, WordPress?

September 23, 2012

I have been doing my blog for a few months now on WordPress.  I chose WordPress because my fantasy sports blog was also a WordPress site, so I could jump right into writing without learning a new content editor or navigating a new series of menus.  But, frankly, there are a few things that WordPress does which I find a bit annoying.  Primarilly, the fact that WordPress doesn’t allow the use of Java means that I have to look harder for what should essentially be a matter of drag-and-drop.

I couldn’t find an adequate image on Google… so I just drew one with paint. Stick figure Todd is frustrated with stick figure WordPress…

Blogroll, Please…

The first issue I have is that there is no easy way to add a blogroll.  Okay, I think the term “blogroll” might be a copyrighted property of Blogger.com, but you get the idea.  In case you don’t, a blogroll is a list of favorite blogs which readers of your blog can click on at any time.  It SHOULD be in the sidebar.  But, on WordPress, all I’ve found is the ability to put a list of blogs I FOLLOW in the sidebar, which isn’t even close to the same thing.  Most of the blogs I follow are sports related, and not things relevant to this site’s readers.  So, sucking it up and living under the rules of WordPress, I’m working on a Favorite Blogs page, which will appear as a tab under my header in the not too distant future.  It’s not quite the same, but I’m sick and tired of searching for something like a blogroll.  And, that’s the gist of the issue I have with WordPress.  Everything which SEEMS simple becomes inexplicably complicated because everyone else out there is totally cool with Javascript.  (On a side note, in case I’ve just overlooked something, any WordPress users with a blogroll, hook me up with the script?  Please?)

Lost in Translation

On another note, the lack of Java plug-in compatibility had left a fellow WordPress blogger flummoxed.  This blogger (The Cloaked Hedgehog, whom I shared a conversation with in my previous blog) lives in Sweden, and though Swedish is her native tongue, she blogs in English.  She was looking to add a translation tool to her site so her friends who didn’t speak English would be able to read her blog, but all she could find were Java based plug-ins.  After a bit of time, I tracked down and stole a workaround to load your blog via Google translate.  The result?  Apparently, Google translate isn’t so good.

TCH: Oh gawd…

Me: So, how’d it do?

TCH: LOL!  I’m dying here!

Me: Why?

TCH: LMAO!!  It doesn’t do expressions well… AT ALL!

Me: Hmm… maybe humor gets a little lost in translation?

TCH: Yeah, I don’t want a translate button now.

Me: That bad… wow.  Well, maybe I can find something better than Google to translate it.

Speaking of “Lost in Translation,” Google translate is so frustrating it led me to drink!

So that’s when I went on the hunt for an improved translation script.  The first thing I discovered is that about 90% of the websites that claim to translate web pages are actually just redirecting you through Google translate.  What the hell is that about?  Does Google hold some sort of Monopoly on translation?  So, I went to Google’s natural enemy: Microsoft.  Sure enough, they offered a translation feature.  So, I wrote a quick script to shell my page through there, and had TCH translate one of my pages with it.  Here’s the result:

Original English text: LOL  Tested quitting… By quitting…  Which means… you quit… but you didn’t?  You know, if I were a robot this would be the part where the paradox makes my head explode.

Swedish translation translated back into English: LOL, tried quit…By to not quitting…Which means…you quit…but you not? You know, if I was a robot this would be the part where paradoxally makes my head explosion

Horrible.  Apparently, for all Google translate’s flaws, Microsoft was even worse.  So I went back on the hunt and came up with a translation site called Worldlingo.  This, by the way, is a site which only translates 500 words at a time for free, forcing users to either keep clicking to translate chunks of text OR pay for the service.  Also, it claimed to have a script code which would understand and appropriately translate colloquialisms… so I was hopeful this would do the trick.  Turns out, no so much.  First of all, the translation was FULL of misspelled words in Swedish.  Secondly, as far as “understanding colloquialisms,” it seemed to either just leave the shit in the original language, or it horribly massacred it along with the rest of the text it was translating.  Example:

Original English text:  I occasionally have been known to engage in chat on Facebook.  I know, you can wipe the mock look of surprise off your face, we all chat on Facebook… I get that.

