Tech Tuesday: Don’t Get Lost in Translation

Now that my blog is (mostly) all settled in here at WordPress, one of the many things I am enjoying is playing around with plug-ins. I had always wanted to allow for easy language translation of my blog posts, especially considering that there may still be cousins living in the non -English-speaking countries from which my family immigrated. I certainly don’t want to miss an opportunity to connect because a potential cousin doesn’t speak English!

So after noodling around with a several different translation plug-ins, I finally settled on the Google Language Translator. Several of the plug-ins I considered require that you create new, translated pages for every post and each language you want translated. Whoa, who has that kind of time? Google Language Translator was super easy to install, and I appreciated the fact that I could select specific languages which I felt were most relevant to my blog (or you can select all languages, if you prefer).




Once you have made your language selections and saved your preferences, the translate box will appear at the bottom of each page, even as you scroll. If you click on the button, a box of flags pops up (these are, of course, the flags of the countries whose languages you selected). You can choose the order in which the flags will appear… I think I left mine sort of random.




For demonstration purposes – and also because I have ancestors from there – I clicked on the flag of France. You’ll notice that nearly every bit of text on the page is now translated into French, even my tweets in the Twitter box in the footer. Try it… I’ll wait! Be sure to change back to English when you’re done!



Incroyable, no? I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the translation, as my college French is a bit rusty now. But hopefully readers in other countries will at least get the point of what I’m trying to say, even if a few things get lost in translation. :-)



Newsletters: Old School or Still Cool?


Several organizations to which I belong still send out “old school” newsletters. Some groups send hard copies to my mailbox. Others send PDFs to my inbox. The common denominator is that they all still use an “old school” newsletter format. Typically, they look very nice, and I enjoy them for a brief time before tossing them in the recycle bin. Which seems like such a waste, because if you’ve ever been on the publishing end of a newsletter, you know what a time-consuming pain they can be to put together.

Are newsletters still worth the effort? Or are more groups moving to blogs and electronic news delivery systems like Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.?

So, I’m wondering: What does your group use? Do you still love your old school newsletter? Or does your group use a blog or some other electronic format to distribute the news? If the latter, how do you accommodate members who don’t use a computer or smartphone? Note: Some of your groups may use both a newsletter and a blog (or other electronic format), but in the interest of keeping this poll simple, please select your main form of communication.

Feel free to share your details in the comments. And thank you for being part of my little research project!


 Newsletter image from Old Cardboard.


You can now purchase DAR Supporting Documents


The following announcement was released by the Daughters of the American Revolution today:

I am so thrilled to tell you about a new feature which has just been added to the Genealogical Research System (GRS). In addition to the ability to purchase Record Copies, you will now also be able to purchase the Supporting Documentation that was submitted with the application or supplemental. The documents may include family bible records, deeds, wills and other various materials that were used to prove lineage to a patriot of the American Revolution. Similar to Record Copies, any vital records or applications that contain personal information (birth, death, marriage, divorce or other sensitive documentation) will not be included with the Supporting Documents unless they are over 100 years old. DAR is committed to privacy and these efforts are in place to keep members and their family’s personal information confidential.


I broke up with Blogger.

Break up with Blogger!


The Backstory: Blogger and I had been in a relationship for a little over 7 years. Things were great at first. Blogger and I shared good times and much love. But over the years, our relationship had become stagnant. I had grown and changed; alas, Blogger had not. I wanted more than Blogger was able to give. So after many expletive-laden disagreements, and more than a few fists to the desk, it was time for Blogger and me to go our separate ways. I broke up with Blogger and started a brand-new relationship with Self-Hosted WordPress.


Good News From Family Tree DNA!

I received the following news from Family Tree DNA yesterday:

Dear Group Administrators,

We have great news for you, your group members, and most importantly prospective members: As of Monday, we’ll begin including domestic return postage in the cost of shipping and handling. By adding return domestic postage, it will encourage more of those sponsored testers to return their kits, since they don’t have to visit a post office or guess at the number of stamps to put on the envelope! For both domestic and international shipping, the fee will now be a consistent $9.95. 


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