Blogs Without Borders: How to Read Foreign Language Crochet Blogs

Some of our best inspiration comes from around the web, and world. Images of crochet patterns, art installations, and yarn bombing leave us feeling inspired and connected to a community that goes way beyond our borders. But what happens when you visit a blog with amazing visuals but you can’t read it no matter how many foreign language classes you took in high school? Easy.

Our guest blogger Kathryn Vercillo shows how super-simple it is to read foreign language sites with online translation tools you might have overlooked while searching the web. We love this tip, even for our own foreign language readers, and the blogs Kathryn points out here are becoming our new favorites. Enjoy!

Speaking Their Language

When it comes to translation, there are a few different ways that foreign language blogs operate. The best option is when the blogger is bilingual and can share their own thoughts in their native tongue as well as in English. For example, take a look at AnneMarie’s Haakblog, where she blogs about crochet in both Dutch and English or check out the bilingual blog from Latvian crochet designer Linda Skuja.

When there isn’t a bilingual translation of the text, you should look in the sidebar of the blog for a translation tool. This will give you an on-screen translation of the text into English (or the language you select). Good examples of blogs that offer this include Portuguese crochet blog Linhas Imaginarias and Italian blog Elena Regina.

When on-site translation tools are not available, you can use Google’s translate option; just paste the URL of the blog into a Google Search and click search, then instead of clicking on the main name of the blog, click on the highlighted text that says “translate this page” to the right of the link.

Alternatively, go to Google Translate and enter the blog’s URL and in the box at right select the language you want to translate to, then click the url and it will show up in that language. I do this sometimes to read French crochet blog Julie Adore. These translations aren’t perfect, especially if you are seeking detailed pattern instructions, but they allow you to get the gist of what the crochet blogger is trying to say.

 

Just for fun, go to Google Translate and enter our URL (http://www.crochettoday.com/blogs) to see what this blog looks like in another language.

Leaving Comments

One of the best things about blogs is the interaction between blogger and reader. You want to ask crochet questions, share your own news and compliment the crafter on her work. Don’t hesitate to leave comments on foreign language blogs.

In many cases, the blogger reads some English even if she is not comfortable blogging in the language. Even when she doesn’t, she can use her own translator tools to understand your comments. However, if you want to be courteous and write in the blog’s language just use the Google Translate tool, which allows you to enter your English text and convert it to the language of your choosing so that you can copy and paste it into a blog’s comment section.

Universal Symbols and Charts

Even when you can’t quite understand the writing in a blog post, you can always look at the pictures. Most of us turn to crochet blogs to see images of what others are making as inspiration for our own work. Foreign language bloggers often incorporate many images to reach a broader audience. This includes close-up and detailed photos of their work. And when foreign bloggers share crochet patterns they often include a symbol chart so you don’t need to understand the language to do the work. Download our guide to Reading Charts.

Final Tips for Enjoying Foreign Crochet Blogs

You can get even more out of following these blogs by following the links on the blog. The more you check out of the blogger’s inspirations, the quicker you’ll get a sense of the voice of the site. Exploring their social media, especially visual sites like Pinterest, will also enhance your understanding of the blog. And just be open to the joy of exploring new blogs and admiring those from afar at home.

 

Comments

That's a good point! You

That's a good point! You could also post your message both in English and also in translation, so they can see what you really meant to say...

about Google Translate

I don't want to be a negative nellie, but I don't recommend using Google Translate to send messages in a foreign language. I was a linguistics major and speak Russian and Spanish fluently, and I can tell you that half the time what Google Translate spits out is completely unintelligible, and the other half the time it's understandable but either bad or offensive. If you don't speak the language, you have no idea what you're really saying when you use translation software.

It's much better to leave the message in a language you know, and then if others don't understand it they can try to translate it themselves with Google Translate or ask a friend. But if you use GT yourself and there is a translation error, other people have NO IDEA what the original text was and can't even ask other people who speak English for help trying to figure out what was intended.