Swedish translation translated back into English: (After several minutes of TCH laughing, she read this translation back to me) I have been temporarily familiar to connect to chatting moment in Facebook.  I know, to you can wipe the fake look off the surprise of your turn against, us all chatting moment on Facebook… I am allowed to that.

My response:  OMFG.  That’s horrible!

Original English text:Why what?  Why way to go?  Because I’m anti-smoking (as an air breather).  Not the preachy kind who gets all self-righteous around smokers.  Just the kind to cheer on the quitters.

Swedish translation translated back into English: Why what? Why long way to go? Because anti-smoking I-this morning (as an airy air valve). Not the preachy kind who gets all smug around smokers. Exactly the sort to cheer on the quittersna. (“quitters” was actually left in English on the Swedish translation, with the inexplicable “na” tacked on the end)

My response: Holy flaming balls of shit…

So, in the end, I left the Google translate button (under my header, where it says “Translate This Blog”), because, while Google is lousy at translating, it’s also apparently the best script out there.  If you want Google translate for your WordPress blog, feel free to re-steal my stolen script.  If you are fluent in another language, might I suggest giving worldlingo a try.  It’s apparently funnier than spider monkeys on crack… which I can only imagine would be fairly funny, although a bit sad that someone gave spider monkeys crack in the first place.  You know, forget the spider monkey scenario, I don’t need PETA coming down on my ass.

So, Why WordPress?

Mostly, because the spam filter, Akismet, is so amazing, that no other screening process (like Capcha) is necessary.  Also, because the REASON behind the rigid “no Javascript” rule is quite sound.  Frankly, there’s a lot of poorly written Java out there, and that can lead to security issues and open your site to hacking.  Also, when I started my personal blog, I decided to go with a very bland design… yes, folks, the beige is on purpose.  I wanted to use minimal images (with occasions where I go stick figure happy or do full blown zombie survival car reviews… in which case I go bananas with the pictures), and minimal “flash” so that visitors to my blog would concentrate on the substance.  If I were allowed to go Javascript crazy, I’d probably have all sorts of distracting animated nonsense drawing your attention away from my words.  The limits keep me in check… well… with the occasional stick figure outburst.

Speaking of stick figures… is that not the best desk chair ever drawn in Microsoft Paint in under 10 minutes?  Holy crap I’m good.  Seriously.  I should have some sort of job where I outsource my Microsoft Paint talent… to… uhm… yeah I got nuthin’.  Dang it!  Yet another unmarketable skill.

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22 Comments
  1. After having picked myself off of the floor where I once again ended up from laughing so hard I feel the need to crown a winning translation. Ta-ta-da-da! And the winner is:

    “Original English text: I occasionally have been known to engage in chat on Facebook. I know, you can wipe the mock look of surprise off your face, we all chat on Facebook… I get that.

    Swedish translation translated back into English: (After several minutes of TCH laughing, she read this translation back to me) I have been temporarily familiar to connect to chatting moment in Facebook. I know, to you can wipe the fake look off the surprise of your turn against, us all chatting moment on Facebook… I am allowed to that.”

    I mean seriously! Does a translation GET less accurate and at the same time more hilarious than this???

    And about the desk chair. It’s gorgeous! I’m gonna recommend you to the IKEA design team.
    😉

    • Oh, please do! I’m sure IKEA uses Microsoft Paint for all their designs!

      Although… there’s all those former SAAB designers who are probably out there fighting in some sort of Viking death match for IKEA design jobs. I’m not sure my desk chair drawing skills could really stand up against a SAAB engineer wielding a two handed battleaxe.

  2. I’m very impressed by your chair drawing skills 🙂

    • I am, too! I know I put that out there in a sarcastic manner, but after I hastily threw that together I looked at the result and said, “holy hell! You can actually tell what that’s supposed to be!”

      I fear it’s one of those “happy accident” situations, though.

  3. That’s a lovely chair indeed! I could use one of those…

    Also, just for yucks, this website has given me great amusement translation-wise. http://ackuna.com/badtranslator

    • I love this TOO MUCH!! It’s interesting to see what this thing does to some of history’s great orators…

      John F. Kennedy: And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.
      After 6 monstrous translations in random order: I am and then, American my companion: question that not the execution is able, what the country for her — what asks its country can do.

