Dr Nic

Translation of RSS feeds a failure (part 3)

My path to spying on the Japanese wouldn’t be complete without support for translating RSS feeds. The translation needs to be performed on the feed itself before it hits the feedreader (unless you have non-Ajaxy webreaders that you can translate).

Unfortunately, Google Translate seems to ignore RSS altogether, and just redirects you back to the original RSS feed.

For example, take sample feed: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/hanazukin/rss2

Press the Spy on Japanese bookmarklet (cheat: click here for translation) and you’ll see the original RSS feed in the lower frame. Its not that its been poorly translated – Google just redirects you back to the original page instead of translating it.

Two solutions:

  1. Use a HTML -> RSS feed converter and use the direct translation url (use translate_c? instead of translate? in the url)
  2. Google Translate should add RSS feed translation. Really it cannot be more difficult than HTML translation. Add some caching (which google loves to do anyway) so its not translating each time my feed reader polls the feed, and you’re off and running.
  3. NEW – create a translator proxy that accepts RSS feed urls, converts the feed to a primitive HTML format, translate on google, convert results back to RSS feed

I prefer #2. So, if any Googlers read this blog, or if any friends of Larry & Co. are reading this blog, or if anyone remotely interested in popping over to the Googleplex to pass on a message from me, could ask the Google Translate ppl to add RSS feed support, I’d be a very very happy man.

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