      Winston Churchill: Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
      6 horrific translations later: Never in it be a human of country was of so much conflict too then to the so small need.

      Abraham Lincoln: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
      6 bastardizations of language later: Four epidemics and seven years do became our attackers of parents in this continent, a new nation, considered in liberty and prudent to the suggestion that the entire men are similar, were created.

      Guy Fieri: I’m drivin’ the bus to flavor town!
      After you get over the shock that I included Guy Fieri… 6 translations of his nonsense produces: I conduct the bus to perfume the town!

      I think I smelled that bus.

  4. Oh…oh….oh!!! I love that bad translator thing!!!!!!

  5. That’s a pretty bad ass stick figure.

    Also, I wish I knew enough about computers and shit to have my own sight that isn’t Blogger. I, too, have a list of things that piss me the hell off about it. It all seems so confusing. If I had a midget assistant, they would be awesome at web design and such. They would also be dressed as a sunflower… Sigh…

    Hugs!

    Valerie

  6. Just wanted to say that Capcha should be slapped in its stupid face and sent to its room. Forever.

  7. I haven’t read this whole post yet because I got excited when I realized I could tell you how to add a blog roll that doesn’t consist of just blogs you follow.

    I like helping.

    1. Hover your mouse over your blog name next to the fancy ‘W’ in the upper right hand corner of your screen when you’re in your dash board.
    1a. By ‘right’, I mean left.
    2. That’ll present a drop down list. Click on “widgets”
    3. Under “available widgets”, find the one that says “links”. If it’s not listed, it may not compatible with your theme for whatever retarded reason.
    4. If it’s there, drag and drop it to the column on the right labled “side bar”. (If you don’t have a column labled “side bar”, you may have to go to theme options and select “enable side bar”. And that’s a whole other list of instructions).
    5. Once it’s listed in the side bar, click edit
    6. This page is pretty self explanatory, as its purpose is mostly just to determine what position the widget has in the side bar and if you want to display a picture and blah blah blah.
    7. THEN, go to the far left and hover over the chain link picture
    8. Click on “link categories”. This is where you can name your link widget. Example: “Fucking Awesome Blogs” or “These Links Are Not Kittens”
    9. Hover over the chain link picture again. Select “add new”
    10. This page is also fairly self explanatory.
    11. Your stick figure is the shit

    Hope that helps!

    • Ehrrrrmahhgerrrrrd!!!!! I love you too much right now. HOW did I not see that Widget before?! Seriously?! I saw the “blogs I follow” widget, but holy crap… Okay. So, yeah. Overlooked this completely. YOU just made my blogroll! Okay, honestly, you were already going to be there, but now I might just put you at the top! (I’ll need to change your blog’s name to ‘Aaaaaah Cerebral Milkshake’ like some business trying to vault to the front of the phone book or something, so I hope you’re okay with that.)

      Also… thank you. I mean, I think all my gushing up there pretty much already said “thank you” without coming out and saying “thank you” … but there. I also came out and said thank you.

    • Yep. That’s what we used too. You can categorize all of your links this way. You just have to go into your links and check the ones that are in your Favorite Awesome Blogs category, like for instance ours. 😉

      • Awesome! I currently put Cerebral Milkshake as my only blogroll blog as they initially told me how to do it. I’ll be updating my blogroll as well as putting out a blog tomorrow… YOU know which blog I’m talkin’ about! 😉 Thank you so much, again, for this honor (that’s a hint, my blogbabies).

  8. I’ve been on WordPress for a few months now, and this shit is all confuzzling to me. But then again, I’m a bit of a computer illiterate tard.
    I’m SO freaking happy I found you tonight because I’ve been wondering the same thing about a “blogroll”. I was totally getting ready to make a “people I stalk and want to break into their houses to make hair dolls out of their shower leave-ins” page too. Now that can be a link in my side-bar. YAY ME! Pretty sure that you’re going on it once I get around to following the amazing (probably common sense) advice of the phenomenal Cerebral Milkshake. I totally already stalk her. And may or may not have her hair doll already. Not telling…

    • If you’re looking to make my hair doll… I totally need a haircut. I’ll tell you the barber and the time, you bring a broom. Also Cerebral Milkshake is awesome for so many reasons… and this blogroll tutorial is like awesome sauce on top of awesomeness.

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